Starting week 5 of the lock down

Starting week 5 of the lock down

Sunday, April 5th, 2020

It really is almost surreal how life changes when confined to the house for a long period of time. Kind of like being in prison without the the nasty roommates and guards and of course better food since I’m a pretty good cook. Still I and probably the other 60 million residents of Italy are going stir crazy.

I live mostly dressed with sweatpants, sweatshirt and house slippers. I get more suitably dressed a couple of times a week to go to the nearby supermarket and take out the trash. I have busied myself doing some tasks around the house. I started packing up a bunch of stuff anticipating a move in the not TOO distant future (I hope). I had the presence of mind to buy matching paint and spackle to fill the nail holes that were left where I hung my pictures. I even washed the windows – something that I never do normally.

Since I like to cook I made a bunch of ribolitta (a Tuscan type of minestrone) twice. Each time I eat it for a couple of nights and freeze the rest and when that was all eaten I made another big batch. I also made a spezzatino (basically a stew) and did the same eating and freezing routine. I bought probably too much fresh cod and ate that for 3 nights – it was really good so I’m not complaining.

Spezzatino di manzo (beef stew)
Cod with cherry tomatoes, olives and potatoes

I’ve started doing some exercises in the house using just body weight. Now I’ve read that it is permitted to do some outdoor exercise, at least walking around as long as you don’t stray far from your house. So today I went out and walked in the neighborhood for a total of about a mile. There are very few people anywhere to be seen so it’s easy to stay at least a couple of meters distant and since there was a nice breeze there is really zero chance of being infected.

One advantage, yes, an advantage of this need to stay at home is that it’s a great time to buy stuff from Amazon. They still are delivering and I’m always here. So I bought stuff for the new house. A bigger carello (shopping cart) that has 3 wheels to facilitate going up stairs, a smart 43″ TV for the new house, packing supplies, a magnetic knife rack, a microwave oven and a toaster oven. Actually Laura bought that last item and had it delivered to my address.

The new carrello and TV in background

One last thought. This crisis period is going to change behavior patterns and attitudes a lot. In time it will fade as memories fade but it may take a generation. I see it in myself. Right now the idea of being in a train, a tight quarters enclosed space, with a lot of people that I don’t know terrifies me. It will surely take a while after we’re free to mingle before I’ll really feel comfortable hugging friends. On the more positive side I really value the friends with whom I can talk with Whatsapp. I miss interactions even with people that I don’t know well – acquaintances at the gym, Mercato delle Erbe, the library . I’ve talked to others here and we all say that with all of this available time we seem unable to do useful things. We just want to waste it in a sense. Just make it pass; hour by hour, day by day, week by week until we get out of this tunnel and see more of the world and breath.

6 Responses to “Starting week 5 of the lock down”

  1. Victor Miller Says:

    We are late to the shut down party, but your posts are really wonderful. Grazie.

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks Victor. It’s of course trite to say, but “this too shall pass”. The question is when.


  3. Helen Brainerd Says:

    Hi Joe – love your musings! And the video was wonderful – thank you for sharing beautiful, deserted Bologna! Sounds like things are going well for you – other than this side trip we are all taking. Your culinary efforts are inspiring as well. Stay safe! Best, Helen and Abby

  4. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the comment Helen. Now I plan to make some cornbread soon. Cornbread and beans – real Okie food. Reminds me of my childhood in Oklahoma.


  5. Abby Pollak Says:

    Hi, Joe —
    Helen forwards me your wonderful musings — and I love love love the nuovo carrello!
    Stay safe,

  6. Joe Says:

    Hi Abby,

    You and Helen both know Bologna so the video is probably more special for you two. I hope that you come back to visit one of these days when everything is back to more or less normal.


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