DAY 6 & 7: The COVID-19 Italian lockdown is taking its emotional toll

Sardinia – an Italian island on lockdown

Cagliari’s deserted main street, Via Roma

Today (Monday) marks the 7th day of the Italian lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To anyone who may have been following my previous posts, you may have noticed that there was no separate post for day 6.

Yesterday, I made a conscious decision not to write, for the simple fact that I believe I needed a “mental break” from the news, and everything Coronavirus related.

We are all human, and it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by what is happening in Italy at the moment.

Yesterday was an especially bittersweet day for the island of Sardinia. It began with the announcement that three people, who had been fighting the Coronavirus in hospital, were finally well enough to be sent home.

This news was followed shortly after, with the notice that the first two deaths, directly due to the COVID-19 virus, had been recorded in Sardinia.

One of these deaths, a patient noted to have suffered from previous health issues, was in the city of Sassari, to the north of Sardinia. The other, was a 42-year-old man, from Cagliari, the first diagnosed case of Coronavirus on the island.

Since my previous post on Saturday, the number of confirmed positive cases of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in Sardinia has jumped to 84. This is an increase of 39 cases in two days. This number is expected to rise as Italian scientists, along with the Italian government say that we have not yet reached the peak. This is due to the fact that the lockdown measures were introduced nationally only one week ago.

This is not to say that the complete national lockdown has been a failure, far from it. It is still early days. We are advised to stay at home, to practice social distancing, to avoid touching our faces, and to continue to regularly wash our hands – all of this is in order to limit further spread of the virus.

To use fire as an analogy – if there is no more wood to burn, the fire will quickly die out, almost as quickly as it started.

Today, I woke up with a renewed hope that everything will be alright. Watching the news, we are faced with a seemingly endless stream of negativity, and it’s up to us to change this. Yes, it’s necessary to stay informed as to what is going on, but to quote the American children’s entertainer Fred Rodgers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”.

People are helping, remember that we are all in this together. #DistantiMaUniti – Distant but united.

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