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How you can help Italy during the Coronavirus lockdown

How you can help Italy during the Coronavirus lockdown

How you can help Italy during the Coronavirus lockdown

People in the United States are waking up to the news about a containment zone in New York State. I know how you feel. Here in Italy, we are weeks ahead of you. Just last week Rome was very quiet but the thinking was if you can come visit, please do. Things changed quickly.

On Saturday I flew to London for a travel conference. I see now in retrospect that I was cavalier about how serious this virus and its knock-on effects were. I woke up in the middle of the night to the news about severe restrictions in Lombardy and the Veneto. It soon progressed into the declaration of a complete nationwide lockdown. On Facebook the other day I talked about how we like to make fun of Italy and the general chaos of everyday life here but make no mistake, when it comes to a crisis you want the Italians making the plan. Italy has been extremely organized in its response.

My time in London had a surreal quality. My pal Agnes put it best. I too felt like I was a few episodes ahead on a television show wanting to shout at everyone to stand a meter apart and to stop touching everything. I canceled my meetings and got one of the very last flights from London to Rome.

When I landed, Fiumicino airport and Termini train station were almost empty. My street which is normally very busy and full of people in wine bars and restaurants was shuttered and silent at 9pm on Tuesday evening. Mark is teleworking from the guest room. We have all been asked to stay at home only leaving (alone) to grocery shop or take walks. We must keep at least a meter away from each other and everything shuts at 6pm. This article explains why doing this is so important in containing the effects of the virus.

Your plans have probably been dramatically altered too but 
while we wait, there is plenty that you can do to help Italy during the Coronovirus lockdown.