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Milan under lockdown — Journal of a Quiet city

Freelance journalist and photographer Marina Spironetti resides in Milan, at the core of a serious COVID-19 outbreak.

The whole area of Lombardy was under lockdown because 8 March, and 14 more states of northern Italy, to attempt to contain the spread of this virus. 1 day after, the crisis measures were extended to the full nation. On 12 March, more restrictive measures were declared — many stores and businesses are shut except food and pharmacies shops. Individuals are recommended to remain at home.

Marina resides in a flat with her boyfriend. For the last couple of weeks, she’s maintained a journal. She shares her ideas with Euronews.

‘A Brand-new Notion of space and time’

I transferred into my one-bedroom flat nearly seven decades ago — being connected with my spouse one year after — but this time I never felt as though I lived there.

We all spend very little time. It’s a safe lane to return to following my missions around the Earth, it’s the area where I’d unpack my luggage, do the laundry and pack.

Now, all of a sudden, with lost two weeks of work in a matter of a couple of days, I’m confronted with a fresh idea of space and time.

When a bunch of instances abruptly appeared in Codogno, southeast of Milan, I had been traveling. Normally, I spend three to eight times at home for a month. The new year had begun as normal, with just five times in the home. February was supposed to seem pretty much the same.

My boyfriend and I came to Milan two weeks ahead of the first lockdown has been declared. At that stage, we knew it was time to keep at home — no matter any government decision. One reason behind my quarantine was to have the ability to travel to central Italy to test in my 80-year old mommy. She’s self-sufficient and in fantastic soul, but she will require support if the situation becomes any worse.

We could find everything we were searching for, without any pasta or toilet paper shortage. I guess it is dependent upon where you live, however. I heard quite different accounts from friends – and watched their photographs of empty shelves.

The notion of being self-confined in the home was in the back of my head as Wuhan proceeded on lockdown. I used to wonder exactly what it may be like. I had been reading any firsthand account of what sounded to me like a surreal encounter. I wondered when I had been prepared for this — can you be, after all? However, I had been among those men and women who had the chance to remain at home. A number of my friends still need to go to work daily. And of course physicians and paramedics.

‘Absorbed by information’

After the lockdown came to force, I believed I would have lots of it to devote to all those long-neglected tasks like studying or baking a cake. Nothing farther from reality — aside from ordinary house chores, almost all of my time has been consumed by the information. I found myself compulsively reading anything regarding the virus — searching for answers, I figure. Additionally, I slept a whole lot — it gave me the illusion times could go by quicker that way.

The silence out of my balcony is unreal, particularly at nighttime. I can hear the bells of far-away birds and churches appear to be more rapid than normal, now that visitors are gone. Our bedroom is over the ring streets that go around the town center. I can’t tell if you will find more than normal around — but each time I hear you, it sends shivers down my backbone.

Our social life was restricted to two short experiences with the delivery men falling our online purchases in a safe space, and also to our regular conversations with Oresteour neighbor.

We are living in one of these so-called instance di ringhiera — former favorite home where apartments share exactly the identical balcony with iron railings. The balconies conduct the entire length of this building, providing access to their homes and facing an interior courtyard, so tenants can view the majority of their neighbors in their flats. We speak out of our various doors, sharing jokes and anxieties and wondering if all this will ultimately be finished. Today, Sunday, we had our initial open-air aperitivo — in the security space, but collectively.

Virtual dinners?

The digital universe also provides some choices — on Friday we had been on a video phone with friends. It had been among the most gorgeous dinners I have had in some time, although I have never been a lover of Facetime and the likes.

It’s a surreal planet — stores are shut but call centers still ring up you. On Thursday, someone tried to sell me a few financial services on the telephone — we ended up with a conversation about the present situation rather. Consumerism nevertheless winks at you in the billboards however, the roads are nearly deserted. I’m still not acquainted with this new fact, but it appears to be filled with contrasts.

That same day we had our initial large scale flash mob. Individuals were asked to start their windows in pm and play or sing with the national anthem — a kind of self-empowerment along with a means to make folks feel combined in quarantine. I watched some shifting videos of people around the country dancing and singing in their balconies. I must say I do not feel like singing that far. Within this reality, 6 p.m. is also the period when Civil Protection maintains a daily press conference and declares the most recent figures of this outbreak.

I began to keep a journal — as I compose, Spain requests a national lockdown, the French are likely to vote along with the US are fear buying amid coronavirus worries.

On Facebook, my friends who reside overseas are quick to argue over the very same things we spoke about a couple of months past — swinging between panicking and underestimating the issue.

During those weeks, I learned that it takes a while for individuals to admit a stunning situation — many folks often prefer to reside in denial until the very final moment.

Fast-moving coronavirus might have invaded the Earth, but it seems as though we’re in different”time zones” that alter based on the point of the outbreak. To someone out of France or Spain, Italy is your near future — like China would be to us. The majority of the replies to our queries are already there, at the experience of individuals who obtained it. With strength and patience, we will get through this.