An Italian in the South of Israel

Israel – Coronavirus semi-lockdown, day 1

blooming - photo by Daniela Fubini

Schools are closed, and so are restaurants, coffee shops and every other event venue where patrons are sitting or standing too close to each other, like commercial centers. Stores are open. Husband left to work at the usual hour.
68 cm left to a full Kinneret, though I doubt anyone cares these days.
Clean up after breakfast, dishwasher and laundry on, organize the house for a double sweep of i.robot.

Jump on the elliptical, cross country for exactly an hour while listening to RadioDue, my favourite Italian national radio. They joke and laugh, keep the spirits up, inform constantly and remind Italians how to keep as safe as possible. Shower.

Back to the kitchen, semi-lockdown day 1 is also day 1 of Pesach cleaning, I decided. Music, necessarily. A playlist named “Feel Good” on cable tv fights successfully enough the i.robot’s noise and my edgy mood.  First target: the top cabinets. Cleaning and making a whole new order always goes together, I wonder why.

A bit before 1 p.m., I stop every activity to check the Italian media again: today all the church bells should ring at once at 12 p.m. Italy time. Yesterday, a balconies flashmob was held, with citizens clapping their hands in a dispersed but incredibly moving applause to medical teams and hospital professionals. Today it’s Sunday, churches are forbidden to gather congregants, just like synagogues on shabbat, so they decided to make their presence heard with bells instead. Wonder if every synagogue would respond with shofars, it could probably scare the ghosts out of every gentile, better if they don’t. Eventually I speak with my family in the north of Italy, and they didn’t hear any bells at all. Bit of a disappointment: you would think, the most powerful organized leadership in Italy should be able to synchronize at least their bells, but apparently not. On the other hand, the Pope took an almost unprecedented stroll in an empty Rome, praying for the end of the pandemic.

Tour around the house: best way to focus on beauty and spring. Despite a violent storm during the weekend, every corner of the garden is blooming, we even have flowers we totally forgot about, coming back after a full year of beauty sleep. First time in a moment of crisis that I live in a house, as opposite to a small apartment without a balcony on a 4th floor. Even 14 days of quarantine would look bright from the moshav.

Here in Israel, my friends of Italian origins are well aware that a semi-lockdown makes sense only as a temporary measure, on the way to a full one. And in my other home, New York, people are still dining out, while schools are closed and everyone who can works from home. Looks like in the US too, they are at a semi-lockdown phase. Let’s hope it’s short, here and there, and we go fast into the full-lockdown that my family is experiencing for already 8 days. The faster we go in, the safer we go out, apparently.

Husband comes home, and there are not so exciting news. Expected. Huge company, thousands of people, and an equal number of sources of coronavirus. The daughter of a co-worker in his team was found to have shared a bus with a person who is now sick with the virus. They traced her, and tested her. Her family, including my husband’s co-worker, were not tested.

Life at the time of the coronavirus is waiting for the test results of the daughter of a co-worker of my husband, whom I have never met.

About the Author
In Israel since 2008, Daniela grew up in the north of Italy and lived in New York before making her Aliyah. After ten years in Tel Aviv, moved to the Ashkelon area where she lives today in a moshav surrounded by green hills.
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