Travel Writing During the COVID-19 Crisis

December 1, 2020

Covid-19, when will it end?

CO = Corona VI = Virus D = December 19 = 2019  

It all started about one year ago in December and it is still going strong all over the world. Here in Italy, we have suffered Covid restrictions for almost half of the year. We were the poster children for the rise of Covid deaths after the China debacle. The whole world was watching. But Italy got serious and that changed.

We have lost millions of people all over the world to this disease and the side effects of it, such as an increase in domestic violence, suicides, and so many essential personnel gone from our side. Stores, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses have been shuttered for good for lack of business, lack of funds. I still cringe when I hear the sirens of the ambulances today.  Yet, humans in general prevail.

Laundry gets done. Food is cooked. So many people took up breadmaking that yeast had been difficult to find. While the US hoarded toilet paper, we in Italy found liquor companies stopping some production to make hand sanitizers. People began making facemasks from diving gear and more for essential workers . Other masks were also created, and small businesses of homemade masks popped up all over the country. Famous Italian businesses donated time, money, and manpower to the cause of saving Nonna and everyone else.

For me, I have been alone most of the year, untouched by human hands. Some days were difficult, maybe even desperate.  Still, I have had the privilege of living in Italy.

While in lockdown, I could hear the waves from inside my home—I could see the sea from my balcony. When I was severely ill, I still heard the sound of the sea. However, I could not smell the salt air or taste any food I attempted to eat. But the sea and sounds of my neighbors speaking Italian were with me. 

How are you coping? What are you doing to survive the crises of 2020? 

This week, December 1st, 2020, we in Chiavari are labeled as a Yellow Zone. Restaurants and bars are now open once again, at least until 6pm. I can enjoy a glass of wine or aperitivo by the sea as long as I am finished by 6pm.

For 5 euros that is my dinner.

The raging waves calm me as they express my strong dislike for lack of control over my life. 

Ortigia, Sicily—above and below

I have been driven to share my beautiful second country with those of you who are longing to be here.  I hope that the stories of my travels, when traveling was allowed, helped fill your heart with a bit of the soul of Italy.

The elders of Italy and how they are respected helps to fill my soul with hope for us all. 

The welcoming of the restaurant owners and chefs, even in the most sought-after locales, creates the mood we feel when in Italy.  

Fresh food from our daily, outdoor markets add flavor to Italy.

The beauty and color of the grape vines and olive trees, the ever-changing scenery of Italy keeps us enthralled and begging for more.

Scooters, Vespas, are Italian Icons we love to see.

Ruins like Colla Micheri, atop a small mountain and overlooking the sea—these places are the backbone of Italy. They remind us of how we are just a few intakes of breath in the history of this world. They encourage us to enjoy each breath, each moment and all who share it with us.

There is hope for a Covid vaccine coming just over the horizon. It won’t be the total answer but may help calm the rabid appetite of Covid. The best things we can do now are Social Distance, WEAR A MASK, and wash your dang hands please. Do NOT gather. Stay safe and dream of Italy in 2021. I will be ready to help you get here. 

In the meantime, let me leave you a photo of the Mediterranean Sea from above in Verezzi, Liguria. Hold on to the sea and start planning your return. It will happen. In the meantime, I will keep reminding you of what awaits.

A dopo.

Ciao for now!

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