A letter from an Italian in Lockdown...

On the 7th of March, I went to visit my parents. We often discuss politics and news, and of course, we ended up talking about corona-virus.

"Mum don't be so dramatic, nothing is going to happen, you really have to stop watching the news so much" 

My mum is a doctor, and even though of course, she is more informed than me on viruses, for some reason my head just couldn't understand the gravity of what was happening.

That evening my boyfriend and I went out for dinner with some friends, one of them was in Italy just for a few days, she was living in Norway for a research project, and she was worried that she'd have trouble going back to Norway.

"I'm sure you won't have any issues going back home! I don't think they can stop people from travelling!".  

After dinner my boyfriend received a call from her sister, he is from Treviso, a small city near Venice. She was worried because on the news she just heard that the whole area was going to be on lockdown from the day after. 
"Babe, don't worry! it's just going to be for a few days"

On the 9th of March, two days later, a general lockdown was announced, and all of a sudden I realised this thing was a lot bigger than I thought.
I was home alone when I read about the lockdown, my boyfriend works in another city, so he is at home only during the weekends. He rushed to book a train for the day after to come back home because we didn't know if the rules would have changed in the next few days. 

Thankfully he had no issues, but the pictures he sent me from the train station were pretty scary, there were military checking if you had the right to take the train and everyone was wearing masks and gloves.
Today it's the 26th day.

Setting up a routine and making lists is really helping me to stay positive: I have a list for groceries, a list of all the things we can do in the house, a list of cakes I'd like to make.

I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety. Feeling in control has always been one of the things that help me in situations that are unclear and stressful, although it seems like every day it gets a little bit harder. I try to stay focused on one thing at the time, exercise a lot and do manual things (I'm so glad I have a terrace and I can take care of the plants!)

It is hard, but it helps to know that we are all in it together, and we can support each other, reach out to our friends and family when we are feeling low and find new ways every day to stay calm.

"andrà tutto bene" this is the slogan that became popular here in Italy, it means: everything will be fine. I'm not sure it's true, lots of things weren't fine, to begin with, but for now, let's focus on the positive, and stay "virtually" close, this too shall pass.

Written by Giulia Vigna - A Maison de Choup Design Contributor based in Rome, Italy.

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