…aaand we’re back! The quarantine backstage (& other stories)

We’re back, ladies and gentlemen, we’re back with a vengeance. As of tomorrow, my region will be declared “red zone” and we will be in lockdown. We have red zones, orange zones, and yellow zones and it feels a little bit like Risiko.As opposed to what is being referred as “the first wave”, where my […]

We’re back, ladies and gentlemen, we’re back with a vengeance. As of tomorrow, my region will be declared “red zone” and we will be in lockdown. We have red zones, orange zones, and yellow zones and it feels a little bit like Risiko.
As opposed to what is being referred as “the first wave”, where my City was mostly spared, this time we are in deep shit. They’re thinking to invent a super-red zone just for us and they wouldn’t be wrong.

So here we are. The inevitable comeback of.

Inevitable because we knew this would happen.
We’re been studying history, we know that these kinds of diseases come in waves, don’t we?

Yeah, we knew that.
No, not those kinds of waves.

Although in looking at the curves from the 1918 Spanish Influenza I can’t really wrap my head around the fact that the first wave is the small one.

Well, shit.

Things have been looking up, in the summer. I have even been able to run away with a friend (well, actually two times, with two separate friends).
We are still a lucky Country, compared to Great Britain and Spain.
Or luck doesn’t have anything to do with it and we simply handled it surprisingly good.

It’s not easy to think that, right now, but at least we can distinguish between a first and a second wave, while other countries can’t.

This is our curve, today: does it look familiar?

I have been keeping some sort of web journal, sometimes even a weekly update, during the first wave, and I’m posting a full index below, for future usage.
Historians from another planet might find it of use while they try and figure out how we went extinct.

  • February, 25th, Greetings from Milan. «My darlings, greetings from Milan. I know some of you are worried and I know the news is being unkind towards what’s happening here, the place in Italy where we have the highest rate of confirmed cases of what has been called “Coronavirus”».
  • March, 1st. Week #2 from Milan. «Good morning, my darlings, here we are again. There is no official announcement yet, but it has been made clear that here in Milan we will spend another 8 days in pretty much the same situation we had the last week: schools of all kinds and order will still be closed, although it isn’t clear […]».
  • March, 8th. Just that weird kind of quiet. «Greetings, everyone. It is Sunday morning, here in Milan, ad everything is very, very quiet outside. Quiet. Like silence, but not really silent… Like the sound when you lie upside down in your bed. Just the sound of your heart in your head. It might be simply because it’s Sunday morning. Still, it feels like a strange […]».
  • March, 12th. Milano. Date: unknown. «My beautiful darlings, we are still here. Although I could not tell you where. Things are changing, now, on a daily basis. And this seems to be the only certain thing. I have arranged the couch in order to be at the right height for typing, placed an additional monitor and keyboard on the low tables we have […]».
  • March, 19th. Well, shit. «Well, guys and gals, shit. There’s no other way of putting it. Or, at least, that’s how I feel like putting it, while I watch the rest of the world and how they’re coping (or not) with this whole COVID-19 stuff. I hear stories from people in the UK, in the US or even from […]».
  • March, 28th. The Darkest Hour. «I have wondered a lot about whether to skip my weekly update because, frankly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to be that ray of sunshine and hope you all wish me to be.I might not be amusing.I might even not be able to crack a joke, this time.But I’ll try. Things have been grim, […]».
  • April, 5th. 7 times 7. «Good evening, my precious and yes, this is your weekly update from what is now the third most badly hitten Country in the world. As I write I’m waiting for numbers to come in, which always happens around 18:30 with the traditional press conference of our Ministry for Civil Defence, but we’re at 124.632 cases. […]».
  • April, 15th. I am enraged. «Have you not been listening to me? Has anybody been listening to the voices appealing to compassion, solidarity and the need for kindness? Has anybody have been fucking listening to me? I am enraged, this morning, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, so I said to myself “go and write a rant: […]».
  • April, 26th. I might be losing it. «Ok, guys, I think I’m losing it. Don’t get me wrong: I love my house and I love the significant otter I’m in the house with, business is soaring and things are looking bright. Except they’re not. We have been in voluntary isolation and partial lock-down since February 21st. It feels like years. Yesterday we celebrated what we […]».
  • May, 10th. Not My Phase 2. «Well, darlings, here we are. Last Monday, the Italian government officially started what they called Phase 2 of Lockdown, meaning more factories could restart and more businesses could reopen shop. This, of course, doesn’t apply to education. Restaurants could also reopen, if only for takeaway, and we were able to have sushi and pizza, this week. […]».
  • May, 31st. The “new normal”? «It’s been a while, babes, I know that. I think I’ve skipped one or two weeks. I can’t tell: time moves weirdly. We have been in a sort of “Phase 2, 2nd stage”, since then, and it’s almost like whoever invented these stages got drunk with whoever came up with BIM stages in ISO 19650. […]».
  • June, 23rd. We’re COVID free! (Except we’re not). «Greetings, my darlings. Things have been CRAZY. During the last month, we officially came out of quarantine and went back to what is being called “the new normal” (see my previous post), which means that lots of projects came out of hibernation and there has been lots of training to be delivered. I recently did […]».
  • August, 21st. The Pandemic Diaries: mid-August. «Well, I haven’t updated this in a while, I see. Since COVID-19 left China and hit the so-called western world, picking my Country as its favorite place to announce itself to the world, I have been keeping some sort of web journal, sometimes even a weekly update. If you feel like flicking through it, it […]»

There’s also one in Italian, on March 23rd.
It’s when the coach of our football team died of the virus and we had to hold his wake on Zoom because no other form of gathering was allowed.

The updates don’t say it all: we could do a sort of backstage with extra content, you know? I might even be able to charge patrons for it.

Like how our friend Gabriele was at our house, on February 24th when it was allowed, and we kept joking about the fact that this could be “that time Gabriele came to stay for the weekend and was stuck with us for two months”. We didn’t know how close we would come to that.

Like how my friend was in Africa and almost got stuck in Dar es Salaam because the return flights had been canceled.

Some of the things we did back in late February – early March, although we have always been pretty responsible – couldn’t be possible today. We had internal training. With no masks. All in the same room. Can you imagine that?

It was March, 4th.

We didn’t know what we didn’t know. Also the feeling we got while listening to my love trying to explain Forge to us.

Wait, what?

Like I said, we could do a sort of backstage with extra content.

Like how good it feels to have a house that’s crammed with books,
when you’re in lockdown,
nobody delivers books because books are non-essential goods,
and you realize you already have
the book you were looking for.

– incidentally, that’s my companion’s back and hair and it’s no optical illusion: that’s how small my house is –

This is the book you’re looking for.

Of I could share with you the hypnotic twirling of a batch of beer brewing when we couldn’t buy any because supermarkets wouldn’t deliver (a failed attempt, ingredients were too old, but it was worth a shot).

Or I could share the video, sent by one of my closest friends, just to explain you what I mean when I say that we handled it seriously.
The voice is saying: “This is your mayor speaking: I remind you to please stay at home”.

Or I could be kinder,
try and cheer you up,
and share with you the home-made cappuccino,
from that time I was depressed.

It might not be artistic but it’s love nonetheless.

Or, my personal favorite.
That time I had to prepare to stream a lesson from the bathroom,
because my house only has one room
and the other room was occupied by another lesson.

Yup. That happened. Watch out for the green background: it might happen again.

Tonight, I must say that all those feelings are coming back and I’m posting these shots from before mostly to remind myself that we did it last time, and we can do it this time, too.
Even if it’s going to be longer. And more violent. And colder. And we’re all very tired, already.
Even if that feeling is back, and we’re back scouting on-line for shops that still deliver in the area, even if people went crazy and started demonstrating against the lockdown (or in favor of the virus, I can’t really decide).
Even if the world seems to be standing in the balance in so many ways.

We did it last time.
We’re going to make it this time.

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