Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Eleanor Finley Reports From Italy

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This comes from a Facebook Site “Protect the People”. In Ireland, state policing of people’s movements is not so restrictive (yet); we can learn from Eleanor’s report.

Italy update: Ciao amici (hi friends). Life under lockdown here in the Friuli region is slowly evolving, so I thought I’d post another update. Normally, I try to keep things upbeat, but today is a little different. Here’s the latest:

  • Escalated police presence: My husband Pierre went to add money to his phone today and a police checkpoint was at the end of our street taking temperatures and asking for papers. He also got pulled over at a checkpoint on the way home from his mom’s house yesterday (just doing her shopping, no direct contact). The whole “papers” requirement is strange because what if you don’t have a home printer? We sure don’t. So, basically, the police just ask where you are going and then allow you to leave. But one has to ask to what extent states can/are going to take advantage of these conditions and make temporary “security measures” permanent. FTP.
  • Every day at about 4-5 pm, the protezione civile (national agency tasked with emergency management) drives through our neighborhood blaring orders to stay inside. I support staying inside obviously, but it’s not clear to me that this serves a purpose other than to scare people. I suppose that helps keep all of the hopelessly cavalier dummies inside but it also produces a sense of doom and foreboding.

-Tightening restrictions: The Italian govt. announced this weekend that parks and virtually all public spaces are closed. This means no going for walks or bike rides, even just by yourself on the sidewalk. Again, I support all the physical distancing that’s necessary, but I question whether this might be counter-productive by making people less active and healthy. Despite this extreme level of disruption to daily life, the govt. still keeps MANY industries open and people are working shoulder to shoulder in factories and offices. Capitalists still be capitalizing.

-Today in our neighborhood literally everything is closed except supermarkets, presumably. When Pierre had to go put money on his phone, both the tobacco shop (the Italian version of a corner store) and the ATM were closed. This makes me nervous because if you can’t top up your phone, how are you supposed to contact your family? What if you get sick? I still use my contracted American phone, so that’s a relief. But still…it’s these little details that make you nervous.

  • More death: Yesterday in Italy, the death toll went up to 10% relative to the number of new infections. This reflects a slowing infection rate, which is good. But it once again just shows how evil this virus is. It’s hard to fathom how many thousands have died (7,500+) in just a few short weeks.
  • I haven’t left the house now in 15 days. My voluntary quarantine is technically over but, frankly, I’m not feeling awesome today. I have a persistent, very annoying headache, fatigue, and once read my temp with a super slight fever. But hopefully, it’s just stress.

Which reminds me…

  • I’ve noticed virtually everyone here is having some weird stress-related physical issue or another like heartburn, ear pain, or oversleeping. If you’re not experiencing this already, try to just be mindful of how your own body manifests stress. Psychosomatic discomfort is real, and panicking when the problem is psycho-somatic in origin can make things a lot worse. So listen to your body…but also, don’t OVER-listen to your body. Tackle the root problem, which is fear and stress.
  • Just to end on a positive note, here is a photo of my and my husband’s latest quarantine adventure. Last night, we pitched a tent in the living room, set some nighttime cricket sounds on a loop, and had a “camping” trip. Of course, I woke up at 3 am and crawled back into our real bed ;P but it was 100% worth it to take a “trip” together and relax. Highly recommend 🙂

Good luck everyone. Ti voglio bene.

Camping  in Quarantine

Written by tomasoflatharta

Mar 26, 2020 at 5:47 pm

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