By Laura Collica, Turin, Italy, 20 March 2020, 11:25am
Day one: It is my third week at home. I am pregnant, and my company decided to give me the smart working benefit. My husband has worked from home since last week, when the national lockdown was set, and he is the one who goes out. It is better to be cautious. So, I take my fresh air from our terrace on the 7th floor in downtown Turin. Spring is coming, and the sun is warmer day after day. From my living room, I learn neighbours habits and watch as the queue to enter the supermarket changes day by day. I am a data scientist and a keen observer: I love to analyse phenomena and find patterns.
During the night, people walk their dogs, just to have a reason to go out. Due to the lockdown, we cannot go to our country house. I miss the garden, the flowers and veggies, and I am worried about the planted seeds that haven’t been watered for days. Unfortunately, news is not encouraging, and flash mobs from balconies are organised on social media almost every day. Today, we all looked out the window at 9pm with our torches on to make us visible from above and to greet each other. Sense of community restored.
Day two: My day always starts looking from my window to the sun rising behind the hills. It is my morning ritual, established well before this lockdown period. Rather than going to work by car, I walk a couple of meters into my improvised home office. Starting work earlier in the morning means more time in the evening for yoga, that now is a constant and not a nice-to-have moment. Today I finished my exercises at sunset, paying attention to my belly. I have started the second trimester and I am waiting for a poke from my baby girl. Undoubtedly, smart working allows me to have more time for myself and to be less stressed. However, the worries about this corona virus pandemic are real, and it is a pity to be far from family and friends. With my husband, we try to think positively, watching my belly growing and dreaming about our future of three. We also spend more time cooking, and avoiding food delivery which we've became too accustomed to over the past few months. Tonight, I prepared a recipe learned in Mantova some years ago, “polenta con sugo di salsiccia e fagioli”. It is not a difficult one, but the sauce must cook slowly for hours. This kind of thing makes home. We must try and rediscover the beauty behind simple acts, such as cooking for ourselves. An advantage of this forced isolation.
Day three: I talked with the girls today. The Skype calls with L Sere and Ali were introduced in 2014 when we started to be scattered around the planet due to our research fellowships. At the moment, two of us are in Italy (Turin and Rome), one in London and another in NY. On a temporal scale, we are not separated by time zone only, but also by the corona virus. In Italy we are about 10 days ahead of the UK and the United States: here we are reaching the contagion peak, while there the diffusion is just starting and lockdown procedures are still under discussion. We shared worries and thoughts, as we always do. Smart working is easy with my office job, a different story is teaching in high-school or doing research in a medical laboratory. These are challenges that require all our emotional intelligence and sense of adaptation. This and other reflections brought us to think about how the Earth benefits from the lockdown and from the travel reduction: less smog, less noise. Northern Italy is now almost free from pollution, dolphins are back in the Italian harbours, ducks and swans swim freely in the fountains of Rome and in the Venice canals. It is a high price to pay, and it would be a shame to get out of this pandemic without any lessons learned. Slow down and change lifestyle to let the Earth breathe, to let her recover. This would be the happy ending of this 2020, a gift for our baby girl.
Life in lockdown. Womankind approached its community to write about life in lockdown around the globe, notably a three-day diary of everyday life under the threat of COVID-19. Womankind is publishing these stories freely to show how the pandemic is affecting women from all over the globe - from New York, to Barcelona to Glastonbury.
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