A week ago, the Italian government announced a three-tiered system for restrictions to tackle the coronavirus. Each region (similar to a State in the USA) would be declared either yellow, orange, or red depending on the coronavirus metrics. But the good news was that Tuscany was yellow, so not a lot of changes. Last night the government announced that Tuscany is orange.
What to do?
- “Snack” with friends at his restaurant (after closing). Well, the snack was several courses and included four bottles of wine. The restaurant will be closed now with only take out and delivery allowed. Two of his friends have been helping at the restaurant and staying with him because their cruise ship jobs are on hold until. They’ll head “home” tomorrow and we will miss them.
- Lunch with the Rice’s, an American couple that live in Lucca and have become great friends. Lousy lighting in the photo, but an impressive last meal before the lockdown. We’ll continue meeting with them at least weekly via Zoom as we pray and discuss books together.
- Shopping for items that we may have a hard time getting. We don’t expect problems getting food, buying essentials, and can order stuff on Amazon. So, we went shopping for decorations for a Christmas tree that we plan to put up in December. And Jim went to Pisa to buy some bottles of 2001 Col D’Orcia Brunello at a great price.
This lockdown shouldn’t be as restrictive as during March and April. We’ll be able to take walks and ride bicycles on Lucca’s wall, a beautiful park that surrounds the city. I think that most stores will remain open, but am not sure about that. Late breaking news… rumor on the street is that the government plans a total lockdown if the numbers don’t start improving in five days.
So, how did we get here again??? Below are two graphs that I created from data that is freely available from a government website. The first shows data from all of Italy; the second is the region of Tuscany, where we live. The blue lines shows the number of new cases reported each day. You can clearly see that the two peaks – and that this second peak is much higher than the first. I believe that this is because there is so much testing being done now as compared to the first peak. During the first peak, most of the testing was done for people coming to the hospital with severe symptoms of COVID-19. Yep, they had the virus. Now there is lots of lots of testing being done, even on people without any symptoms. So the non-symptomatic, but infected, people are now being identified. The more problematic curve is the red line, showing the people that are in intensive care. You’ll see that the curve is still a bit lower than the first peak. The hospitals were full during the first peak and they are filling fast now. Fortunately, the Italian health system has prepared for this second wave.
And you can see that I still find all kinds of reasons to analyze data in my newly retired life. 😉
So we have big plans for lockdown – read, study Italian, do several jigsaw puzzles, play games, watch Puccini operas (full length operas available on youtube.com!), walk and bicycle the walls, walk through the city, and enjoy the quiet.
Because of the coronavirus, things have changed here over the past few weeks. And we are well aware of all of the changes and challenges in America. We think and pray for our families, friends, and the country’s leaders everyday.