I Am Quarantined in Northern Italy. Here’s What It’s Like.

A first-person look inside the Covid-19 lockdown in Italy

Greg Hopkins
Elemental

--

Eerily calm plaza in the northern Lombardia region. Photo by author.

Follow Elemental’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here.

TThis morning, I stopped by a coffee bar near my house. I’ve become friends with the barista, Stefano. As Stefano prepared my macchiato lungo, he said he had some sad news. His father, who had been ill for some time, had died. The funeral was canceled because of the restrictions imposed on the region.

Stefano placed my coffee on the counter. Normally, in an Italian coffee shop, you stand at the bar and drink the tiny cup of espresso. I took a few sips as we continued talking. A guy with his phone to his ear, apparently a co-worker, stepped over and rapped sharply on the bar. I’d violated a rule. All customers, per the decree, are to sit at tables. This is part of the mandate that people are to maintain a one-meter distance from each other. Stefano said that if a policeman drove by and saw me drinking coffee at the counter, he could be fined several thousand euros. He also reported that city officials had been driving past with bullhorns, urging everybody to stay inside.

Yesterday, at the local supermarket, a man in a uniform…directed everyone to get a large…

--

--

Greg Hopkins
Elemental

Retired. Surrounded by beauty. Grateful to have (sort of) escaped the matrix. Fascinated by our collective evolutionary journey.