Two weeks feels like a lifetime as everything, everyone slows-down. We want you to stay safe, stay healthy and stay home. Lindsey, Brunella and myself are reporting on this worldwide Covid-19 epidemic. Lindsey will have the latest on how to cope with isolation. He should have that up soon. Brunella is in Italy and will bring you news about how Italians are coping with a country in lockdown.
This is not the time to lay blame on who or what started the coronavirus worldwide epidemic. It’s a time to be #TogetherStrong. We must let our doctors and scientists take the lead.
#StayHome #SaferAtHome #StopTheSpread
Wishing all of our readers health! —Lindsey, Brunella & Rachel
In Italy we are reaching the limit of an unsustainable situation, in which our freedom as citizens is limited as if we were under house arrest: soldiers patrol the streets to control who and why people move, there are drones that guard from above a city now ghostly.
In a video shot by a drone I can see my abandoned city, lifeless and this has affected me deeply. I’ve never thought I love Turin so much…
Empty streets, full head. We are all isolated inside our homes, the only noises that come from outside are the singing of the birds and the sirens of the ambulances: a dystopian or science fiction movie scenario, such as “Day after”. In a video shot by a drone I can see my abandoned city, lifeless and this has affected me deeply. I’ve never thought I love Turin so much: we usually take it for granted that life flows naturally in the city where we live, with all its traffic of busy people who animate it. On the contrary, now, it seems that the city is sadly calling us, like a cat who has been shut up outside and asks to be allowed back into the house.
In this global emergency situation, the question I have asked myself is how not to lose my balance and sanity of mind . I’ve always been a very active woman and I’ve always nourished my spirit with constructive projects and ideas, I’ve always thought of loving my life and being exactly at the center of it. But now a doubt has arisen: who am I REALLY? Am I my plans? Or maybe the things I do? What is my being made of?
These days of forced imprisonment, during which we are forced to stop all our work or passion, are leading me to remodel my life. My priorities do not change, because those remain the same: affections, friendships and love for nature, in particular for wolves and their environment. However, I am shifting the center of gravity between my outside and my inside, I am going deep inside to find the identity of my life, something that says I’m alive and defines me as a person.
Surely I am a dreamer and curious: I know that without studying, reading and a positive reaction to this dramatic situation, I could not survive much without getting depressed. I discovered that there are totally useless and “unproductive” things that make me feel good if I do them, for example yesterday I danced to the notes of a loud music, moving my body, loosening up as only children can do.
In Italy we are reaching the limit of an unsustainable situation, in which our freedom as citizens is limited as if we were under house arrest: soldiers patrol the streets to control who and why people move, there are drones that guard from above a city now ghostly. I don’t think we will hold out much longer without some form of rebellion: we are used to a democratic regime that has now unexpectedly turned into a form of sanitary dictatorship and we don’t like it. We are a people full of imagination and unexpectedly strong: we know how to deal with problems lightly and cheerfully…. We will see: we are used to saying: who will live, will see!
Me working at my desk.
Me ready to go out for supplies.
I am a lover of wolves and of Nature in general. With the means of knowledge and awareness, I try to devote myself to the protection of the environment and of the endangered species, as far as I can do. I live in Turin, Italy. I’m a teacher, a writer and a photographer. I published a novel and a book of tales and have to my credit about ten one-man exhibitions of photos. I’m member of the board of a no-profit association of Turin, “Tribù del Badnightcafè”, that organizes cultural and artistic events. Besides I created a group of volunteers to help women who are victim of domestic violence.
Dunn County, Wisconsin March 20, 2020 #CoronaVirus
A Dunn county resident was confirmed to be infected with Covid-19 after traveling outside of Wisconsin in areas that have community spread. The individual is in self quarantine. Update by KT Gallagher, MPA, Dunn County Health Department Director.
Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is currently in the initiation phases, but states where community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase. The duration and severity of each phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
Dr. Deborah Birx said during Wednesday’s briefing at the White House that the coronavirus task force is concerned about reports indicating that more young people are becoming seriously ill from coronavirus, suggesting they may have continued to be exposed to the virus because they weren’t concerned about being at risk.
“There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill and very seriously ill in the ICUs,” Birx said.
Florida beaches still full of young people still celebrating spring break
Worldwide Coronavirus Pandemic
From the BBC March 19, 2020 —Italy coronavirus rise by record 475 in a day.
Brunella Pernigotti shares a glimpse of her daily life from Turin, Italy.
Photo by Brunella Pernigotti: the empty arcades in the Turin center.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
In the world we Italians are known for our rowdy cheerfulness, exuberant creativity and also for the tendency not to respect laws and rules. We love being together and eating well. Therefore, and even more so in these days, we are all suffering from forced isolation and the severe rules that force us not to leave our house.
Italy on Lockdown
A week has already passed since our government decreed the closure of the whole country: not only schools, cinemas and theaters, but also bars, restaurants, parks. We can only go out for food supplies and for health reasons, otherwise we can be reported for an epidemic spreading.
Staying indoors is not easy. We have changed our habits: I wait for the television news to find out about the latest figures of the infected and dead people and I always try to interpret the expression on the faces of the interviewed persons, whether they are specialist doctors or politicians. I must confess that their desperate eyes frighten me more than the words they say.
The situation is very serious and we are all called to be responsible and I must admit that the Italians are responding well and with discipline. And despite the fear and anxiety for ourselves and our loved ones, we try to take courage over the phone, via social media and from balconies. For example, if I feel alone, I look out from my window and see all the other windows open, with people walking on the balcony, telephoning, and maybe sunbathing. At 6 in the afternoon we all go out to the balcony to sing and dance.
Photograph: The view from my balcony of a fellow Italian sunbathing.
Now it is evening and silence is falling again in the city, another day has passed: I read, studied, talked on the phone to friends near and far and I was able to fight depression, fear for my health and concern for my work that I have lost. #everythingwillbefine.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Today is Wednesday and in my normal life I used to teach in the afternoon and to go to my dance class in the evening. I’ve always loved my job and dancing, so being forced to stop all my activities without even having an idea of when all this nightmare will end weighs on me unspeakably.
I console myself by reasoning that luckily we are all well at the moment, (my loved ones and I), but this does not help me pass the time. However, today I had an idea that raised my spirits: in my apartment building there are two elderly people and also two heart patients who live alone. I offered to go shopping for them and they accepted: leaving the house to do food supplies is allowed. So I collected their orders on a list and in the afternoon I will go to the supermarket!
To go out you must have a sanitary mask and disposable gloves, then on your return you must wash your hands well and disinfect the handles. I am happy to have found something that will help me not to feel useless. I am not the only one who had this idea: many similar initiatives arose spontaneously in condominiums throughout Italy.
This dramatic moment is reviving the acts of humanity and solidarity that I thought were disappeared. Meanwhile, we continue to hope and wait for good news!
Thursday, March 19, 2020
In these days there is a joke that partly quotes a phrase from the film “Frankenstein Junior”: it could be worse, the Internet might not work. In fact, the obligation to stay at home has changed our lives and only thanks to the network we are able to continue to work and carry out the necessary activities at banks, post offices and administrative offices.
The apartment below mine is rented by students, since I live in a neighborhood near the University of Turin, and this morning one of them discussed his online degree, receiving the academic title of doctor: they are celebrating at home and I’ve told him from my balcony I am happy for him.
The internet also serves to make us feel connected with friends and with the outside world: at this time when fear, stress and depression are attacking us since we have suspended all our daily activities, many specialists in meditation and yoga techniques are creating events online in which everyone can participate: they offer live-videos where you can interact with them who teach us how to relax and lower the level of psychological tension.
Unfortunately, to this date, the news in my city is still of a long row of cars bearing coffins that come out of hospitals: inside there are people killed by COVID-19 and they are escorted to the cemetery by the army… Many people wonder if this intervention by the army is appropriate, because we are not a country accustomed to seeing the streets patrolled by soldiers in uniform that limit us in our freedom, but I’m afraid that at the moment there is no other way to convince people, who still believe that this is an easy walk, in taking the situation seriously as it should be.
…we are simply one animal species among many and we are now the preferred prey of an unknown virus, in front of which we are defenseless.
By Brunella Pernigotti in Turin, Italy
March 14, 2020 – It’s a strange Saturday afternoon. The streets in the center of Turin, where I live, are empty and an unreal silence reigns everywhere. Normally at this hour there are many people who come and go on foot and by car, public transport is full of people, all shopping in crowded shops, or walking on the bank of the river Po.
Today we are all at home, afraid and in silence, as if, making noise, the virus could discover and hit us. It’s all so strange! Only a month ago the news of the dangerous virus arrived as an echo far from countries unrelated to our daily lives, we would never have thought that it would soon arrive like an avalanche on us, in Italy, too.
Yet it happened. First Lombardy, the outbreak of the infection, was declared as “red area”, so schools, offices, shops have closed, then also Veneto, then some provinces of Piedmont, the region where I live. Eventually all northern Italy was locked down, but it was not enough because people did not believe the alarm and continued to travel and meet in public places.
So the hospitals started to sound the alarm: too many infected arrive per day and we cannot hospitalize them all in intensive care! And many, too many die! At that point Italy was locked down completely: police and the army control who moves on foot, by car, on public transport.
Yesterday the parks also closed because people went there running and taking walks. It is something new for all of us who are used to being free to move. But it was necessary to stop. Stop and reflect. Yes, because the emergency caused by this virus has a characteristic that differentiates it from any other emergency that has occurred in the world in human memory: it does not stop and does not move by human will and knows no borders, political opinions, races and prejudices.
It is carrying out a sort of natural selection that is unspeakably painful for us: it affects the weakest of us. But in being isolated, each one at home, here in Italy, we are rediscovering the value of affections, solidarity, facing together this tragedy: like a herd of animals in front of an external predator we react by protecting our loved ones, our weaker relatives and we understand how precious our elders are.
Will we learn the lesson our Mother Earth is teaching us? I hope so, because this is an important signal that makes us downsize and makes us understand that we are simply one animal species among many and we are now the preferred prey of an unknown virus, in front of which we are defenseless. Take care of yourself and don’t lose your humanity!
Brunella Pernigotti lives in Turin, Italy. Is a teacher, a writer and a photographer. Published a novel and a book of tales and is a photographer with ten one-man exhibitions of photographs. Is a member of the board of a no-profit association of Turin, “Tribù del Badnightcafè”, that organizes cultural and artistic events.