I’m sure that wherever you might be in the world, you must have seen on the news that Italy is currently in shutdown. Unfortunately this is involving me too, as I too live in Italy. This is absolutely not a common experience to live through in a lifetime. So I thought it might be interesting to describe what’s going on. As not everyone has experienced anything similar.
In my life I’ve even been through a major earthquate, which devastated my home town. Which, by the way, is still recovering from the damage sustaned over 10 years ago. But this is something beyond that. An earthquake is a devastating natural event, but you know when it’s over amd when you can start working on rebuilding buildings and your life.
In this situation there is no indication whatsoever of when life will go back to normality. Also in this kind of situation there is a general feeling of helplessness. As the only thing you can do to help your community is to stay cooked up in your house, while trying to get whatever little work is left to do done.
About This Lockdown
As the Covid-19 (which we all know originated from Wuhan China) outbreak started spreading in Italy, the government quickly started taking action to mitigat the situation. At first a number of small sized towns where isolated. In particular those towns where the outbrake became known in Italy.
As it became clear that these measures where not sufficient to slow down the infection, the government startet locking down larger areas. This continued until we reached the point where we needed to shut down the whole nation. And here we are now.
What Is Allowed and What Not?
Right now the main rule is, don’t leave your home for any reason, unless it is absolutely necessary. So what is necessary and what not? In simple terms this is what is absolutely necessary:
- Going to work if you can’t work from home
- Go out to do your grocery shopping
- Go to the pharmacy for medical reason
- Take your dog out for its needs.
I might be leaving out some things, but you get the gist. What is absolutely not permitted at this time is:
- Going out for no or uneccessary reasons.
- Gathering with other people.
- Go to work if your job allows working from home.
What is It Like To be On Lockdown?
It is a very weird experience, to be stuck at home just trying to get some work done and get through the day. Fortunately I am married so I’m not stuck home all alone. But one of the strangest experiences in this moment is going to do the grocery shopping.
Before this mess forced all of us to change our way of living, I used to do my groceries just before returning home from work. That meant going to the supermarket around 6PM which is peak hour for grocery stores. So the first thing I had to do was change my grocery shopping habbits.
The New Groceries Shopping Experience
I no longer now go everyday at 6PM. I prefer to go as little as possible, once or twice per week, at off peak hours. This means that I am now going to the supermarket around 7:30 AM to avoid crowds. Also I now go only to a supermarket that has self service cash registers. I’m doing everything possible to avoid human interactions. Which is what the government decree invites all Italians to do.
This morning I went to the supermarket and there might have been other 7-8 people. We were all very carefull to keep a safe distance from one and other. Just to give you an idea of what it means: you avoid isles with other people in it. You also try not to cross paths with anyone.
The supermarkets are still fully stocked. Everytime I go the shelves are still full and there isn’t a shortage of any products.
There is no longer anyone on the streets. Thank god it’s like that, it means people are finally obeying the government’s guidelines. I still haven’t come across any police road blocks, but across Italy there are spot checks happening. The police forces are checking people to ensure that the only people that are outdoors have a valid reason to be.
There have already been a number of arrests across Italy due to the violation of the restrictions that are in place.
Why of The Lockdown
The reason why Italy adopted this measure and soon I think other countries will do the same is to dilute the number of people getting sick over a longer period of time. This allows the national healthcare system to be able to cope with the number of people in need of care. Having large numbers of people in need of care at the same time causes the system to be overrun.