(Dark) Orange is the New Red

Well, I spent the whole week in quarantine and I must say that my week didn’t change much. Sure, I wasn’t able to go to the laundry and pick up some stuff that has been there for at least a month, but they’re used to it, by now. Sure, I had to scare the delivery […]

Well, I spent the whole week in quarantine and I must say that my week didn’t change much.
Sure, I wasn’t able to go to the laundry and pick up some stuff that has been there for at least a month, but they’re used to it, by now.
Sure, I had to scare the delivery guy into leaving my beers on the courtyard pavement and walk away instead of cheerfully (and contactfully) handing them over to me.
Sure, I had been a little worried about finding out that I am one of those asymptomatic people carrying around the virus and that I’ll have to spend the rest of my life locked in because the sucker wouldn’t go away, but – hey! – haven’t we all, lately?

Before you all go and freak out: spoiler alert, I already got tested and I’m negative.

I tried to entertain you on Twitter with details of how grandly my week was going.

And if you’re just here for the gifs… so am I, darling, so am I.

Meanwhile, my region had slipped back to the Orange Zone, as I was narrating last week, which means I couldn’t go “upstate” (as some of you guys would say) and visit a couple of friends, but overall this hadn’t changed much either: I haven’t seen some of my closest friends since late October, and we used to celebrate all holidays together, even making some of them up. But they’re in another region and inter-region journeys have been banned since… well, since late October. The real surprise was yet to come.
If you’re interested in seeing how our colors are changing, since they’re changing on a weekly basis based on the review of parameters, there’s this website that answers the most basic of every Italian’s question.

Which fucking colour are we today?

This was the situation during my quarantine week: where the hell did you think I was going to go?

Quick note: Sardinia is not white because we expelled them from the Country, or they finally claimed independence, but because they’re doing surprisingly well and they luckily got into the famed “white zone”, where pubs can reopen and restaurants can serve you dinner.

Two interesting things happened on Thursday after I took that screenshot:

  1. It turned out our region had been in the “Yellow Zone” last week because our Regional Government (a bunch of xenophobe assholes) made another mistake in transmitting data to the central government, so we were really supposed to be Orange;
  2. The same Regional Government decreed that the local lockdowns we’ve been trying to do were really not working, and the whole region slipped to Dark Orange, which is supposed to be like a Light Red.

On Friday evening, I went to get tested. Since being in contact with a student for 4 fucking hours in the same questionably ventilated room apparently doesn’t qualify as “close proximity”, I basically had three choices in front of me:

  1. wake up at 5 am and get in line to get tested at one of the drive-through facilities we have set up here in the city (there’s one at the city airport);
  2. pay 100 euros to get tested privately;
  3. affiliate to the local American football team and get tested with the rest of the guys.

Which choice did you think I picked?

The American football team in question is not just any football team, of course, it’s the Rams, the team my significant otter has played in for almost fifteen years, now.
If you remember, we lost our main coach, “Big”, on March 21st, due to fucking Covid.

This was the news on the major National sport magazine. “The virus took away Big Ram”.

Some of the senior players have been taken the reins of the team, since then, with the aid of some senior former players who were friends with our coach. His birthday would have been a few days ago. And it has been a tough year, so far. Not only because of the loss.
They’ve been doing Zoom training sessions (called Zumba sessions), twice a week, and since it’s been allowed they’ve also taken back training on the field. And this requires equipment. On top of pad and shoulders, which were already provided by the team, there’s been a lot of paperwork: certifications, auto-declaration of conformity, temperatures to be taken, fields to be sanitized.
It goes without saying: it has been a year with no matches and, even if we’ll manage to have a couple of matches this year (which I frankly doubt), it’ll be with no cheer.

9 March 2019. I miss the field, and I miss my girls.

And before ya’ll go on and say I took advantage of being with a manager, know that I paid my affiliation fee, like everyone else, and we live together, so if I’m positive he’ll be carrying it around, next time if not this time. Plus, if I have to choose between giving 100 € to a private facility and giving more to them, I’ll choose that every time. Anyway, this was the thinking behind it. Plus, I got the chance to help with the paperwork during the practice, which is really massive.

The team has taken ultra-cautionary preventive measures: the National protocol requires you to stay in quarantine and get tested if you’ve been in close proximity with a confirmed case (as you know from my story); their internal protocol added one degree of separation, so you had to get tested if you had been in contact with some who was getting tested because he had been in contact with a confirmed positive case. Since last week and giving the current situation, their internal protocol changed again: you can’t access training if you haven’t been tested and the team is providing free testing once a week for everyone. Which I honestly think is amazing.

So this is how yesterday evening I managed to get tested. It was my first test and I have to say I’m not overly fond of the experience.
On top of the news that I was negative, I have to share that all the rest of the team turned out to be negative as well, which is frankly amazing considering the statistics we’ve been having.

I could even snatch a picture of the practice.

While the guys were practicing, I also got the chance to take a stroll around the sport facility, which has some beautiful green fields around the sport fields. Spring really is coming.


Anyway, it’s a spring we’ll not really get to see.
As I was saying, we’ve been Dark Orange since yesterday.


This is the situation today.

So, how does the Dark Orange work?
Well, you can’t get out of the house unless you really need to, you can’t visit friends or family unless they’re dying and they’ve got no one else to turn to, only one per household can get out to buy groceries, individual and group sports are banned in public parks, schools are closed, and… yeah, it’s kind of like the Red Zone.
And things are bound to get worst, as more regions follow us down the slippery slope leading to red.

This is the foreseen situation for Monday.

If you’re wondering why that region in the middle of the peninsula is always yellow, despite being the region where the Capital city resides… well, you’ve got your answer. It’s amazing how few cases they get where the government is: they must have some secret recipe. Like having the government.

Ah, by the way, last week we changed our government because one asshole thought this was a good time to move for a vote of no-confidence. Our previous Prime Minister was a lawyer. Our current Prime Minister is a banker. Which says a lot about the direction we’re taking.

It’s March 2020 all over again.


Welcome back.

So far, it seems it’s going to be a locked-down Easter, or at least an Easter with our Government pleading to our sense of responsibility and begging us to stay at home and avoid any contact. Does that ring a bell?
Anyway, it’s early March and I’m thinking about Easter. How fucked up is that?

The kind of Easter I’m expecting is just about as reassuring as this amazing White Rabbit by Mia Araujo.

If you’re wondering how we’re doing on the National scale, since I haven’t posted a chart in a while, here it is (you can always see it real-time here). We’re quickly approaching the 3.000.000 cases threshold since it all started and, as you can see, things are not as bad as in November but they’re far from going down steadily. On the contrary, it’s going up again and there’s talk of it being the third wave already, without having been really able to get out of the second properly. The Region where I live always has the lion’s share of cases, which is kind of unsurprising considering that 1 Italian out of 5 live in my city. Some of the Southern regions are however catching up, which is something I was really hoping wouldn’t happen.

It’s… not good.

We don’t seem to be able to lower it below the 10.000 cases, which is a number that looked like Armageddon during the 1st wave. Even if we were expecting it (I wrote about it here), I can’t believe how short the first wave looks now, compared with the new number.

And just to crash any possible glimpse of hope, I took a test on a website that unofficially calculates what’s your estimated date for getting a vaccine, based on your demographics and general gender/health parameters.

For the non-Italian speakers, you can translate it with a wonderful function of Google through your phone, did you know that?
Anyway, the numbers are clear enough but I’ll translate it for your more immediate amusement:

Considering your profile, there are between 21.227.196 and 34.577.605 people preceding you in the queue to get a vaccine in Italy.
Taking into consideration the rate at which people are getting a vaccine, which is approximately 1.166.000 per week, and the coverage ratio which is 70.8%, you should get your dose between November 5th, 2021 and April 14th, 2022.
You’ll get your second dosage between November, 26th 2021 and May 5th, 2022.

If you want and try it out for the UK, you can try it on this page. But I really suggest you don’t.
In Tuscany, people my age are starting to get the AstraZeneca Vaccine, but my Region has started distributing to law enforcement and public workers only, so there’s really no clue as to when a freelance teacher like myself would be able to get a shot. No clue whatsoever.

If I get old enough, at least I’ll finally be eligible for my shot.

On a merrier and more global note, this week Texas decided it was time to stop wearing a mask, prompting the rest of the world to immediately wonder: have they ever been mandatory over there? ’cause we missed that.

I thought covering mouth and nose was more like a tradition, down there.


Meanwhile, within our industry, Esri just announced their conference is going to be virtual this year as well.


And how are you all doing?

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