While The Bora Blows

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I called my former upstairs elderly neighbor (we recently moved) today to see if she needed anything. She actually just needed to chat and told me her son was bringing her groceries but that he won’t even come inside to greet her in person. She mentioned she’s not sleeping well but otherwise feels fine. I told her same, same, same.

Social distancing is hard but you can still keep in touch with your community. But of course it’s not all rainbows and neighborly kindness as lockdown is hard on every single one of us. Thinking about what awaits after lockdown is hard. Waiting for the news everyday is hard. Finding out people you knew passed away is the hardest.

We are worried about today about the future but I have to say that I am so grateful to live in a country where the leader has put lives first: even if that means that many people don’t know how long their livelihoods will be viable.

It is clear among my friends in Italy that we all feel silly for leading normal lives just two weeks ago. I talk to friends and family around the world every day and I keep repeating: my little Italian family is fine. We have been inside for almost two weeks now. But you have to change your lifestyle for now, too.

We are not those people who are learning a new language, reading books our cleaning out our closets. Instead, we attempt to work from home and entertain a toddler with cabin fever who has learned to say “a mask!” when she sees someone walk by outside (what a weird thing for a two-year-old to know).

I am not a public health expert, I am just someone who is living this in one of the countries currently hardest hit by the pandemic. Learn from Italy: stay home, support local businesses via delivery and gift vouchers. We are all hurting economically here and want this to end as quickly as possible. And your lives will be inconvenienced or worse.

Our neighbors upstairs blast the Italian anthem every night at 6 pm. I always go out to the terrace and take a short video. I quietly clap and always tear up. This is my Trieste.

by Maria K

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