Tuesday, April 14, 2020

COVID19 Easter

This will go down in history as the covid19 Easter when the Easter bunny was challenged to wear a face mask and gloves to hide the eggs in people's apartments.

Piazza San Carlo in this half XL choco egg of Caffé Torino in 2015

Italy has been fully locked down for about 6 weeks now and slowly the curve is bending. Cuba sent some additional 38 doctors and nurses specifically to Turin (after the initial 52 to Lombardy) because even though Piedmont is still the third hardest hit region in Italy, we'll soon be the second one 😨
At this point, our recovered patients are doubling in numbers compared to both deaths (about 97 daily) and new cases, and our ICUs are discharging patients.
Nobody really knows for certain when we are finally allowed to go back outside: the Italian government dreaded the Easter long week-end because traditionally it comprises of the Easter Monday too, and all over the boot, people take advantage of the nice weather to go to the beach, the mountains or the lakes.
At least here, up in the Northwest of Italy, 2020 saw everyone at home, and a national drop in the sales of our amazingly huge chocolate eggs and colomba cakes - the Italian dove shaped panettone-like Easter cake. After all, pastry shops as well as artisan gelato shops are closed and can only stay in business with their deliveries.

pastry shop colomba cake, glazed and decorated from Caval d'Brons, old historic café in Turin, 2015

Since our last post about the huge difficulties of our educational system and national mentality to transition to a full online teaching method, we can report that the situation is as diverse as the Italian dialects 😯: some schools in some regions are striving and others are basically just sending homework: book pages to study, compositions, exercises and links of videos or articles to watch/read online.
If you can speak Italian or understand it, click here for the point made on April 27 2020...

This should come as a surprise since the official website of the Italian social security and pension office crashed and was breached in 2h, sharing the data of up to 20 citizens, right on day one for the freelancers to enroll for the codvid19 relief fund.
The European internet lines are still the same as well, and nobody at the EU level is talking about any post-pandemic plan to improve them; the same applies to the medical records that are still very localized.
About this though, we are proud to precise that Piedmont has a more efficient online system than most of the other Italian regions that quickly upgraded, at least in part. On one of the Italian government websites, the residents of Piemonte and their doctors keep all the drug prescriptions thus limiting useless face to face contacts, visits, travels and exposure to the virus. 
Also on Easter Monday, one of the top Piedmont and Italian (European) surgeons invited Italy to create COVID19 only hospital like in China to allow all the others to regularly work in safety. It doesn't look like though many countries are really following this plan...

Piazza San Carlo, the crowded Stratta café dehors back in April 2019, we're missing that soo much 😭

Top Italian epidemiologists and virologists say that we will have to live with the virus and will never really go back to our old normal. The beaches on the Adriatic coast are being organized so that the sunbeds can be set at 2m distance to guarantee the safety distance. Despite all, many are already thinking about the summer and it felt depressing to read that the president of the European Commission, Ursula Van Der Leyen said the deconfinement phase will go on till Christmas 😰

Because April has another national holiday on the 25th and then May 1st is the European Labor Day,  the Italian government has chosen May 3 has the next covid19 lock down deadline. France just announced they'll be locked down to May 11th and because our numbers are dropping so slowly, we all suspect we'll be too till the end of May 😢

Courtesy of LaStampa online edition

Austria though is sending positive signs as they are reopening the country on April 14th and the Italian Northeast region of Veneto, once one of the 2 hot spots of the pandemic, is allowing joggers and factories to reopen. The Spanish industrial production started too.
Like in many other places around the world, the wildlife has come back to our cities: a mama duck followed by her 11 ducklings walked undisturbed through the Turin downtown on their way to the Po river for a swim (on April 18 another mama duck and her ducklings were helped to a fountain); some deer came down our vineyard topped hills to stroll along the river banks; a badger visited our largest hospital garden; rabbits are feeling safe enough to hope around during the day, and many boars are enjoying the veggies of the gardens in the suburb. Foxes are visiting houses too, wolves are seen in the mountain villages and little snakes are found too.

Art Nouveau house in the Cit Turin hood, near Piazza Statuto

Whatever our future holds, we really hope we will all know how to make the best out of these terrible months. In Italy in particular, this will have to mean more investments in the healthcare system, scientific research, internet infrastructures, an upgrade of our educational system with a consequent school reform, and a new vision of the personal space, eg: how houses/apartments/offices can be redesigned to make the next potential shelters in place more bearable for all.
Unfortunately, the WHO has already warned us all that there will be more pandemics in the next 10-15 years, so why not getting ready instead of getting a sudden surprise like in 2020?!
Hopefully, the EU and the world will understand what the real priorities are, how the economy without a functional healthcare system can be quickly wiped out.

eating out in one of the many Piazza Vittorio restaurants, cafés and trattorias, 2018

Money without health is useless just like a polluted and dying planet depleted of all its resources.

May this coronavirus19 pandemic mark a green new deal era for the whole world; and may we retain the teachings of mother nature: without humanity, planet Earth can strive, vice versa, the human exploitation of the whole planet and its resources will be detrimental to our own species 😖

Tutto andrà bene 🙏 keep Turin on your post-pandemic travel list, and you'll still be able to take advantage of a gorgeous non-touristy destination 😍

E-mail Lucia: turinepi@gmail.com for your privatetours, classes and tastings.

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