Not less surreal than yesterday. But today it all became also very personal.
Our hometown registered the first victim, the grandmother of somebody very, very close to us. She was 85 and relatively ok, with pre-existing conditions – well, who among your parents or grandparents in that age group doesn’t have pre-existing conditions?!?She had been admitted only on Monday, with the usual symptoms – a fever and a bad cold; she received a positive test result on the same day. She passed away last night.
So a statistic becomes a person in flesh and blood, who will have to wait until the end of the emergency to have a proper burial, because funerals are currently not permitted. How horribly sad is that.
Also, self-isolation has turned into a formal quarantine. A friend called to say they tested positive … This was not surprising – the virus is everywhere, as the NBA and Tom Hanks have realized, and very widespread in our region, particularly in our nearby ski areas. So it was bound to happen. And in fact, my reaction was not fear, but an even bigger sense of guilt. For not having started social distancing and/or isolation earlier. For not seeing the huge, clear writing on the wall. For having sleepwalked, collectively, into this disaster.
In practice, this doesn’t change anything. We have been in self-isolation since Monday, I was already checking our temperature regularly, so our routine of online lessons and homework for Anna, and obsessive news watching and calls with friends for me continues, except that will will receive a regular call from a nurse to check on us; the protocols so far seem to be working.
Guys, I know I sound like a broken record, but the speed at which things change is really breathtaking. My dad, born in 1933, says he remembers the curfews during wartime, and remembers empty shelves; but does not remember anything comparable to this complete shutdown. He is worried – as he should be, as it seems that the virus aggressively seeks out his demographic. He misses my daily visits and those of his nieces, and, if this wasn’t enough, his beloved Juventus won’t play for a long while.
And still, we are privileged, sitting in our homes, while people get sick, the world is falling apart, and doctors and nurses fight on the frontlines… I think that it is their stories and their pleas that are having an impact and changing attitudes.
TVs, social media, online platforms should get politicians out of the way, even esteemed epidemiologists, and only interview ER doctors and ICUs nurses. It is only when we saw them on the brink of collapse that we had our Kaiyser Söze moment and, like in the final scene of The Usual Suspect, we put all the pieces together. Put the people on the front lines on our screens.
Don’t wait. Stay safe, get ready, stay home. The more you do this, the lighter the wave will be.
(Can’t find the name of the artist will add it as soon as I do!)