Coronavirus


2020-06-16_10-14-27

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 update: Alas, this will be my final coronavirus update from Italy. The country is moving into Phase 3 as of yesterday. Theaters and cinemas are reopening w/strict rules. Summer camps, kindergartens, playgrounds, bingo halls, and betting shops are allowed to reopen. Most other shops, churches, businesses, and "places" reopened in early June (schools are still closed) - those that didn't go OUT of business through this.

Face masks and social distancing are still obligatory in enclosed public spaces, with a ban on large-scale gatherings also still in place. Almost 90% of bars and restaurants are already open, but 60% of hotels remain closed. Gyms and pools have reopened but it's so complicated to get in and so uncomfortable to utilize - it's not even worth it. Remember, you are a suspect now.

On June 3rd, Italy opened its borders to visitors from the Schengen zone (EU) and the UK. Ironically Italy is banned from most other Schengen countries and the UK. International travel remains banned although, I'm an American citizen and if I can find a flight, I'm free to go. Returning would be the problem and of course, Luca would not be able to join me. We are hoping this is lifted by August so we can spend some time with my family.
Non-pro team sports will resume at the end of June.
Nightclubs, fairs/festivals, and conventions will resume at the end of July.

I am personally fed up with all of it. The mask might as well be handcuffs to me. I can't breathe and I think wearing it is obnoxious. Yet, it's mandatory.
I still don't believe all the ridiculous conspiracies and I think the action taken across the world was responsible and appropriate. There were so many unknowns about the virus and what if it did wipe out the population? I mean, seriously, Italy lost an entire generation of people.
Who knows how bad it could have all gotten!

Now that we are learning more - you know, the SCIENTISTS and MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS (not politicians and FB experts)... it's time to resume normalcy. If you are afraid of getting sick, by all means, take the necessary precautions for yourself - wear your masks and gloves, avoid the public etc etc - but the restrictions for the mass, I'm over it. Because I'm NOT sick and I feel comfortable being here, being there, traveling, running, whatever... And when/if I don't feel comfortable, I'll wear my mask, gloves, and avoid the public, etc. I don't know, maybe I've grown too complacent or just tired of being controlled. Maybe I'm tired of being looked at or treated like I'm a threat.

This changed the world (at least my world). There is a different feel towards one another. Unfamiliar  faces aren't strangers anymore, they're intruders. Outsiders aren't welcome, insiders aren't either. Mouths are closed, eyes are open - questioning where you've come from, who you've been around, and what virus you might carry. And while the traffic has returned, machines are rumbling, and the country comes back to life - I feel there is a death among the people.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 237,290
Deaths: 34,371
Recovered: 177,010

Friday, June 5, 2020 update: I haven't updated this thread in a while. I really had to separate myself from it for a while; I've been so aggravated with the conspiracy theories and stupidity - mostly coming from the states. People who I really respected and I thought were smart, responsible citizens behaving... ridiculously. And it seems that we're bored with the topic anyway. What does America do when it's bored with something? Move on to the next thing...
George Floyd and a black lives matter crusade. Race isn't a topic I like to discuss.
I think what is happening in America right now is a direct reflection of its' leadership.

Back to Italy. As of June 3rd, we are allowed to travel between regions again. Luca and I hope to go to Milan this weekend as his sister had a baby last week! We can't wait to meet Anna, a chubby little hairy doll *hearts*. Luca's parents came down a couple weekends ago since Emilio was permitted travel for a job. I cried the moment they arrived. I am missing family so much. We also traveled to Turin last week (which is in the region Piemonte) for a medical procedure. Turin was super busy! It's clear the restrictions are lifted and the only difference from today to pre-CV is the masks that cover our faces. I believe this is the new norm. I hate wearing that thing.

I know that some major landmarks, like the Colosseum in Rome, have reopened for (European) tourist. Non-European travel is still restricted. I honestly can't understand anyone wanting to come tour Italy right now. LOL! The rest of Europe is actually closed to Italy anyway so if you do come, plan to stay forever. Ha!

Cafes and restaurants have reopened. Barbers and salons, shops, and family businesses. Gyms and pools are opening here and there. Our gym actually shut down permanently through all this. I'm unsure about my pool but with summer arriving, we have the sea!
Precautions must be taken for social distancing, masks, hand sani, etc. We shared a lunch out in Turin as well as some sushi. At the sushi place, they wanted us to sit with a giant plastic shield between us. Uhhm, we live together *eye roll*. Maybe some "precautions" are a bit dramatic.

So yeah, it's different. It's a very different environment. Everyone is suspect.
Large gatherings are still forbidden (you'd never know that on the streets of Turin!!). Kissing and hugging is prohibited. No "hanging" around. Temperature checks. Limited humans allowed in vehicles... Again, it's just an odd environment now. It's still so hard to believe how much this virus changed things. The people and the economy suffered gravely and IMO, will continue to suffer. So many businesses are shutdown for good, the money ran out. So many people died - Italy lost an entire generation! A culture of kisses and "piacere" has become STAY BACK, you might be infected.
Perhaps the people were united in separation - through balcony concerts, social media, and virtual parties - but as restrictions are lifted and life outside our homes re-open, we are more distanced, together.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 234,013
Deaths: 33,689
Recovered: 161,895

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 update: we went to Genova yesterday and the country felt normal again - besides everyone in masks. I don't understand the wearing of masks in ones car. You're in your car breathing your own air. We even had lunch at a little focacciaria in Recco. Tables were distanced, staff was in masks, but people who smiling - out!

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 227,364
Deaths: 32,330 - still too many
Recovered: 132,282

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 update:
Italy Coronavirus Cases: 225,886 - all #'s are dropping, restrictions are strategically lifting
Deaths: 32,007
Recovered: 127,326

U.S. Coronavirus Cases: 1,550,294 - conspiracy theories are on the rise, what restrictions?
Deaths: 91,981
Recovered: 356,383

Monday, May 18, 2020 update: as of today we can now travel outside our region. What does this mean for us? We can go visit family in Milan; which is great since Luca's sister is due (baby) any day! Hairdressers, restaurants, and bars (cafes) are reopening - provided they can respect the social distancing rules. Masks are mandatory in public (with the exception of open air - like while doing sport). We still can't just be out leisurely - you must be out with purpose.

Thursday, May 14, 2020 update: enough with all the propaganda. Just live your life. There is no political agenda. And if there is, you won't know it either way. Live. Protect yourself. And stop carrying the weight of this burden.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 222,104
Deaths: 31,106
Recovered: 112,541

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 update: hey! Learned something fantastic on Saturday and forgot to tell you... There are Italian conspiracy theorists too! Yup, discussed the whole nature of the virus with him (75 year old farmer), over several bottles of wine. Humored. No, humbled. No, it was just stupid, HA! No thought to the rest of the world having the virus - just that China is after Italy. SMH. Same mountain different path *shrug* I guess believing there is a villain is more comforting than saying this is a naturally occurring virus that is spreading, and we don't know how to stop it.

And just for fun: https://www.snopes.com/collections/coronavirus-conspiracy-theories/

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 221,216
Deaths: 30,911
Recovered: 109,039

U.S. Coronavirus Cases: 1,408,636 
Deaths: 83,425
Recovered: 296,746

News: The US has reported more than 80,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to John Hopkins University. On May 9, the number of new coronavirus cases surpassed four million worldwide, while the death toll surpassed 277,000 people.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 update: a friend asks, "Do you feel different since they lifted some of the restrictions in Italy?" And the truth is, no. But that's mostly because (a few reasons):
-I already worked from home and spent most of my day here, at home.
-We didn't go out too much even prior to CV; an occasional aperitif with friends... and we still can't.
-Luca was still working through all of it.
-Going to the grocery is so weird - the distancing, the masks and gloves, the fear of other people. It's no longer a quick in and out, it's a whole adventure.
-We have not had the need to go to any other shop but more are open; more specialty shops.
-I have been cutting Luca's hair. And one of our friends'. And our neighbor, Giovani.
-Growing our garden has become a major pastime for us.
-It mostly impacts our ability to train further away from home. We can bike and run anywhere in our region; that's a relief.
-Our medical appointments are reset (in Genoa) for end of May; that's a relief!
-We still can't go see our family in Milan and Luca's sister is having a baby ANY day now...
-Traffic has increased in our area so that's a positive sign that many people are back to work.

But really, life feels the same.
I need to travel. Need.
I miss my family.
Life feels lonely. The 'boring' has serious potential sometimes.
I don't feel afraid and I don't feel a loss. Not like others...

In the south they're afraid of the mafia taking over. There is a financial assistance program in place but this is Italy - if it happens, it will take an absurd amount of time. The mafia can offer those who are desperate more than the government can. That's scary.
We have glorified the mafia in America with cool movies. They are slick and sexy.
But that's not reality. The mafia are very dangerous people - an organized crime group to avoid like the plague... coronavirus! Any assistance that you think they're providing out of the goodness of their hearts, it's a lie. They WILL expect payback and that might mean your freedom. Their help is poison. They are not good people.

Farmers are suffering. So many people are suffering truly... But farmers weren't able to go to their lands for WEEKS. We will all feel this impact.
Small businesses are suffering.
Trade and tourism is suffering.

Last week, Conte said the government is considering moving up the opening dates for bars, restaurants, and hairdressers, which might restart on May 18.
Stakes are high, and as the prime minister reminded, "If we want to avoid painful backward steps, we need collaboration, a sense of responsibility, and respect for the rules by all now more than ever".

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 219,814
Deaths: 30,739
Recovered: 106,587

Monday, May 11, 2020 update: things feel normal over here. The country is picking back up - at least from my perspective. Many friends (and neighbors) are back to work. Organizations are either doing swing shifts or smart working. There remains a prediction for another outbreak...

Over 30,000 Italians have lost their lives. Near 250,000 people worldwide. In less than 3 months.
Anyone still comparing this to the flu?

Friday, May 8, 2020 update: Russia finally in the news - it's spreading fast and Moscow was hit hard. Did they miss the memo or what? I wonder if they too think there is a conspiracy to kill their economy *eye roll*. Is America truly so arrogant? Other countries are certainly in a more dire situation than the grand ol' U.S.A. so - get over yourself. The world isn't about you.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 215,858 (two days ago: 213,013)
Deaths: 29,958 (two days ago: 29,315)
Recovered: 96,276 (two days ago: 85,231)

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 update: as of May 4th some restrictions have been lifted. A few speciality stores/industries have reopened and many are back to work (factories, industries, shipping, etc). But not everyone!! And they aren't full blast open - they're slowly opening things... For example a company that was at 0% open might now be at 20% open. Smart working (working from home or working socially distanced) is popular and alternating work weeks for employees.

Sports restrictions are lifted regionally. We can walk, run and bike within our region. We still can't be out for no reason. You either have to be on your way to work, to sport, to a medical appointment, or out for necessities (i.e. groceries). No bars, no restaurants, no group gatherings. Families can visit within the same region. Some take out food has reopened and cafes for coffee - but they have to be able to promote social distancing. Italians doing take out coffee for the first time in history!
We basically can't leave our region (we live on the border of Liguria and Tuscany).
Oh and farmers are permitted to go to their lands now.

Luckily within our region, we have the sea!! We took our cruiser bikes out for a 4.5 mile ride to the beach (we took the long way *wink*) and back. We didn't stay there long...long enough to eat an apple, take some photos, and breathe sea air <-- because you can't just be chilling recreationally - you have to actively be doing sport.
Masks are not obligatory for sports anymore - thank goodness! But they are mandatory in stores. And many must work in them. Yuck!

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 213,013 (daily new cases are in the thousands - so still happening but lower)
Deaths: 29,315 (we had a spike early May but now down again - high 100's daily)
Recovered: 85,231

People are still getting sick and sadly, still dying. This isn't over. And I still fear another blast.
Are Italians flooding the streets? No - there's still so much fear in the air, reluctance.
And we don't have the freedom to just go around as we like. We have to have a valid reason.
But it's no longer a ghost town. I'm truly impressed by the collective discipline of Italians for staying home during these last months (not like we had a choice). What a time in our lives, right!?

Sunday, May 3, 2020 update: with some restrictions lifting as of Monday, we are already seeing a ton of people out and about - walking, jogging, and especially cycling. As of right now, we're allowed to do these things in our own commune. As of Monday, we can utilize the entire region. Of course, we must be solo. And I'm still unsure if we have to wear the mask or not. I'm going to go with not...
Families within the same regions are also allowed to get together - our family is all in another region. *sad face*

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 209,328 (two days ago: 205,463)
Deaths: 28,710 (two days ago: 27,967)
Recovered: 79,914 (two days ago: 75,945)

Friday, May 1, 2020 update: I know it's been a few days... Clearly number continue to rise, although slower than before. It's been over 2 months now; too many people have died. Over 400 a day.
We (Italy) is still on schedule for some lighter restrictions come May 4th.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 205,463
Deaths: 27,967
Recovered: 75,945

Collective discipline. That's my new word for the day. It's something that Italy has definitely learned through this. I mean, I hope.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 update: what can we even think anymore? It sort of feels like the new normal, doesn't it? Considering the lockdown lifts around the corner, I foresee another outbreak. And what's all this new information regarding water transmission!? As of 3 days ago: "There's no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads through swimming pools and hot tubs." ~CDC. What about the sea? There are so many unknowns. For me, that's still the scariest part of this virus. Some want to remain naive, arrogant, careless about the virus - but you don't know its' capabilities. And...you are not an expert.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 199,414 (yesterday 197,675)
Deaths: 26,977 (yesterday 26,644)
Recovered: 66,624 (yesterday 64,928)
U.S.A. Coronavirus Cases: 1,010,507
Deaths: 56,803
Recovered: 139,162

News: countries around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Iran and Spain, moved to ease coronavirus lockdowns as daily infections and deaths slowed. Italy meanwhile announced it would ease its two-month-old restricting measures from May 4. Worldwide, the number of people confirmed to have been infected by the new coronavirus rose to more than three million, with some 209,000 deaths and 885,000 recoveries.

Monday, April 27, 2020 update: another week is upon us. You can feel the angst in the Italian air. The PM spoke last night - we are on schedule for some lockdown ease on May 4th. I appreciate that our government is giving the time to allow for the virus to settle. I still believe there will be another huge spread. But it seems like the plan to lift the lockdown is strategic. <--- But I have that belief because you give an inch, they'll take a mile...

  • beginning May 4, we will be allowed to use parks, visit relatives, and attend funerals as part of a phased plan for lifting restrictions 
  • if all goes well, stores and museums would reopen.
  • individual sports training may resume May 4 and beginning May 18 sports teams can resume group training.
  • restaurants, cafes, and hair salons would be allowed to reopen on June 1.
  • classes at schools would resume in September.
  • the wearing of face masks in public and continued social distancing would be strictly enforced even as other restrictions were gradually lifted.
These are just some of the details from the plan. There has been damage to the economy. But it was a risk willing to be taken to save generations of people. GENERATIONS. An entire generation has been lost to this virus. Can you believe it?

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 197,675 (yesterday 195,351)
Deaths: 26,644 (yesterday 26,384) - lowest # of daily deaths yet!
Recovered: 64,928 (yesterday 63,120)

I'm so intrigued by the antibody tests. I hope they'll be available for everyone and offer a sense of relief that you did or did not contract the virus. Although I read a healthcare worker claim disappointment that they did NOT have the antibodies. I understand the desire to perhaps be less vulnerable to the virus but uhhhhhmmmm, you're a healthcare professional; wouldn't you have infected a LOT of people!? I'd be praising JESUS that I didn't have it.
So hopefully it hushes some of the timeframe conspiracies.

Sunday, April 26, 2020 update:
Italy Coronavirus Cases: 195,351 (two days ago: 189,97) - less daily, but still plenty of new.
Deaths: 26,384 (two days ago: 25,549) - staying in the 400's daily.
Recovered: 63,120 (two days ago: 57,576) - really good recovery rate now.
New recoveries are surpassing new daily cases - this is why the strict lockdown may be lifted come May 4th. We will still be restricted... only certain businesses will open and some citizen movement. Besides going out for biking and running, I will continue to avoid...everyone. LOL.

Friday, April 24, 2020 update: supposedly on May 4th, we enter Phase 2...some businesses will reopen, outdoor sports activities will be allowed (as in running, biking, potentially water sports, and even tennis - no gyms, no pools, no group activities)... A relief for me after clearly yesterday I was losing it quite a bit.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 189,97 (yesterday: 187,327)
Deaths: 25,549 (yesterday:  25,085)
Recovered: 57,576 (yesterday: 54,543)

I'm not sure we'll ever return to 0. Much like other viruses that circulate, I believe this has become a part of our environment. Permanently. I wonder if this is a vaccine I will commit to. I don't get the flu vaccine. I'm not anti-vaccine - I have all the ones that I'm supposed to have. The flu vaccine doesn't work though; there are too many strains to be protected. I wonder if the CV will become the same.

2020-04-23_12-10-46

Thursday, April 23, 2020 update: I think I'm actually starting to feel a bit agoraphobic. Yesterday for example, I set out for a run and realized I forgot my face mask. That escalated quickly to a feeling that I shouldn't even be out. And if I come across any people (or police) I don't want to be questioned nor judged. I went home. I stopped running and returned home. What in the for real fuck.
Later, Luca and I were going to go for a long walk, with Jake, and drop a bottle of BBQ sauce at a friends house. We started walking and I felt an odd pain in my heel. I had on different shoes - so we returned, I changed shoes. And decided not to go. WTF!? I stopped; as if frozen. I was so nervous about us being out together and getting stopped or fined, a little about the pain coming back, and/but mostly, just wanted to stay hidden at home. And then I bitched and complained about not leaving my house for 2 months! I don't even do my daily grocery anymore for fresh veggies and bread.

The utter weirdness of queuing at the grocery, being masked, gloved, and the complete silence; the distrust in the air. No one is smiling. Even if they are, it goes unseen. But you can see the lack of smile in their eyes. If they even look at you...as if the virus might transit through a gaze.
Meanwhile the U.S. is going fucking crazy with all these ridiculous protest and, fuck the police, fuck the government, I do what I want mentality, conspiracy nonsense, can't just sit still for 4 weeks and trust that MEDICAL EXPERTS and SCIENTISTS know best.

I'm losing it a bit. This is all taking a toll on me. We've been in complete lockdown since March 10th (longer for the north and restricted prior to that). As in, NOT ALLOWED to leave our house. It's not optional or a suggestion. WE GET FINED. It's not, run to Home Depot and collect all your house project gear. It's not grab a workout w/your friends but stay 6 feet apart. It's not hit the empty roads for a long ride or run. It's AT HOME. Isolated.
I feel like I've been coping so well. But these last couple days... I'm really feeling the angst.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 187,327 (two days ago: 181,228)
Deaths: 25,085 (two days ago:  24,114)
Recovered: 54,543 (two days ago: 48,877)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 update: 3370 new cases and 437 new deaths in Italy.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 update: 2729 new cases and 534 new deaths in Italy.

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 9.23.06 AM Tuesday, April 21, 2020 update:

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 181,228 (yesterday: 178,972)
Deaths: 24,114 (yesterday: 23,660)
Recovered: 48,877 (yesterday: 47,055)

If the U.S. follows the same pattern, it has at least 3 weeks before the U.S. reaches where Italy is:

Italy compared to USA

Italy reported its lowest number of deaths in a week since this all began. As the government deliberates whether the epidemic has slowed sufficiently to lift some of Italy's quarantine measures, some scientific experts have said that 'Phase Two' of the nationwide lockdown shouldn't begin until the daily increase in cases slows below 1 percent (we're currently at 1.7 percent).

Italy's current near-total lockdown is due to expire on May 4th, though restrictions are expected to continue in some form for several more months. The government has not yet announced which measures will be relaxed from May. While some are calling for business to resume to mitigate the economic blow of Italy's lockdown, doctors are urging caution and a carefully staggered restart.

Me, I'm recovered. I want to say 100% but I believe the CV has left an impact on my lungs. I always have to clear (if that makes sense - like when you have an Ahem that you need to clear?) when I begin physical activity. It eventually settles or I clear it and just don't notice anymore... but it will be interesting to see a picture of my lungs -  maybe even like pre, during, and post physical activity - see what's getting stirred up in there!

We don't have the propaganda in the news over here like in the U.S. It really looks like pandemonium! I don't know what the solution is but my trust lies with the WHO and CDC - the two most reputable health advisories in the WORLD, the TOP experts, scientists, and health officials. Not the politicians, not the media, definitely not the "experts" of Facebook or groups of protesters - mamma mia people!! What is the big deal to just stay home and let this shit blow over!?

I stand behind... we can repair the economy. We cannot bring people back to life.

ITALY-VIRUS-HEALTH

Monday, April 20, 2020 update: The thought is that Italy is on the other side of a presumed curve. We saw the lowest report of daily cases (400) and recovered cases continues to increase.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 178,972 (two days ago: 172,434)
Deaths: 23,660 (two days ago: 22,745)
Recovered: 47,055 (two days ago: 42,727)

I don't know how I feel about all of this anymore. I think I'm just tired of all the opinions and conspiracy theories. I can't even open social media without being bombarded by the latest rumor. I'm torn between wanting an old fashion world when this stuff didn't exist and loving the technology advancements that keep me connected to the world. Sigh...

Phase 2: Coexisting w/the virus. Eyes are set on lockdown lifts - and it sounds like the PM has a plan.
Listen, people are doing whatever they want to do already, anyway... they're just hiding it.
And some aren't: The number of daily fines for illegal outdoor activity is rising and police are setting up barricades along roads leading to the beaches on the western outskirts of Rome. (those southerners are wild!). But everywhere, gatherings, dinners, and social stuff is still happening; behind closed doors.
Despite, I think the lockdown still contained the virus to some extent and hopefully saved a lot more from dying.

People are hurting bad for money. I wonder what the suicide, domestic violence, and crime rates are going to look like through this time. I also wonder if the criminals are chilling at home or out getting away with crimes... And I wonder if when the lockdown lifts, if they're going to go bat soup crazy...

Saturday, April 18, 2020 update: I'm half tempted to stop reporting. But I know it's good history to have. It just seems that we are staying steady, level. What curve? The only good news is the high recovery numbers. Our official lockdown date is through May 3. But what does that mean? That doesn't mean an open gate to go wild. It means "phase 2". This is going to allow factories, industries, and some businesses where social distancing is still possible to open. Easing some restriction on citizen movement is also on the table. Although, we will need to continue respecting social distancing, avoiding crowded places, and wear protective masks. So many (economically) are left wounded.

In the news: Early signs that Italy's outbreak is stabilising began to appear last week. The number of new infections has begun to decrease. But the daily recorded death toll remains high. The number of people being admitted to hospitals has stopped growing in nearly all regions. "Any measure we implement going forwards should work on the assumption that the whole population remains vulnerable."

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 172,434
Deaths: 22,745
Recovered: 42,727

U.S. Coronavirus Cases: 710,272
Deaths: 37,175
Recovered: 63,510

Friday, April 17, 2020 update:
Italy Coronavirus Cases: 168,941 (two days ago 162,488)
Deaths: 22,170 (two days ago 21,067)
Recovered: 40,164 (two days ago 37,130)

News: UK government said it would extend restrictions for at least another three weeks.
In the United States, meanwhile, the number of people who have filed jobless claims as a result of the pandemic rose to 22 million.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 update: it's not an obsession, it's just a log. I think it's going to be important to look back on this time one day and see what was happening in real time. It's like my own personal Wikipedia timeline.

I'm still flabbergasted by the # of cases daily. Why isn't this # getting better? Where are all these confirmations coming from? WHY? I don't understand why newly infected people aren't be traced back to origin - or maybe they are - but then why aren't we finding the end!?

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 162,488 (yesterday 159,516)
Deaths: 21,067 (yesterday 20,465) - that's over 600 more dead in 24 hours. More than 21,000 people have died from this virus. In just over a month. SMH. It's so sad and devastating.
Recovered: 37,130 (yesterday 35,435)

So what is like over here right now? We feel powerless. Many are restless. Still scared. And running out of money. I believe more people are getting out (secretly) and gathering than we know. While it's a ghost land, we see the people together behind the camera. I kind of feel like, if you're going to break all the rules, at least don't post about it on your IG feed.

Lots more people exercising. Our neighbors are all home but we see them out daily walking the lane back and forth. That's kind of awesome considering these are people that 1) we rarely saw before and 2) haven't exercised in 30+ years.

Economically: Italy's small and medium-sized businesses face failure unless they resume work in May. The government is currently in talks with its panel of medical experts as it draws up Phase Two of the nationwide lockdown - termed as "living with the virus" - which is expected to see a gradual loosening of stringent restrictions in relation to production, particularly regarding strategic supply chains involving food, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. The loosening of quarantine measures for the general population, maintaining strict social distancing, could be introduced from 4 May, according to speculation in the Italian media, however nothing is certain yet.

Smart working is expected to be strongly encouraged, while there would be alternate shifts for those who gradually return to offices, however it is unlikely that restaurants, bars or parks will reopen any time soon.

"The situation is and remains very serious. And it cannot be underestimated. We are in the middle of a battle" - warned Italy's health minister Roberto Speranza on 7 April - "The only weapon we have is ocial distancing, of respecting the rules. We must not think that we have already won the war."

News: India has extended a nationwide lockdown until May 3. France also announced an extension of its lockdown until May 11.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the world has surpassed two million, according to the data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the global economy is expected to shrink by three percent this year - the biggest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 update: speculation and rumors continue. It makes me mental. From the virus attacked as far back as Nov/Dec and a majority of Americans have already been exposed - to politician conspiracy. Never mind the rest of the world has been infected too *EYE ROLL*
I'll leave the opinions to facts... and to the experts.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 159,516 (yesterday 156,363)
Deaths: 20,465 (yesterday 19,899)
Recovered: 35,435 (yesterday 34,211)

Monday, April 13, 2020 update: this is STILL HAPPENING!!!!

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 156,363 - in 48 hours, we had almost 9,000 more cases confirmed
Deaths: 19,899 - and over 1,000 more deaths
Recovered: 34,211

U.S.A. Cases: 560,433
Deaths: 22,115
Recovered: 32,634

And just for, because:
In Italy, w/about 60 million people - .26% of the population has confirmed CV.
In USA, w/about 300 million people - .18% of the population. 
Italy #'s continue to grow. The WORLD'S #'s continue to grow. You can expect more in the U.S. 
A LOT more. 
If you have even the equal amount of people as Italy (in relation to population), you're looking at 780,000 people. 
Right now, in the U.S. 3.9% of CV cases result in DEATH. In Italy, 12.7%. 
I don't even know what to say...

Sunday, April 12, 2020 - Quarantine Easter in Italy
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Saturday, April 11, 2020 update: I skipped an update on Friday - it was good Friday and I took the time to silence my worry. Clearly our numbers continue to rise, but they are less than previous days. In my opinion, they are just staying steady, not really going down. You can see that on the charts.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 147,577 (Thursday 139,422)
Deaths: 18,849 (Thursday 17,669)
Recovered: 30,455 (Thursday 26,491)

Italy lockdown has been extended into late April and probably through May too. They are already saying plan for a different kind of summer - they'll probably reopen businesses but social distancing and group activities will remain X. No beach. No park. No concerts. No family fun. And...no travel.

News: The worldwide death toll now stands at over 107,000, with the number of infections topping 1.7 million, including more than 395,000 recovered patients.

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Another bridge collapsed. It's about 20mins from my house - I've used it dozens of times. Thank God, no casualties; one injury and one escape. It's one of the busiest bridges. Can you imagine!? Right on the border of Liguria and Tuscany, in the province of Massa Carrara, it would have been PACKED full of cars! "The collapse of the Albiano Magra bridge could have been a tragedy if we had had the traffic of ordinary days.", said Enrico Rossi, President of the Tuscany Region.

Worse still, an investigation reports at least 20 other badly damaged motorway bridges in Italy, 200 illegal tunnels, which don't comply with European standards, and 1,000 viaducts which have not been assessed in years. I can't help but hear that voice screaming, "get me the F out of this country!"

And now, back to coronavirus...
April 9, 2020 updates: on March 10th, the entire country of Italy went on a lockdown. We had minimal movement orders prior to that and the northern regions were already experiencing the tighter restrictions. It's been 1 solid month in lockdown, quarantine, socially distanced, solitary confinement - whatever you want to call it. No drive ins, drive thru's, delivery services... No bike outings, no running, no walking through our neighborhoods. No beach play, no park, no hiking in the mountains or wandering the tenuta. No horseback riding, no parking lot workouts, no family meetings, bbq's, or birthday parties. We stay home. We HAVE to stay home.

We can walk the dog or exercise within 200 meters of our home. Luca and I are lucky that our house sits back on a dead end road. An olive orchard occupies the lane. Therefore we have a little stretch to run (as you've seen on my uploads) and a green area to play with Jake.

Essential personnel can work. My goodness, our "essential" is SO much different than the U.S.'s... The ONLY thing that is open is the grocery store, the post office (where a lot of official business is done here in Italy, like paying bills), and the pharmacy. That's it. Only 1 person from a household is allowed to be at any of these particular places and the new mandate: MUST wear a mask.

The military, carabinieri, and police are still operating. And in fact, stop you if you ARE out. Fines and even jail have already been punishment. A friend of mine in Peru is experiencing a similar -government enforced- quarantine situation. We are locked up!

So, in all honesty, since I work from home, and spend a majority of my time at home - I didn't feel much of a change. At first. Nowwww I'm starting to get a bit anxious. I want to go bike. I want to go run (farther away than the same back and forth stretch). I want to go shopping. I want to go out to dinner; go have a glass of wine by the sea. I want to hug my friends. It's starting to take a toll on me. I have intense feelings of trapped and I panic if I think too long and hard about the fact that I cannot travel (especially to the states and especially if something were to happen to someone I love)... and it's not so much the getting there that would be difficult, it would be the returning to Italy.

Coronavirus Cases: 139,422 (yesterday 135,586) - after 4 days of lower numbers, another big rise...
Deaths: 17,669 (yesterday 17,127)  - so many people die everyday.
Recovered: 26,491 (yesterday 24,392) - please recover.

Anyway, I don't know what the end looks like. I don't even think officials know what that looks like. Is there an end? Are we all just going to wait for a vaccine? We don't know. I do know that Italy just extended the lockdown for 15 more days (minimum). I think at some point, Italians are just going to do whatever they want. I've already seen friends having "secret" cocktails or dinners together. Families getting together to celebrate birthdays... At some point, people will make up their minds that it's all clear and just do whatever they want anyway, won't they?

p.s. my smell is still jacked up...
p.p.s. some pretty important (to us) medical procedures delayed another month... SIGH.

News: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved out of the intensive care unit but remained in hospital, where he continued to receive treatment for coronavirus. A spokesman said the prime minister was in "extremely good spirits".

April 8, 2020 update: NY cases have surpassed Italy cases and I'm going to explain why that's important (and scary)...
Italy has roughly 60 million people. New York has roughly 8 million people.
In Italy, our spread began in the north - in the economic booming area of Italy - Lombardy (Milan is comparable to New York city). Cases and deaths were piling up while slowly the rest of Italy was getting infected. The same exact thing is happening in the U.S. New York is getting hammered, it's pouring into New Jersey next door... The U.S. is big though. So also, California on the west coast, Louisiana on the south coast and even Michigan is getting hit hard. Guys, it's going to spread from here. I have been watching things happen in the U.S. EXACTLY  the same way it happened here (obviously on a smaller scale here - Italy is smaller).

Italy's population is roughly 60 million people compared to 300 million people in the U.S.
That's why it's important to gather and compare data based on %'s of the population.

THAT said, New York confirmed cases have now passed Italy.
New York's population is 8 million. Italy's is 60 million. U.S.'s is 300 million. Let's break that down:
Italy - .23% of the population has CV
New York - 1.78% of the population has CV
U.S. - .13% of the population has CV

The growing # in NY is unnerving and I think a better representation of what's to come in other states. That's A LOT of people with CV...

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 135,586 (yesterday 132,547)
Deaths: 17,127 (yesterday 16,523)
Recovered: 24,392 (yesterday 22,837)

U.S. Coronavirus Cases: 400,540
Deaths: 12,857
Recovered: 21,711

News: Spain is not doing so well. Japan declared a state of emergency amid a spike in coronavirus cases and Singapore began a partial lockdown.
United States entered one of the most critical weeks so far, with government officials warning the high death toll in New York, Michigan and Louisiana was a sign of trouble to come in other states.

April 7, 2020 update: I think the most important information to note this morning is that the PM of UK is in ICU due to the coronavirus.
While Italy is reporting some ease in their ICU's, in the rest of world, it continues, it develops, the fear is growing. All I can say for relief is that so far, the U.S. has followed in Italy's footsteps. Both in the spread, the reluctance to react, the reaction and the panic, the closure, cancellations, social distancing, stay at home orders - and eventually an entire lockdown. I don't know how the U.S. could reach this though (not with all the ignoramuses screaming about civil liberties). But even the growth of the virus, the "curve", and hopefully the decrease - I think you will see similar results although, potentially spread over a greater time. I think it's going to take 300 million people to stay home a lot longer than it took 60 million to stay home (keeping in mind, people are still taking tickets, fines, and even jail for being out).

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 132,547 (yesterday 128,948)
Deaths: 16,523 (yesterday 15,887)
Recovered: 22,837 (yesterday 21,815)

And for us personally, we think the virus has had a lasting impact on our ability to smell. We can smell things, but not as well. I used to be able to walk into my house and smell my Scentsy. Now I have to be standing right next to it. To me, beers smell strange, and I can't smell the mint in our yard anymore. Luca has bad allergies anyway but he too claims, "I can't smell good anymore."

April 6, 2020 update: FYI, as of yesterday afternoon, we are now ordered to wear a face mask when going anywhere. Studies are showing the virus hangs out in the air a longer time than initially studied. What happens here, is coming to the U.S. too - be advised.

Italy Coronavirus Cases: 128,948 (yesterday 124,632) lower increase!!
Deaths: 15,887 (yesterday 15,362) WAY lower!!
Recovered: 21,815 (yesterday 20,996)

U.S. Coronavirus Cases: 336,830, Deaths: 9,618, Recovered: 17,977

Once again, the Prime Minister has proposed an unlock of Italy for April 13th. I'm saying it here - now it's in writing (I've been saying it out loud). If they don't have a strategic plan for unlocking the country, it's gong to be fucking crazy. For one, people are going to go crazy. I'm talking crime, vehicle accidents, fighting, chaos - like a volcano eruption! And two, there's going to be another outbreak and I bet it will be worse than the first.

But just mostly, this has changed our life FOREVER. Perhaps many of us have taken the time to realize what's most important and what we truly need in life, but I'm afraid most have just felt like their locked up and upon release - back to the jam. You know over 40% of prisoners who are released end up back in jail within one year.

News: tigers at Bronx Zoo in New York have tested positive for coronavirus. What in the for real fuck is happening!?

April 5, 2020 update: How are my people? I know the isolation, social distancing, the unknown - it's all so overwhelming. (so is moving away to Italy btw). So I get it. And I'm here if you ever want to message me and vent. No big changes on this side of the world. The hospitals are reporting that intensive care numbers are dropping (for the first time since this all started).
Our lockdown "end date" is currently April 13th. Obviously subject to change. The health minister said, "Experts say we are on the right track, and that the drastic measures taken are starting to give results... But we can't let down our guard." You know, but in Italian.

cases - 124,632 (yesterday 119,827)
deaths - 15,362 (yesterday 14,681)
recovered - 20,996 (yesterday 19,758)

April 4, 2020 update:
cases in Italy 119,827 (yesterday 115,242) - 277,522 in the U.S.
deaths in Italy 14,681 (yesterday 13,915) - 7,400 in the U.S.
recovered in Italy 19,758 (yesterday 18,278)

Wow can you believe this? We are just not leveling off yet. We are hopefully beyond the peak, but seeing the big numbers every single day is... I don't know, WHY!? HOW!? I don't understand why we aren't tracing the new cases back and finding the source.

Besides the frustration, the news, the worry and anxiety of all this, and south Italy going bat shit crazy (or should I say raw bat crazy) we are good over here. We = Luca and Lisa and Jake. We are doing the Ironman Virtual Race this weekend and we ran a 5k in our little 200 meters of life. I coughed and coughed and coughed. My lungs are DEFINITELY weaker. Now, it was chilly air and I was running harder than I've ran in a WHILE. But it's like I couldn't clear the cough, know what I mean? When it feels like it's stuck and you got hack and hack to clear it? Yeah, like that. Stupid virus. I pray I heal.

News: the number of coronavirus cases globally surged past 1.2 million as deaths reached nearly 65,000.

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April 3, 2020 update:
The good news is, over the last 24 hours, recovered cases spiked. Have we reached the peak of the worst? Time will tell...

115,242 confirmed cases in Italy (yesterday 110,574)
13,915 deaths (yesterday 13,155)
18,278 recovered (yesterday 16,847)

The calmness I spoke of yesterday was all in my head. The south is getting bad. Potential riots, people are unsettled, angry, and desperate. The singing has stopped. Without work, many don't have the financial means to even feed their children. Out of money; out of food. What do you do?
Those with more are sharing with those who have less (pictured above).

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Priests and food banks are handing out bags of food to homeless and poor people. Lines are long, people are anxious. "Now people are more afraid — not so much of the virus, but of poverty. Many are out of work and hungry. There are now long queues at food banks."

Many are worried about criminal groups (i.e. the mafia) organizing or promoting violent acts.

Is this going to get worse yet before it gets better?

In the News: ^ all of that over here in Italy. The world marked two grim milestones as the global total of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 1 million and the worldwide death toll from the disease topped 50,000. The US recorded the highest daily death toll of any country since the pandemic began at nearly 1,200.

Photos courtesy of Ciro De Luca/REUTERS

April 2, 2020 update: closing in on another week. It's calm in Italy, getting wild in the U.S.
Scroll down to February 24-27th updates; I warned you guys.

My advice to you right now regarding wear a mask, don't wear a mask. Just wear a mask. Why not? Even better, don't go out. You can sacrifice 1 month of your life; 2 maybe. Bunker down.
I promise you, you do NOT want this virus. The fear and anxiety through the symptoms are enough to fuck up (I mean change) your life forever.

But not just for yourself. The virus is killing people - it's SO contagious and you can be spreading it without even knowing it. And guess what? The people who die, die ALONE. Struggling to breathe and alone. Can you grasp that? 47,251 people have died completely alone. No husband, mother, or best friend holding their hand at their bedside. Just alone. I know I keep saying it, it's just really breaking me down. I think my new biggest fear is someone I love dies alone.

110,574 cases (yesterday 105,792) - and back up (but still down).
We might truly be flattening the curve
13,155 deaths (yesterday 12,428)
16,847 recovered (yesterday 15,729)

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April 1, 2020 update: The coronavirus is over! April Fools... Too soon? Not funny? It's not. This sucks guys. I'm feeling a bit antsy today. And not because I haven't left my house in weeks (although Luca and I did grocery on Sunday Mission Impossible style <-- funny story for later.
But just damn, what does the end of all this look like? Is there even an end? They can't keep us in lockdown forever...but/and, isn't it just going to keep spreading? Some people don't even know they have it. I guess we just sit and wait for a vaccine? The questions are heavy; they're weighing on me.
I'm homesick, worried, and bored but yet...content.
It's such a confusing feeling of hibernation and meditation.

105,792 cases (yesterday 101,739) <-- we're going down!
12,428 deaths (yesterday 11,591)
15,729 recovered (yesterday 14,620) 
There are almost as many deaths now as those recovered. Please stop.

News: the United Nations chief has warned the coronavirus pandemic presents the world with its "worst crisis" since World War II, with almost 922,000 people around the world having been diagnosed with the virus.

l'esercito Italiano trasporta 45 bare verso la città di Ferrara

March 31, 2020 update: Looking at the #'s today I was like, NO, that can't be right. 11,591 deaths? But oh yeah, we crossed the 10,000 bridge yesterday. Momma Mia. It's hard to wrap my brain around the significance of that #. And what I REALLY struggle with (because I'm a deep empathetic) they died alone. My God, they died alone. And now their family struggles with the loss, the grief, and can't even lay them to rest. I can't apologize for the disturbing photo. It's but a tiny view into the tragedy.

101,739 new cases (97,689) lowest increase of new cases in 13 days <-- this is good
11,591 deaths (10,779 yesterday)
14,620 recovered (13,030 yesterday) highest increase of recovered since this started <-- this is better

People ask me (almost daily) why I think it's so bad in Italy (the virus). And there have been plenty of wrong ideas about why (old populations, smokers, healthcare...blah). Wrong. The older population is a truth. And the virus strikes the elderly in the most severe way. So there's probably some significance to that. But the biggest reason in my opinion is because we have a dense population (and didn't distance soon enough).

There isn’t a lot of space in Italy for people to spread out in. Italy is a densely populated country, with an average density of 533 people per square mile. That's like the 20th most densely populated country (out of 100 most populous countries)In comparison, the U.S. has a population density of of 94.  China 145. So as you can understand, we have a lot of people living in a little bit of space. The virus is VERY contagious. Small space, lots of people, rapid spreading virus. <-- Math.
Furthermore, Milan is the economic hub of Italy, and has close trade and educational connections with China. The whole region of northern Italy is home to offices for many multinational corporations. This has been our most devastated region.

Workers travel from all over the world to attend meetings and conventions in northern Italy. An infected person not only infects others, but those people rapidly spread out across the entire country.
So people were just zooming all around the country with no care in the world. Even after the initial lockdown in the north, people fled. This FOR SURE spread the virus.
Slowly everyone caught on, confinement got more and more restricted.
And now the entire country is a sitting duck.

News: the number of deaths in the US from coronavirus surpassed those reported by China (China is lying big time!).

March 30, 2020 update: Welcome onboard U.S. It's about time. It's been really disturbing watching my country take the seriousness of this so slowly. It's not about how previous pandemic's or illnesses have killed more. It's not about the flu vs. the coronavirus. It's about, if we can prevent the spread, WHY NOT!? If we can keep hospitals from overflowing, equipment running out, and most important, save lives - it should be done.

Italy: 97,689 cases, 10,779 deaths, 13,030 recovered. Cases rise, but not as many daily. Daily deaths are potentially peaking in these last 3 days. There's still a disturbing gap between those recovered and new cases.
U.S.A.: 142,735 cases, 2,488 deaths, 4,550 recovered.
If you want to follow your country #'s, this is where I get my data.

Be patient my friends. We (Italy) are in week 4 of lockdown. The panic, the scramble for stock, for toilet paper...it's all subsided. The frenzy is calm; the loudness is quiet. It's quite profound what is happening through this. Even though we are distanced, we are closer than we've ever been. Everyone is looking out for each other, video calls are on the daily, long lost friends are getting in touch, and thanks to technology people are doing things that they've wanted to for years.

Not to minimize the horror of what is happening - the # of people dying daily is catastrophic. The grief is real. It's going to get worse in America before you see the light. But it's also changing the pace of life. We are ALL vulnerable. This vulnerability has brought humility and reflection. We are seeing, understanding, and practicing patience. It's a time out for our world and I believe life long lessons are being made. Once we boot back  up, I think we might find ourselves in a better place.

News: global infections surpass 700,000, lockdowns increase in cities across the world, I wonder how the UK Prime Minister is doing...

March 29, 2020 update: I feel like we're beginning to emotionally separate ourselves from what's going on. It's so hard. We are losing so many people everyday and it's becoming easier to just stay off the social media and away from the news. Which, I don't know, is this worse!?
My heart is burning in pain. They are alone. They're ALONE.

92,472 total cases (yesterday 86,500). Another 6,000 increase.
10,023 deaths (yesterday 9,134). That's 890 more dead. In 24 hours.
12, 384 recovered.

It sounds like similar things are happening in the U.S. Do you remember when I complained that the northerners all "fled" south to avoid the lockdown, spreading the virus with them? Sound familiar... New Yorkers to Florida?... The same exact things that happened here are now happening there. Does this not speak volumes on what's to come? A lot of people are going to die.

News: Trump extends social distancing guidelines.

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Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP

March 28, 2020 update: I didn't want to wake up to the numbers today because the news already reported them last night. It's seriously so devastating. I can't stand that these people are dying alone. By the THOUSANDS.

86,500 cases (yesterday 80,589). That's almost a 6,000 increase!
9,134 deaths (yesterday 8,215). That's almost a 1,000 increase! In 24 hours!!!
Near 11,000 recovered. Myself included. I would say I am 99.9% normal.

In the U.S.: 104,256 confirmed cases, 1,704 deaths, and 2,525 recovered. Of course U.S. #'s are going to soar - there are 300 million people in the U.S. compared to 60 million in Italy.
But China has almost 1.5 BILLion... Think their #'s are skewed? BIG TIME!! There's NO WAY IN HELL they have reported accurate #'s. Yes, they took major drastic measures and shut that bitch down - but many many many, 100's of 1000's went unreported. Most certainly.
Whatever. This is terrible and disturbing and catastrophic no matter what has been reported.
My heart fucking hurts.

March 27, 2020 update: and we're back up. It's really hard to see the light at the end of all this. What's driving me MAD is WHERE and WHY are the new cases coming from!? If the country is in an entire lockdown, HOW is it still spreading. And why aren't we investigating this!? I'm sure there's a lag time from exposure to testing to results (Luca says just two days) Okay then, WHY are these newly infected people infected!? Where did they get it!? You can't catch it quarantined in your own home!?!? It doesn't make sense. Ahhhh!!!

80,589 cases (yesterday 74,400)
8,215 deaths (yesterday 7,503)
10,361 (yesterday 9,362)

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Thank you for your continued concerns for me. I am definitely recovering. Today I feel 99.9% normal. I'm going to go for a little run (of course within 200 meters of my home) and give the lungs a tester. I figure it will take some time to gain back full capacity. I'm hopeful though. (and still feeling anxiety for a return of the illness - it sucks bad guys!). I am truly praying for our entire world.

I read a fantastic article that I later found out was fake, a spoof. It was claimed to be written by Bill Gates (which is irrelevant - the author). But it was important lessons we are learning from this entire situation. And it was quite beautiful (it's been removed from the internet, I can't find it again). If I find it, I'm going to copy, paste, share it.

Anyway... there's so many rumours, conspiracy theories and fake news being spread during the pandemic - it's embarrassing. And quite disappointing. Why aren't we better than this?

News: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he tested positive for the coronavirus.

March 26, 2020 update:
74,400 cases (yesterday 69,000)
7,503 deaths (yesterday 6,820)
9,362 recovered (yesterday 8,300)

U.S. cases are surging. As are Spain's.
U.S. updates:
Near 68,500 confirmed cases (yesterday 55,000)
1,032 deaths (yesterday 784)
400 recovered (yesterday 379)
Stimulus package passed.

I'm feeling 99% recovered with only a random lingering cough (it sort of comes if I talk a lot or if I get really out of breath <-- I've ran once, walk daily, and been on the bike trainer). Let's hope I have built some sort of immunity because Luca is returning to work.

We are still in a country wide lockdown and isolated to our homes. Only medical personnel and those who have been deemed essential go to work (military, police, pharmacy, groceries remain open...). That's about it. There is no where to go. There is no reopen date or plan for reopening Italy. We just need to see a positive trend. The government is currently working their own financial reform plans and stimulus packages. What a mess.

News: total number of coronavirus cases globally surpassed 500,000. Kenya, Kazakhstan and Honduras all reported their first deaths.

March 25, 2020 update: oh man, Italy just took a huge death hit.
69,000 cases (yesterday 64,000)
6,820 deaths (yesterday 6,077)
8,300 recovered (yesterday 7,500)

Gosh, all these people dying is just a stab. This is so sad. And I realize more people die from other reasons daily, obviously. But just from this ridiculous virus, every single day. And to know they aren't just dying, they are in quarantine so they are dying ALONE. Struggling to breathe. Alone. It is heart wrenching.

"The measures we took two weeks ago are starting to have an effect." The rate of officially registered new infections is slowing. More data over the next few days will help show if we are truly in a decline. A ray of hope.

My only other thought for this morning is symptoms. Guys there is so much NOT known about this virus. Of course it's going to present different symptoms in different bodies. And I'm certain it's mutating and adapting... that's what viruses do. Like, really honestly, symptoms are all "may include", "may not include" i.e. you might have a fever, you might not have a fever. You might have a sore throat, you might not have a sore throat. This isn't an all inclusive or all exclusive virus ... because some are not symptomatic at all! Here's a new one, 1-3% of infected also develop pink eye. 
Don't get caught up on the symptoms. I know it's scary but just protect yourself.
I had tickle, light dry cough, fever, diarrhea, body aches, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, heavy chest, loss of taste and smell, metallic taste in mouth, diarrhea again, lingering random cough, and then potentially pink eye. Luca had no symptoms except he loss his taste and smell.

U.S. updates:
Near 55,000 confirmed cases, 784 deaths, 379 recovered. $2 trillion aid plan approved. Wow!
China announced it will lift lockdown in Wuhan on April 8th.

New vocabulary: COVID-19/Coronavirus, social distancing, community spread, patient zero, super-spreader, flatten the curve, self-quarantine, contact tracing, index case, index patient, COVIDIOT (slang)

March 24, 2020 update:
64,000 cases (yesterday 59,000)
6,077 deaths (yesterday 5,500)
7,500 recovered (yesterday 7,000)

We are in the third week of a nationwide lockdown. We have two days of less increase. But still an increase. It will be a few more days until we see or know a positive trend and if we are truly "flattening the curve". I haven't left the house in over two weeks (except for one quick errand to get our bloodwork done) and my adventure to the ER, sick. I like being at home though; everything I need is right here. I'm just missing fresh fruits (neighbors are giving us fresh veggies and Luca is baking fresh bread). I feel very lucky, calm, and positive. I think this lockdown is good for Italy. For the entire world. It's like a big giant reset. The infrastructure, the environment, power and big business - it's all getting a deep breath of air. I see light and opportunity in all of this too. (now that my head is clearing from this terrible fucking virus!)

And just for the record, I have an opinion. And maybe it's different than yours. So what.
I also back up my opinions with first hand experience, facts, experts, and/or science.

News: The Tokyo Olympics delayed until 2021.

March 23, 2020 update:
I've been keeping an eye on this one mainly because it was the most interesting symptom I had and the weirdest 'thing' I've ever experienced. Not to mention, it was the ONLY symptom that Luca had which convinces us that he is the carrier. Coronavirus and Loss of Smell and Taste article.
We are just wondering how long we are contagious.

Over 59,000 new cases. (yesterday 53,000)
5,500 deaths. (yesterday 4,800)
Over 7,000 recovered. (yesterday 6,000)

Watching/reading news from the states is so annoying. Trump scoffed at this virus and even called it a "foreign virus". He acted like America couldn't get it. Now he's all mister war leader carrying the country to victory. Just no. He failed you guys! He undermined experts, doctors, and scientists. He has not prepared you for this crisis AT ALL. “We’re doing very well. But it’s an unforeseen problem. What a problem. Came out of nowhere, but we’re taking care of it.” Is this guy SERIOUS! I feel like even I sent a warning! It did NOT come out of nowhere. China, Iran, Italy... he just doesn't want to admit that he didn't take it serious enough and didn't prepare. You've been lucky up to this point with him in office that nothing serious has jeopardized our country. But this, this is HUGE and he's a piece of work. <-- this will be my only political rant. Sorry.

Back in Italy, ALL non-essential business are closed. This means, no one goes to work now except medical, military, and grocery. Add pharmacy and post.
Why is it still spreading so dramatically? That's such a good question and there is plenty of speculation but listen, a lot of what you're reading/hearing just isn't true. Italy does have a old population. That is a fact. The whole smoking thing isn't true and it can't be proven unless they poll everyone who is confirmed, died, and/or recovered. The healthcare claim is also wrong. Italians did not bumrush the ER's. They DO have primary physicians; they do NOT go straight to the hospital for any ache and pain.

Scientists actually believe that it struck Italy so violently because the virus circulated unnoticed in the country from at least mid-January – thriving because so many of the infected had no symptoms at all. Reports emerging in the news suggest that hospitals in the outbreak area observed unusually high numbers of pneumonia cases one month before the outbreak. The initial contagions were not spotted! That's been proven with the 38 year old runner responsible for a huge spread (Codogno) went to the hospital FOUR times before actually being admitted and diagnosed.

And here is where the U.S. is going at it all wrong; they are waiting. Waiting was Italy's worst mistake. That, and not listening. Even with a country lockdown, Italians were still wandering and crowding.

I wish they would trace back all the new confirmed cases and truly discover where/why/what is happening to continue the spread. There MUST be a root for this problem.

News: Prime Minister Boris Johnson locks Britain down.

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March 22, 2020 update:
I am 11 days since illness. I am feeling quite normal this morning and I taste my coffee WOO! So in all that and through the updates, I continued to have a heavy chest and short breath (especially w/any activity/movement) and I had one more bad day of diarrhea (maybe or maybe not related). Today I'll go for a walk/run (AROUND MY YARD) and see how my lungs feel.

The U.S. State Department has announced a recall for all U.S. citizens. Basically, travel now or indefinitely stay in place. No assistance will be provided later to get you home... Obviously this is where I live; with Luca is where I want to stay. But what a difficult sacrifice given my family elders and the fear of those I love becoming ill and me being unable to be there. SIGH.

Over 53,000 new confirmed cases in Italy. (yesterday 47,000)
Over 4,800 deaths. (yesterday 4,000)
Over 6,000 recovered. (yesterday 5,000)
The numbers are NOT leveling off.

We are going into tighter restrictions. Lombardy is most restricted w/military enforcement on the ground. Lombardy is still the worst area too - lots of folks dying, crowded hospitals, bad ugly sad stuff happening. A hospital in Bergamo has invited us in: VERY INTENSE VIDEO INSIDE BERGAMO HOSPITAL
Across the country, all non-essential businesses are now closed, no sport or outside activity beyond 200m of your home, we must remain distance from others, stay home, limit grocery outings, etc etc. Luca and I are STAYING HOME! Besides him having to check in at work occasionally, we are at home. And this is where we'll stay.

I do see opportunity in this entire pandemic as well. It's like a giant reset for the whole world. I think it's giving our infrastructure a much needed break, the environment some recovery, families to connect and reconnect, potentially saving marriages or protecting children. I can see the light through the tragedy and I think we can all find some benefits in what's happening.

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March 21, 2020 update: having a bit of a meltdown considering the U.S. State Department announced that if you are abroad, to return to the U.S. The fact that I LIVE here - I don't know. They both urge us to stay put and urge us to return to the U.S. I mean, no one can MAKE me leave here, right? Oh but trust me, if Luca could come with me, I would in a heartbeat.

Restrictions are about to get tighter here in Italy. The spread is not slowing and in fact, confirmed cases continue to rise along with the death rate. We've exceeded China at this point. There's a lot of reasons for this. But I believe that getting to the root of the problem would be the best way to move forward - even though it's sort of taking a few steps back. The government seems to think that it continues to spread because people aren't listening to the quarantine. I beg to differ.

Are the new people getting sick the ones not obeying the quarantine? If so, okay, then, tighten down the measures. But if they aren't the ones getting sick - then WHO IS!? Who are the people with new confirmed cases? Where are they? What are they doing? Obviously there's some lag time between testing and confirmation... Incubation period... All of these factors... but, WHO are the newest confirmations? Why are we not tracking where these people are being contaminated?
You can't clean up a mess of a problem expecting the problem to disappear, you must find the root of the problem. It's like a water leak. If you are continuously cleaning up a puddle of water, it's not going to stop the leak. You must find where the leak is coming from and plug it. Italy is trying to clean up the puddle, over and over, everyday. But clearly there's a leak somewhere. Find it. Fix it.

Over 47,000 cases. Over 4,000 dead. Over 5,000 recovered.
(Yesterday 41,000, 3,400, and 4,400)
They're telling us that until the # recovered exceeds the # of new cases, we are far from resolve. They also believe we are reaching our peak.
Watching the military trucks drive coffins out of Bergamo is sad and frightening.
Knowing the doctors must choose who receives aid and who dies is sad and frightening.

I can't help but feel a bit misplaced in these days and really REALLY homesick.

March 20, 2020 update:
Entering our 4th week in the crisis. Over 41,000 cases, over 3,400 dead, over 4,400 recovered.
(Yesterday, 36,000, 3,000, and 4,000)
More than 209,000 people have now been infected by the coronavirus globally and more than 8,700 have died, according to the World Health Organization. At least 86,000 have recovered from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Italy is extending the quarantine. Apparently we had an April date. That's being pushed out to indefinite. A huge human and economic price is being paid.
Italy doesn't think it acted fast enough from the beginning. We should have done more diagnostic tests, "...the Italian government lagged at first. It was "lazy in the beginning... too much politics in Italy." and closed entry from China. The hospitals (especially in Lombardy) are collapsing. "...the only way to fight the battle to keep the healthcare system from total collapse is to increase resources. Maybe the government should have thought of this before, prepare better."

As for me, a few symptoms linger but I'm feeling better yesterday evening and today.

March 19, 2020 update: Two recent studies/claims might help explain why I was SO symptomatic and Luca was without symptoms because we are pretty confident that we both would have tested positive.

1 - blood type. A new medical study on the coronavirus in China found that blood type A patients were more susceptible to the infection and tended to develop more severe symptoms, while patients with blood type O seemed more resistant to the disease. I am A+, Luca instead is B+.

2 - ibuprofen. France was the first to indicate that ibuprofen might worsen the symptoms. While this hasn't been scientifically backed; some experts believe that ibuprofen's anti-inflammatory properties may "dampen" the body's immune response. I'm a regular ibuprofen user - sciatica - while Luca is not. Before these reports even came out, the doctor I saw scolded me for taking 4 (total) Advil in an effort to lower my fever. Instead, it is recommended to take paracetamol which is acetaminophen or Tylenol.

Today is a good day. I even attempted an easy run. My chest hurt. Shhh, I know, in the chest, REST. I'm listening!! I was also going a bit stir crazy and had to move my body. It hurt my chest but breathing felt okay, maybe a little shallow.
Yesterday was bad again. No fever but I was very weak and tired. My taste and smell might be coming back... At least the weird metallic taste has subsided. Luca still can't smell anything.

Almost 36,000 cases, almost 3,000 dead, over 4,000 recovered.
(Yesterday 31,500, 2,500, and 3,000)

The news is scary to watch. Military trucks are driving coffins out of Bergamo. The Prime Minister wants to tighten down controls even further (since it continues to spread). Hospitals across Italy are reporting they're getting filled to the max. We're running out of equipment to save lives.

News: For the first time, China reports zero local infections.

March 18, 2020 update: Today I have a metallic feeling in my mouth; SO weird. I'm also completely lacking taste and smell - I can't even taste my coffee. My chest feels heavy too which is scary and I'm PRAYING it doesn't come back or I find myself worse again.

I'm getting a lot of messages regarding concerns that you are sick. If you were not around anyone or within a community that has a spread, you do not have the coronavirus. It doesn't pop out of nowhere; it comes from someone. If you have a stuffy or runny nose, you probably have a cold or allergies. This is not typically a symptom of the CV. This virus attacks your respiratory system. It can be a mild cough to serious pneumonia. It's an infection, you will almost FOR SURE have a fever - which probably goes up up up before breaking. Just keep in mind that other viruses, and allergies are still circulating. I know it's scary. If you think you have come in contact w/the virus, call your doctor for advice. If you are in respiratory distress, go to the hospital. Most important, follow the guidelines of the CDC.

Over 31,500 cases in Italy. Over 2,500 deaths. Almost 3,000 recovered.
(Yesterday 28,000, 2,000, and 2,750)

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March 17, 2020 update: a lot has happened since my last update so let's start with some #'s. We are up to 28,000 confirmed cases in Italy with over 2,000 deaths (2,750 recovered). It continues to grow; and that sucks. I also mention, that number doesn't include unconfirmed cases. Which DO exist...

Before plunging into that, what's it like over here?
It's still quite surreal. You've seen the pictures of empty Italian landmarks by now. Usually Italy is swarmed with tourist (especially places like Venice, Rome, and Florence). Streets are empty.

Are you allowed to get food? Yes. Grocery stores are open but have restrictions on how many occupants at a time and you have to be a certain distance from others. Hoarding no longer seems to be a problem and yes, shelves are stocked. What's interesting is ONLY the food sections of the stores are accessible. They are not allowing "other" purchases. Luca explains, the Prime Minister ordered only for grocery shops (no other shops) to be open during this time so it's not fair for groceries to be able to sell "other" items. Makes sense.

Are you allowed to go bike or run or go outside? No. And yes and yes. Cycling is prohibited in groups or solo. We weren't allowed to run or walk outside but that since has been modified. We are allowed to go walk and run now, solo. The why of this: to minimize the need for medical resources. If something should happen while out on the bike or doing sport, we just don't have the medical resources available to help.

Once again, we are only supposed to be out and about if we are 1) going to work, 2) medical reasons/doctor appointments, 3) necessity (food, gas, post, dog food, etc). YES, police and carabinieri are enforcing this. We were stopped Saturday night returning from the hospital. The news reported about 20,000 people have been reported leaving home for no reason (they are being ticketed and fined). Everything is still closed anyway.

So what are you guys doing? The last days I have basically been horizontal (getting there) so we've been resting. I'm slowly recovering now and plans include at home workouts, walk and play with Jake, run, and spend time together. It's kind of nice watching a movie together every night and not being in a hurry to get anything done. I work in the afternoons or as needed by the agencies and I have plenty of athletes to rearrange training schedules for as things in the states are canceled and closed too. Luca's family remains in Milan, indoors, working from home. They are going a bit more stir crazy. At least we all have the sunshine! Days have been beautiful.

What the hell do you mean you've been sick? I didn't announce it because I didn't want anyone to worry, I was scared, and I want be very clear - I have NOT been confirmed with the coronavirus. Can we assume it was? Yes. Is it highly likely? Yes. When I doubt it, I am reminded, you are in Italy in the midst of a widespread virus. Do you REALLY believe it was anything else? No way. Could it have been? Sure, but low probability. Plus, the symptoms - "they add up" ~Doctor.
But they did not and will not test me...
So we will never know for sure and I'm pretty okay about that.

Why didn't they test you? We aren't entirely clear on why but here's a few explanations: the test is about 3,000 euros each. Of course I pay nothing, but that's a high price for the country so it is believed that now they are only testing people with the worst symptoms and/or highest risk and/or had direct contact with someone with coronavirus. It's not a free for all testing situation. There aren't drive through testing booths set up around Italy. If symptomatic but low risk and no direct contact, they are insisting you stay home and ride it out. p.s. don't take Ibuprofen but instead, paracetamol (acetaminophen) if you are experiencing symptoms. There is also concern over suppressing the symptoms as your immune system tries to fight the virus.

So anyway, I went to the hospital because breathing became a real concern. Luca's doctor told him to call the emergency line and the emergency line said to go to the ER. My symptoms were mild comparably, and my fever was low at the hospital. I am not high risk, and I did not have direct contact but instead potential community spread or Luca is a carrier.

So what are/were you symptoms? I started with a strange dry cough. It sort of came out of nowhere (after a run) and was just an annoying little tickle. Next morning it was still there and I felt a bit flush. Took my fever and - low grade fever which went up and down over the next days. Next was extreme fatigue and pain. I woke up the 2nd day in so much pain I could hardly move. I cried all day. Everything just hurt. I couldn't even hold my phone up. Meanwhile, my chest was growing heavier and I was short of breath <-- this was what I was most afraid of. That got the worst and triggered a another call to Luca's doctor. I'll spare all details but basically it all got worse, went to the ER, wasn't high risk enough to cause alarm or to be tested, went home under "monitor" instructions.
  • dry cough (very light, became a bit productive later)
  • fever
  • extreme fatigue
  • body aches
  • heavy chest / shortness of breath / trouble breathing - exasperated by anxiety!! 
  • head pressure / nausea / dizziness
  • (first morning) diarrhea 
  • oh, and I have sort of lost my ability to smell and taste...
How do you think you got it? So there's basically 1 of 3 ways - Luca was on a ship a couple weeks back which ended up having 1 confirmed case (probably more now but we haven't heard). Doctor agrees since he doesn't have symptoms, he could be a carrier. 2 was at the Pam which is a grocery store. This would be the whole community spread possibility. I am literally around NO ONE and especially since all this broke out. 3 is at a medical clinic in Genoa which again, I was really diligent in being around no one but it was a shared waiting area and... elevator buttons. Those were the ONLY two places I was during this time.

Recovering, it feels like it's moved into my head. I feel like my sinuses are full or great pressure in my head - enough to create extreme nausea and dizziness. And I kinda hear this high pitch ringing and/or WaWaWa sound. Sucks. The absolute worst though was the body aching. My body hurt even to the touch. And of course, just being scared in general.

Today I at least put on clothes and took a walk around my house - Ha ha!
And note, Luca is being AMAZING through all this. I don't know how I got so lucky with this man but if it means I have to take hits - like potentially having coronavirus - to be so lucky, well okay then. I just hope I've created the necessary antibodies to NEVER have that shit EVER again!!!

News: France imposes a nationwide lockdown. The E.U. bars most travelers from outside the bloc for 30 days.

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(photo credit CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/09/europe/coronavirus-italy-lockdown-intl/index.html)
March 15, 2020 News: The C.D.C. recommends no gatherings of 50 or more people in the U.S.

March 13, 2020 News: U.S. President Trump declares a national emergency.
March 12, 2020 update: so on the 10th we were put in a country wide quarantine. What does that mean and what is the impact? Starters, we are not in a bunkered, zombie apocalypse scenario - although it does sort of look like it from the photos across these usually packed squares.
People still go to work - and that's up to the employer. Groceries and necessities are still open. Restaurants, bars, cafes, small shops, schools, pools, gyms, public and social events, churches, museums - all closed.
Movement is limited. We are only to travel for work, for medical reasons, and for necessities (and this is encouraged to do solo). Necessities include grocery, pharmacy, post office - we must be 3-6 meters away from other people. No social events or group activities, family dinners, drinks with friends. No sport or activity that can cause injury (and thus impact medical resources).
If we are moving around (for work, for medical, or for necessity) - we have to carry a document, a proclamation if you will, of our intentions.

The north (and most impacted areas) were already on these similar restrictions, now we all are. Until April and/or further notice. We have more than 12,000 infected with over 800 dead. Nearly 900 were in ICU. And herein is the seriousness of this America...

I can hear you from here, “It’s just a flu... It's not a big deal... It only affects old people with preconditions... Bring it on... I'm not changing the way I do anything... No one can tell me what to do... You can't tell me where to go..." Soon, the joke will be on you.
Hospitals are reporting that more younger patients - 45, 40, even 18 - are coming in for treatment. While the average age for those who die is the elder and yes, generally with a pre-existing condition, that isn't the rule for being infected. The virus isn't discriminating. Patient zero in Italy was a 38 year old endurance runner. He spent over 30 days in ICU.

This virus spreads effectively FAST and it's EXTREMELY contagious. Thousands of cases appear overnight and there is a 2 week incubation period. Many never even show symptoms. Now, all these sick people, many requiring ICU - breathing treatments. Let's say there are 50 of you in need at the hospital but the hospital only has 30 oxygen tanks. The doctors have to decide WHO gets one and who suffers, and potentially dies. This is happening. Real life. They are basing their decisions on age and who is most likely to recover. As more get sick, this gets worse.
There is also a finite number of doctors and nurses working nonstop. They are also getting sick. What happens when there's no one left to care for you because they're all sick?
The ICU's are over capacity, spilling into hallways. If the numbers do not go down, there will be no more room for the sick.

You are weeks away from where we are today in Italy. This isn't written to scare you. It's a fair warning. We watched China suffer with the same fear and in no time, it struck and we have an entire nation - over 60 million people, in quarantine.
Preparing for this does not equal panic.
Taking this serious does not equal panic.
Understanding the danger to (specifically) the elders and the compromised does not equal panic.
A plan for social distancing, minimizing travel, and cancelling events out of the same concerns does not equal panic.
It's preparation. And even so...
Is panic really worse than neglect and carelessness during an epidemic of this sort?

Everything that is happening now, in the U.S., how you're feeling, the jokesters, the unease, the hoarders... It's ALL happened here, just the same. Our shelves were emptied too. Water, TP, pasta, bread... Italians fought over flour! It's a bit CrAy but for good reason; fear became reality. And those of us who did stock up on these items, guess what, we don't have to go out in the public right now. 

Guys, this is just my opinion and words from my experience. I don't claim to be any kind of expert, my opinions are based on the fact that I'm LIVING in Italy in the midst of this surreal time + constant hypochondriac like Googling ;) I do read/watch ALL the news... public opinion, government, science and medical related pieces - from all over the world so I feel like I'm well educating myself and keeping myself up to date. You should do the same.

It hurts my brain to read "it's not that big of a deal" or "it's not that serious". Guys, we are in the 21st century and an entire COUNTRY is in quarantine!!! That is a HUGE deal. The U.S. border just closed to Europe. That is a HUGE deal. For the love of all things, find the seriousness in this and prepare - this is only just the beginning.
Be thoughtful. Consider others. Limit your travel and your social activity.

I stand by my initial remarks - if everyone would just sit still, the virus would have nowhere to go. And clearly, you can do this by your own accord... before it's mandated by your country.
And all that said, yes, the economic impact is annihilating! It's hard to even wrap my brain around the financial effects of this mass shutdown. The entire world will surely suffer. 

News March 11, 2020: U.S. President Trump blocks most visitors from continental Europe. WHO declares pandemic.

March 10, 2020 update: Italy-wide lockdown.

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March 9, 2020 update:
For once I feel like Italy is ahead of the game. Yeah, it's coronavirus, but we are AHEAD!
Officially "a national emergency". 366 deaths with over 7,000 infected. And while China and Korea outbreaks are slowing, we are trying to infect the rest of the world.
Didn't I predict ALL of this?!

Yes, it's true - entire region(s) are in forced quarantine with many more following suit. Over 16 million people. Can you even imagine? For reference, hey Ohio and Indiana, YOU'RE CLOSED! No one in, no one out. Until April. And/or further notice.
For my southern people, guess what? Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, AND Arkansas - you're ALL CLOSED! No one in. No one out. Build a' wall around ya' !!! <-- insert southern draw

Tight travel restrictions aren't necessarily working though! You can Google the videos of people fleeing the area to escape the quarantine. Sure, yeah, go infect the rest of Italy - no problem!
La dolce vita, right? Rules don't apply to you!
So remind us, this IS a big deal or it's not? Because you're 1 step away from quarantining an entire country - but we shouldn't be worried? Last train out of Italy, TOOT TOOT!!!

It's funny reading FB posts from the U.S. - been there done that guys! Empty shelves at the grocery, gloves, masks, the panic? Yeah, we did all that - a few weeks ago. Welcome to the CV era! Italy is so far behind in so many things but for once, we are actually leading the way...

I'm not scared. That's a little dramatic but hell yes I'm concerned. I don't care if this virus is "just" this or "just" that, I don't want to be fucking sick! I don't want my family and friends to be fucking sick! I don't want my neighbors, bank teller, cashier, or post man to be fucking sick! And I sure as fuck don't want (any of us) to die!
The next real fear (concern) is the economy. Holy moly what a hit. We're talking recession! Northern Italy is the country's economic engine and ha, it's closed! But don't worry guys, the coronavirus isn't a big deal...

Except, then why is it SUCH a big deal!?

"We must stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus at every opportunity. Every person has the capacity to contribute, to protect themselves, to protect others, whether in the home, the community, the healthcare system, the workplace or the transport system."

I also feel like there needs to be a mandatory log (online) for people who have the virus to list where they have been 2 weeks prior to diagnosis through diagnosis and when. This would give others the opportunity to know if an infected person was in the same place at the same time and should consider self-quarantine - STOP THE SPREAD!

News: March 8, 2020: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signs a decree placing travel restrictions on the entire Lombardy region and 14 other provinces.

March 5, 2020 update: Over 3,000 cases with 107 deaths. Life, however, is mostly business as usual. Despite the initial "panic" things have calmed back down - at least here. Or in my brain. Or on the news... I don't know! I know it's rising in the U.S. though. Worldwide panic. Italy is still the worst affected country outside of China and even China has reported new cases which came from Italy. Geesh! I'm trying to wrap my brain around what that means... Does that mean that Italians just can't sit still? Travel sick? Have poor hygiene? What exactly are the people of Italy doing so different that is causing the continuous spread?

We are told not to panic, it's not that big of a deal - yet we are containing, quarantining, and cancelling. That is very confusing. So should we be worried or not? Because it SURE is being made quite a big deal for not being that big of a deal. Is that just a media uprising? Or is there more to this than we actually know? I am not a conspiracy theorist but I can't help but think this IS a bigger deal than we are being led to believe...

Dangers: "It is hard to accurately assess the lethality of a new virus. It appears to be less often fatal than the coronaviruses that caused SARS or MERS, but significantly more so than the seasonal flu. The death rate was over 2 percent, in one recent study. On Friday, government scientists estimated that the figure could be below 1 percent, roughly the rate occurring in a severe flu season."

(from an interesting article: https://www.nytimes.com/article/what-is-coronavirus.html)

Where it came from: "Experts believe that an infected animal may have first transmitted the virus to humans at a market that sold live fish, animals and birds in Wuhan. The market was later shut down and disinfected, making it nearly impossible to investigate which animal may have been the exact origin.

Bats are considered a possible source, because they have evolved to coexist with many viruses, and they were found to be the starting point for SARS. It is also possible that bats transmitted the virus to an intermediate animal, such as pangolins, which are consumed as a delicacy in parts of China, and may have then passed on the virus to humans.

The outbreak grew because of human-to-human transmission."

Traveling: "The C.D.C. has warned Americans not to travel to China or South Korea unless it is absolutely essential. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions should also consider postponing travel to Italy, Iran and Japan, where there are clusters of coronavirus transmission.

Many countries have also enacted travel restrictions and bans, closing their doors to people from countries with sustained transmission of the virus. Governments around the world have been screening incoming passengers for signs of illness."

March 2, 2020 update: wow, that escalated quickly. There are now nearly 1,800 cases in Italy; a 50% rise over the weekend. 35 deaths. More than half of those cases live in Lombardy, and then Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. 41 have died; their average age is around 80.
640 are hospitalized. 140 are in intensive care. 83 have recovered. Most have shown mild symptoms or none at all, which makes it more difficult to detect who is infected.

That's the scary part - it's not fully understood. Not only is there is no vaccine but it's difficult to detect who is actually infected. Add, no one knows if this is seasonal or if it's here for the long run; if and what are the various strands, nor what this virus is completely capable of. That's Scary. The flu on the other hand (the all mighty comparison virus of this one) is well-documented, has a vaccine, and is predictable.

Italy is not on the verge of collapse. We are not in a panicked apocalyptic state. There's confusion, some over reaction, lots of cancellations, but life is still happening. The economy is surely taking a serious hit right now; and tourism will most definitely be negatively impacted... The nation is scared and yes there are a few cities on lockdown. It is just a strange environment right now. We are all kind of holding our breath. Waiting.
Here's my advice. Don't come to Italy right now. Just sit tight and wait this one out. 
And I'll say it again, nice and loud so all the Italians up north can hear it, stop moving around. The panicked "escape" is spreading the virus.

Feb 27th update: there are now over 300 cases in Italy. After China, the leader of this shit, Italy is #1 fastest growing and I'm going to speculate why - People keep LEAVING THE FUCKING AREAS THEY AREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE LEAVING! At first, you don't know if you actually have the virus and you can have the virus without any symptoms. So these asshats are freaking out because the virus is in or near their town and instead of just being cautious and staying away from others, they are TRAVELING away and actually spreading the shit!

I mean I get it, you want to GTFO but until/unless you know you do NOT have the virus, keep your stupid ass put. Here's a TRUE, REAL LIFE example... a small family from Milan (Lombardy region) decides to GTFO and "evacuate" to Sicily where they have other family. Upon arrival, greetings, settling in, guess what? The fucking kid is sick. SICK! Tests for coronavirus. Positive. FUCKING POSITIVE! And now Sicily has the coronavirus too. THIS is what is happening.
Stop moving around people. Just stop. Stay still until this passes. And it will pass. It WON'T pass if you keep passing it around!! Momma FUCKING Mia!

In my honest opinion, don't travel to Italy right now. Or anywhere really. Are you gonna get coronavirus and die, probably not. But why even risk it? Am I in a panic by being cautious, no. I just don't want to get sick. I don't want anyone to get sick! Sit fucking still and let this pass.

Oh, and one other thing - ignore all rumors, reports, and articles unless they are from the CDC or WHO. There is so much nonsense and speculation it hurts my head.

Coronavirus-Italy-map-travel-advice-Italy-2333178

News: Feb 29, 2020: The United States records its first coronavirus death and announces travel restrictions.

News: Feb 28, 2020: The number of infections in Europe spikes. Sub-Saharan Africa records its first infection.

News: Feb 26, 2020: Latin America reports its first coronavirus case.

News: Feb 25, 2020: Italy’s Lombardy region press office issues a list of towns and villages that are in complete lockdown.

Feb 24, 2020 Update:
CV
Home is where the heart is ^

I'm not sure how hot and heavy this mess is on the news in the states, but it's the EVERYthing over here in Europe. And it's quite unnerving as we know it has made its way to Italy. Obviously, the areas where there are confirmed cases are on lockdown - no one in, no one out. Businesses, schools, and events are closed. 

As of this morning there are 152 confirmed cases in Italy. We are basically under draconian like rules. This is a new word for me. It means harsh or severe. Basically, public events are cancelled, schools, businesses, and museums are closed - in the north (primarily the regions Lombardia, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont). However, more are following suit. Many businesses, public events, and schools have cancelled now in the northern parts of the regions Alto Adige and Liguria (we live on the border of Liguria and Tuscany which is the southern part of the region). Luca actually had a course cancelled already for this week and only essential personnel are allowed at work (on base). 

It's actually pretty crazy - BIG sports events, fashion week, and even Carnevale in Venice have all been cancelled. These are huge things for Italy. Especially fashion week in Milan and Carnevale (think Mardi Gras in New Orleans!!). Some train services are suspended and ships are being halted. 

I have a feeling it's going to get crazier before not... I insisted we do grocery, Jake food, and extra water on hand. So we got all that done early this morning. For an early Monday morning, the store was already packed full of shoppers. My gut tells me it's going to get worse and I'm glad we made the efforts. 

I would prefer we not go anywhere and stay away from everyone. I don't feel scared or like we are freaking out or even in dire straits. But it is serious or can get serious and I prefer prudence. 

“Unfortunately, we haven’t managed to limit the spread of the virus,” said Roberto Burioni, a professor of microbiology and virology at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, which has also closed. “And we need to face the fact that it is spreading quickly. At first, we thought that the virus was only abroad, but now it is also in Italy. People should try not to panic but limiting the spread is, in part, down to our behavior. Those who have been in contact with someone infected must isolate themselves. Crowded places should also be avoided; sacrifices need to be made to try to overcome the virus.”

The bottom line is, we are following the drama very closely and taking all precautions to safeguard ourselves! i.e. bunkered down ;) 

News Feb 23, 2020: Italy sees major surge in coronavirus cases and officials lock down towns.

News Feb 21, 2020: The virus appears in Iran from an unknown source.

News Feb 14, 2020: France announces the first coronavirus death in Europe. First case in Egypt.

News Feb 7, 2020: A Chinese doctor who tried to raise the alarm died. 
Official Name: The World Health Organization on Feb. 11 proposed an official name for the disease the virus coronavirus causes: Covid-19, an acronym that stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The name makes no reference to any of the people, places, or animals associated with the coronavirus, given the goal to avoid stigma.

News Feb 5, 2020: A cruise ship in Japan quarantined thousands.

News Feb 2, 2020: The first coronavirus death was reported outside China.

News Jan 31, 2020: The Trump administration restricted travel from China

News Jan 30, 2020: The W.H.O. declared a global health emergency.

News Jan 23, 2020: Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million, was cut off by the Chinese authorities.

News Jan 20, 2020: Other countries, including the United States, confirmed cases. First case was official on Jan 21st.

News Jan 11, 2020: China reported its first death.

News Dec 31, 2020: Chinese authorities treated dozens of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause.