It was exactly four weeks ago when we first heard about the coronavirus outbreak in Northern Italy. It feels like ages ago when there were only two specific red zones in lockdown in Italy. It was in the middle of the Carnival weekend, and the Governors of Veneto and Lombardia announced the closing of schools, museums, events, nightclubs, etc. Little did we know what was to come.
During these four weeks of quarantine, lockdown, self-isolation, shelter-in-place, or whatever you want to call it, the conditions and restrictions gradually evolved, and now Italy isn’t alone anymore in its lockdown, we don’t feel as lonely and the only ones forced into the Coronavirus “prison.”
It has been four consecutive weeks of daily bad news, of changes, and adaptations, and increased anxiety. It puts everyone to the test. Some handle it well, others are struggling, and if we’re honest, it is getting harder and harder for us too.
By now, it even starts feeling normal, not having personal face-to-face interactions. Days go by, and we don’t even notice that we haven’t seen anyone other than just us, and that is worrying. When we have to go grocery shopping (twice a week), it feels like going out to a war zone, feeling worried for one another for having to go outside.
With our world stopping, we found new space and time to reevaluate what really matters to us. We let go of unnecessary thoughts as we no longer have to run anywhere. We no longer have deadlines to respect. We no longer have to buy stuff. We no longer have the routine that didn’t allow us to make time for ourselves and for those we love.
Four weeks in, and we’ve found a new balance that doesn’t include the outside physical world, but it includes more patience, more empathy, more listening, and more technology that connects us to people we care about.
We have never felt so intentional about making time for people and for meaningful conversations. We worry about many of our friends who are alone in lockdown, some of them are single moms without income during these weeks. We worry about their mental well-being and their jobs.
We worry about our parents, and we worry about closed businesses and the general economic impact of these shutdown days. We worry about the long-term psychological effect of growing anxiety and uncertainty as it isn’t clear with how many broken bones we will come out of this situation. The aim is to break as few as possible.
So beyond our videos, that are meant to make people smile, we stare at all the pallets of wine that never left from here and wonder when and how we will be able to sell them because currently, there is no plan. We can’t have one, and that is, for us, the bone that is slowly breaking.
And as the lockdown is imposed on so many millions of people around the world, many of you are in the same exact situation as us, and we hope you have enough wine to get through it with patience and grace. And if not, reach out, we’ll try to cheer you up.