Italy is in Soft Lockdown

Roxana Anton

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As we listen to the news, the numbers of people sick of Covid grow every day, and European countries choose a form of lockdown again.

Italy has now a “stable” situation: in the last few days, there were between 12000 and 7000 new Covid infections, with deaths between 300 and 700 every day.

From the 27th of December, the vaccination campaign started. Today, more than 2.555.524 Italian people already received the Covid vaccine.

The main categories who received the vaccine were people working in medical services and healthcare, people living in residential structures, and fragile categories over 80 years old.

The next step will be to vaccinate teachers and all those who work in the public administration, forces of order, soldiers, police, gendarmes, so that the main activities can be sustained again.

The Covid vaccine has a duration of 3 months to one year, and covers about 90-95 % anti- Covid immunity, scientists say.

It is mandatory to wear a mask and take all safety measures even if you already got the Covid vaccine.

In Italy, there are now “orange” and “yellow” regions, depending on the Covid infections trending.

Most of the country is now “yellow”, but things might change again next week, as the cases of Covid are still high.

In a “yellow” area, the only limitations are bars and restaurants closed at 18:00 and commercial complexes close during weekends, to avoid too crowded situations.

If we were “orange” or “red”, for about a month, we would stay as much as possible in/near our homes and limit as many as possible trips from a town to another.

Today, I had my first coffee while being able to sit in a bar (I thought this was going to be), for a month. No tragedy, many of you will say.

As I walked away with my friends at 18:00, I thought about what empathy means to each of us in these rough times.

In this little town by the seaside, there is a community around the Central Bar. Here, bars are a sort of family for Italian people. If you are Italian, you can find friends, laughs, comfort, and even friends.

If you are a foreigner it is not as easy, especially if you are a woman.

Let’s say they will sort of tolerate you, but never fully accept you. You will never fully feel one of them. You will not have the same interests and conversation subjects.

If you are, let’s say, interested in spirituality, there will be no one to talk to, as their interests here are exclusively materialistic and about the latest news.

At the same time, there’s also a warm and friendly atmosphere.

We all try to share useful information here. It’s a nice thing. We support each other how we can.

We exchange thoughts, ideas, and opinions about everyday events. We give advice. That — is a couple of hours by day, also using Whatsapp and communication channels.

It feels better than to stay in front of the TV, stressed and scared every time there is news.

Some days, when the sun is shining and planets align, it feels like you are not so lonely, and have some sort of support or the illusion of support. It doesn’t last though if you are not local or Italian.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that we should try, in this period, to be as helpful as we can, crossing barriers between us. Even when we don’t like or don’t agree with somebody.

In my opinion, that’s what empathy is about: trying to understand what someone needs, and if possible, help them live a better life.

So, if you like, we can also do this here, online. You can share your fears and frustration, and we somehow try to help. I guess we are doing it already.

Don’t be so lonely. We try to be by your side.

Hugs.

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Freelance Writer, Translator, and Fiction Author, with the pen name: Gabrielle Queen. Check out my spicy romance on Amazon: Santorini Holiday (A fun, feel-good romantic comedy)

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