this forum has been of great help to me in the past few years, so I felt tonight to give back something that I hope can be useful to all of you watching the news about COVID19.
I'm writing you from Milan, Italy, now in complete lockdown.
Both my mom and I are fine, even if everything feels very unreal; today is the 3rd day we are just at home, without going out even 1 minute. Milan has become a ghost town, everything is closed except food shops and pharmacies. There’s an unreal silence night and day.
It feels like living in a movie, and everything happened so fast that we can’t wrap our minds around it, yet.
Things I wish I knew from the very start.
1. This is NOT just a heavy flue. There’s been a lot confusion in the beginning over here, many people on TV including doctors were saying this was just a heavy flue, so people kept going out and about. The mortality rate we are having in this very moment is 7,16%. It is not as bad as SARS or MERS but it's still more dangerous than a simple flue and it's extremely fast.
2. Despite what the government and many people keep saying, it is not true that just old people die and that they all had underlying conditions: doctors from inside hospitals are telling us that people perfectly healthy and in their 40s arrive in intensive care every day. Please be careful and protect yourself.
3. Plastic gloves make you feel much safer. I have learned from the Chinese to use toothpicks to touch elevators and atm machines buttons. This will save gloves.
3. If you buy a mask, be warned that most of them are not re-usable.
You probably know it already, I didn't. I just had 2 masks and now I feel scared to go out without one. Not a nice feeling.
4. A good mask DOES make a difference; in China many people who didn't catch the virus were the only ones wearing a mask in indoor spaces.
5. The first things that finished in supermarkets over here have been: alcohol, hands disinfectant, gloves, fruit.
6. If you are thinking at home delivery from supermarkets be aware that in an emergency scenario (that hopefully won't happen to any of you) websites will be so overwhelmed by orders that they will stop functioning. It took me 2 days to finally be able to order online and book a delivery slot and by the time I finally managed to make the order many things weren't available anymore. I'm not saying this to scare you, meaning that food is not a problem over here, at all, it's the amount of orders.
7. I didn't realize that the real reason to stock up some food is not that food won't be delivered to supermarkets anymore, is that people will buy the impossible and many things won't be available anymore. So DO stock up some, at least for 2/3 weeks.
8. Another thing I didn't anticipate is that the biggest worry I have at the moment is not catching the virus, or contaging my mother, even if yes, I'm a bit scared; the most preoccupying thing is that all hospitals are completely full, we don’t have a health system at the moment except than for COVID19, and this is something I have never experienced in my whole life.
9. I have put all helpers in holiday leave, a few days before the government ordered the lockdown and prohibition to move from home( which we actually fully share and support); this means that I'm alone with my mom and my cat. The sense of responsability is ten times stronger than normal, and it was already strong. I would say it's almost overwhelming sometime.
10. If you are alone, like I am, get some tranquillizers for bad moments; I have also bought some Rescue Remedy and it's helping me a lot.
11. We are experiencing an AMAZING support system around us; the government suspended all taxes, loans, fines, even parking fees, friends are calling us from all over the world and the international community at large has been so supportive it's really moving us, and all this is so, so important I can't even tell you. We are deeply grateful. We'll win this, all together ! with love