Milan in the time of Coronavirus: Wednesday 4th March: Game Changer


L'Amore ai tempi del Co...vid-19 by street artist Tvboy

L’Amore ai tempi del Co…vid-19 by street artist Tvboy featured in Saturday’s Corriere della Sera. The original “Bacio” (The Kiss) by Francesco Hayez is in the Pinacoteca di Brera here in Milan.

Postponed, Juventus v’s Milan in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, scheduled to take place today.

The decision was taken as a precautionary measure, in line with the latest “nuove decreti” (new regulations) for combatting the spread of Covid-19. Here’s the latest regulations which were publicized yesterday:

  1. Keep a distance of at least 1 metre between you and another person
  2. Do not kiss, hug or shake hands when greeting or saying goodbye
  3. Stay away from crowded places
  4. Stay indoors if you have a low fever, even if you have no signs of having contracted the virus
  5. Stay at home if you’re over 75 years of age, or 65 years of age if you are unwell.

That’s not all the scary news. Schools have been ordered to stay shut until the 15th March!  That’s a good chunk of my monthly income for March wiped out. This is serious stuff. I enjoyed the unexpected week off last week, but this is a game changer.

Caffé macchiato con un ciocolato

Caffé macchiato and a sweet treat on Via Lorenteggio, Milan

Thank God for the internet. I’m going to need to get creative and techy about this to get through it financially. Necessity is the mother of invention. I can give Skype lessons, translate (thankfully the situation doesn’t drastically effect translation work), become a professional poker player, write a best selling guide called “Safe Sex in the Time of Coronavirus” (if it hasn’t already been written), or “How to Have a Virtual Sex Life” – one couple who haven’t even read my (unwritten) book yet, have already got pregant.

There’s always opportunists ready to make a quick buck at any cost. Take for example, the online Coronavirus Shop (covered on the news this morning) where you could find masks, gloves, overalls, various kits etc all at “prezzi stratosferici” (crazy prices), but guaranteed to 100% protect you from becoming infected with the virus. Who knows how many people got ripped off? That’s not right.

“Pazienza,” says N.

One daily ritual I’m missing is a macchiato (an espresso with a drop of steamed milk) and a sweet treat – some days I have two, but since I’m not running around Milan giving lessons and meeting friends or going on dates, it hasn’t been part of my day. So yesterday I had one on Via Lorenteggio. There were people out and about, mums with buggys, people waiting at the bus stop and sitting in the café. Then I strolled down to Via Solari where lots of famous fashion brands have their showrooms. There were people on the street there too. I looked into a restaurant and there were a few people having lunch. And there were people in the supermarket, and groceries on the shelves. And I wasn’t the only person wearing latex gloves! (N and I have decided to wear latex gloves from the minute we go out and then take them off the second we get back by rolling them off our hands so they’re inside out, and we stick them in the bin like that).

It’s fine, it is, it’s just a bit surreal while at the same time, reality is beginning to set in.

Fendi showroom, via Solari, Milan

Fendi showroom, Via Solari, Milan

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