Today is the 10th day I have been living at home under lockdown in Rome, Italy because of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. I’ve decided to write something short on here each day as family and friends have asked me to share more about my experience.
The US is said to be about to raise its global travel advisory to the highest level, level four, advising Americans not to travel and to come home. But while a recommendation, it would not be a requirement and many of the millions of Americans living overseas are expected to stay abroad. Like me.
I’m honestly more worried about friends and family in the United States tonight than I am worried about my own safety. Although having the border to your homeland close with you on the other side is a strange feeling. It gives me chills.
I respect the decisions that Italy is making even if they are requiring me to shelter in place and lay low for weeks. I do not feel as if I am living under house arrest. Italy’s extreme measures make me feel safer. It’s not my decision to stay home. It’s my obligation. If I don’t like it, there’s the police to contend with.
Living in lockdown is also not a punishment. We’ve learned that we are lucky and that our home in the suburbs and our computer jobs are very conducive to lockdown. We can continue to work full time. We have plenty of outdoor space in our garden and on our terraces to get some fresh air. The stores remain well-stocked.
Cloudy days do feel empty, but when the sun comes out like it did today, it sounds like a party outside. Music and the smell of barbecue for dinner are drifting in the windows while I write. Romans prefer the sun.
We live for meals in lockdown and sit down to a proper spread for both lunch and dinner. Although to be honest this is how we always live, lockdown or no lockdown. On an average non-lockdown week, we probably cook 18 or 19 of 21 meals at home. We pack lunch most days and usually cook dinner.
My boyfriend Roberto just pulled hamburger buns from the oven for burgers tonight and a shipment of beer from CRAK Brewery in Padova, Italy arrived for him this afternoon. He is sampling it now in a remote aperitivo with a group of friends.
I’m happy here, even in lockdown, even facing the fears we all are. I hope this passes soon and that I’ll be able to travel to the US this summer. A doctor friend warns us that we probably won’t be dining out in Italy until May.
So for tonight, I’m here. I’m going to get off the computer now as I’ve been on it all day, practice some yoga, place an order for some more supplies, open some wine and grill some burgers outside in the garden.