Being one of the last people to believe in the real danger of this virus which in the beginning was only present in the north of the country , I was sceptical and upset about the quarantine. I can’t say that it’s easy to stay home 24/7 however one must always put it in perspective and be thankful not to be sick in intensive care.
For those who live outside of italy it is difficult to imagine how the quarantine works here , so here are some highlights of our life in Rome from the 8th of March until the 3rd of April ( hoping that it will not be longer)
From the 8th until the 11th of March the rules were slightly lighter – the bars and restaurants were open from 6 am till 6 pm, shopping centers were closed only on the weekends, we could go out to parks and move freely around the city.
Due to the fact the people didn’t follow the rules and kept on meeting in groups for sport, drinks, lunches , the government was forced to impose even stricter rules and here is our life now:
1. All bars , restaurants and shops are closed. Only supermarkets,pharmacies and petrol stations are open – however only one member of the family can go to buy groceries/ medicine.
2. The queues at the supermarkets are outside as there is a limited number of people who are allowed to be inside at one time ( usually it takes about 30-40 mins to wait in the queue outside) Most of the products are available and enough for everyone.
3. One can only leave the house for reasons of necessity – work, doctor, supermarket, pharmacy, taking the dog out.
4. Each time one goes out it is necessary to print and sign a document stating where you are going and why. The local authorities «vigili urbani” will check by calling your job, your doctor etc. Fines are from 206€ up to three months in jail.
5. As of 14th of March parks have been closed too, as people were gathering in groups here.
6. Those who can work from home are asked to do so, whereas state workers as for example police have to continue going to work.
In these times it is important to stay calm, without searching for conspiracy theories. There have been epidemics every 10 years but as they were mainly in Africa/Asia /Middle East it didn’t concern us that much. Maybe now it is a moment to see how connected is the world and that the problems that we see on other continents will sooner or later affect us too.