I'll be honest: I deeply thought about whether to write this post or not.
I didn't want to accumulate alarmism on a situation that is already like a pressure cooker ready to explode at any moment, and I confess I'm quite exhausted in reading "covid19/coronavirus" almost everywhere, on social feeds, tv news etc.
However, the latest events here in Italy will deeply influence our everyday life for a while (I hope for a short while) so I think it's time to spend some words to describe how we are dealing with this situation.
First of all, I want (again) to reassure you about my health (I'm fine) and above all, I want to reassure you about the Kickstarter rewards that we managed to ship 'till now: all the DPF shipments are prepared manually by me and my girlfriend, and we both are fine. So if you'll receive your well-deserved rewards, do not hesitate to enjoy your new miniatures: they are totally safe, they need your love (and we too)!
Said so, we got up this morning with major upheavals, concerning my beloved country: the whole Lombardia (the richest Italian region) and 14 provinces of North Italy have been declared "red zone": no people can move to or from them, at least 'till April 3rd.
This one of a kind quarantine has been established to contain as much as possible the epidemic of Covid19, but you don't have to think about Italy as a kind of open-air lazaret, with hundreds of thousands of zombies that slowly march on the streets.
Despite this virus is a serious menace, especially for older people (and Italy is the oldest country of Europe, concerning the average age of the population, so here is why we can't underestimate it), it is particularly dangerous because of two facts: it is very contagious (after all, it is an unknown virus for our antibodies) and we don't have specific medicines or vaccine against it.
For this reason, a significant percentage of infected individuals has to be hospitalized and many of them require intensive therapies.
It is important to contain as much as possible the epidemic because our (well, any!) Healthcare System can't handle a very high number of patients needy of intensive care units. Here is why Italy is fighting this epidemic with draconian measures: we simply don't want to arrive at a point where there would be more infected individuals than intensive care units available.
So, here is the actual situation of my country, and despite I live in a yellow zone (Turin, in Piedmont) and my family in an even safer zone (Liguria), this latest government decision might strongly affect my work: the sorting centre that handles all our shipments is located in Lombardia! I've not received an official statement from them, but I fear that it is likely that, until this red zone quarantine ends, we won't be able to ship any other box!
As you may imagine, this could slow down a lot all the KS rewards delivery and of course the normal fulfilment of regular orders: please, be patient!
Obviously, my working troubles are just a drop in the ocean, compared to those who really are suffering the pains of hell because of this virus, and I would like to spend some words for them and for all the people directly involved.
During these last weeks, I can honestly say to have seen a kind of "humanity resume": I've seen the worst and best of our society, and even if there were horrible things that deserve to be written and never forgotten when all of this will be only a memory (here in Turin, there have been beasts that menaced, discriminated and even physically assaulted Chinese citizens or Italians of Chinese origins, because of the virus psychosis, an unforgivable shame for all of us), I want to focus on the brightest sides of mankind.
All Italians doctors, nurses and health workers of the regions hit by the virus are really fighting a 24/7 war, working tirelessly to handle a situation that is already overwhelming: retired doctors, for example, came back to work to help their colleagues to face the emergency and I personally know health workers that are literally living buried at hospitals since weeks, sleeping there in order not to waste precious hours.
Private companies are helping the Healthcare System, like Esselunga that is donating 2.5 million to the hospitals involved by the emergency and is offering free-shipping for grocery deliveries to over 65 years old people (this way, they don't need to go to the supermarket, preventing as much as possible the contagion), or Xiaomi, that is donating thousands of health masks.
Talking about health masks, I want to show you the pics that moved me (and us) the most:
These are boxes full of health mask, given to us from China.
The words written mean "We are with you, go on Italy!!" and I can guarantee how much a simple encouragement like that has been appreciated, here: thank you so much.
I don't want to get political (this is not the place) but once all of this is over, we Italians should really think about how many of us recently discriminated and refused those poor peoples that came from war regions of Africa, screaming "close the borders!" and minimizing others' suffering: now we are those in danger, we are those that see others scream against us "close the borders!". We should deeply reflect on that, once the emergency is over and learn an important, possibly life-long, lesson.
Talking about average people, luckily the notorious "good heart" of Italians, that for a while I thought was only a memory, started to beat again, and many people here are trying to help as much as possible, as volunteers or, more simply, organizing grocery shopping for older people, like the families of this building:
To prevent the most vulnerable people from going outside to buy food, two families of this building are offering their help to buy food for the older residents.
It is a silent battle, indeed, fought in a surreal battlefield: I'm looking outside my window, at this moment, and the world seems totally normal. As I wrote before, I'm really struggling to understand the situation, because everything seems just...normal.
Of course, living in a relatively safe region (but I fear that soon even Turin could be declared red zone, after all, it is one of the biggest city of North Italy), the virus epidemic is not as evident as I imagine to be in Lombardia. Sometimes, it happens to see somebody wearing a mask, and there are far fewer cars on the streets (this is not bad, after all). Otherwise, life here flows quietly as always.
And what about me?
Luckily, I'm one of the privileged people and, at least 'till now, I've not been directly involved by this messed up situation.
As written above, it is possible that the next month could be troubled, especially for what concerning the remaining KS reward to deliver, but I honestly can't complain too much about, considering how many people are really suffering (the damages to the Italian market are incalculable, especially for what concerns the tourism sector).
I'm confident that this emergency will be over soon, and despite it's not fair that Italy has been treated like a "world incubus" (we learned that the first European infected was in Germany, so it is obvious that the situation outside Italian borders is the same -or worse- than ours...), I'm proud of all the compatriots that since the beginning are fighting with no rest.
Italians are weird, we Italians know it and are aware of it: we are undisciplined, loud, too often rude, socially selfish and, lately, we really showed to the world the worst of us.
But for some reasons, the darkest the situation gets, the brightest we can shine.
It's like we remember who we really are, and what we can achieve, only when the world falls apart.
I know that this last statement of mine might seem too generalist or stereotyped, even populist (and maybe it is, sorry), but deep inside my heart I know one thing for sure: if there is one country able to face an emergency like this, it is ours.
We will soon come back to normality and we will rebuild what the virus is destroying (in specific: lives, not walls or buildings).
In the meantime, I suggest to take care of you and your families and take advantage of this forced vacancy to start some new hobby project: now more than ever, our hobby represents a safe and joyful activity!