Who would have thought of it? We are entering the second decade of the century with a pandemic that will likely change the whole world in a few weeks. In challenging times like these, when we are all forced to stay home, we need to feel united, even if distant from one another.
We collected some experiences from people to create a shared Quarantine Diary. On these pages everyone can tell his emotions and share them with others who probably feel the same. Exchanging ideas, thoughts and considerations is a way to keep ourselves creative and united.
If you want to tell us your point of view, email us at [email protected]. – we will be happy to add your story to this article.
Let’s give voice to our thoughts and with this shared strength we will get back to our lives soon.
Silvia: a journey to rediscover emotions
Now more than ever I realize how little I listen to myself, my needs, my emotions. The everyday life I knew was always made of frenzy, events, meeting people, things happening. I had never a moment of silence and calm to listen to myself. I always let everything else come first. During the fourth week of quarantine within the walls of my house, I feel that the most important (re)discovery I made is myself. My thoughts, the sensations of my body and my feelings. I often feel sad, angry, but also happy, grateful, thoughtful, worried. And sometimes, all together. The truth is that I feel alive today more than ever.
Erica: creativity as the way to feel better
During this lockdown my mood goes up and down. Thoughts come and go. To find a balance I introduced a new daily routine. I try to have meals at regular hours, I cut out breaks from work at the desk to take a walk on the balcony and release physical and mental stress.
I don’t mind staying at home: I read, listen to music, draw, create collage boards by cutting out images from old magazines. I take photographs with my smartphone to the objects I have scattered around the house (I intend to make an album out of them). I change the arrangement of the furniture in the living room, I try and try again all my 79 nail polishes on. In short, I enjoy my time during lockdown. But my body made me understand that I need to move more so I often follow many online fitness classes. I also tried Yoga for the first time, and meditation, that I loved, too.
Over the weekend I allow myself an evening of total relaxation with my boyfriend – my quarantine roommate – with comfort food, wine and karaoke. Otherwise, I catch up with friends over a video call. For this, I do my makeup as if we were going out for an aperitif. Anything creative makes me feel positive towards the future.
Pietro: family first
My wife and I are fine, that’s the most important thing to me. Over these hard times of forced isolation, social fear and global emergency, being able to spend time with family is an even more precious luxury. I spend these days of early spring carrying out as much work as possible: I am the owner of a small business that is temporarily shut down. After a first moment of great discouragement, thanks to the support of my wife Anna and my loved ones, at a distance, I recovered, and I am now experiencing this with greater optimism. I am aware that there will be consequences, and decisions will have to be made, but in times like these, when people’s health is the priority, everything else must be put into perspective.
Clotilde: board games, sports, memories and thoughts
Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have been in quarantine for over a month – being asthmatic and with the arrival of spring, I had to take further precautions. Forced isolation is hard but I am learning not to be lazy. In my “pre-Covid19 life” I tended to experience the house just by falling asleep on the sofa while watching Netflix after work. Now, I have a new daily routine: I wake up, I take an energizing shower, turn on the laptop and work until noon. In the evening I watch a movie, or I enjoy playing cards (“Briscola” and “Scopa” above all, I have become unbeatable). I rediscovered the pleasure of board games, such as Cluedo or Trivial Pursuit.
I also learned to keep the house in order – I admit it, I never did it before. I always found an excuse for not doing it. But now it even gives me satisfaction! The rest of the time I do some sport: I am lucky to have a wide garden. Here I spend time with my dogs, mow the lawn, I try to tan, I do some yoga and pilates. Perhaps this year will be the first that I will be in shape for the summer.
I’m joking about it because it makes me feel better. However, I miss my parents and my grandmother. I miss having a beer at the bar with friends, going to exhibitions, I miss walking around the city over the weekend. But I believe that small sacrifices are worth the effort to keep us safe and come back to life soon. I recently had the opportunity to think back then when my grandfather used to tell me about the war. I was a child and I never thought I could find myself in such a situation. Instead here we are, all in quarantine, running to stock up on food before there is no more. My hope is that we will regain civic sense, we will really learn to enjoy little things, and that Italy will become stronger. I hope that the “Italianness” will no longer remain only a symbol of quality but also the face of all the people behind it and the strength of a country that made it possible.
Amelia: the quarantine as an opportunity for personal growth
I am experiencing this unusual, stressful and difficult situation as an opportunity for personal growth. I try to welcome all the emotions that come to me: from pain to fear, but also gratitude, hope and serenity. I treasure every inspiration that I find online following yoga classes, browsing through magazines.
I try to feel closer to the people I love with video calls and messages. I meditate, when I feel I need it most, in silence, I stay with my breath, to find the balance that I lack. Cooking for me is another form of meditation so I cook a lot to enjoy the food that I can buy, its colours, scents, flavours. I paint and create small household items. I write, look out of the window, cuddle my cats and hug my partner, after weeks of isolation in which we have not been able to stay close to each other.
I’m scared. Of illness, of death, of time passing by. I’m afraid that returning to our previous lives will no longer be possible or at least not as we imagine it. But I cultivate this limitless time trying to shift attention from fear to well-being and to learn something new from all this.
Most of all I enjoy my home, my corner of heaven, where I feel free – although this may seem like an oxymoron, given the forced quarantine. At home we can be ourselves more than anywhere else in the world. I enjoy my own space, every inch of the parquet where I walk barefoot, the large windows, the bookcase that I decorated with a row of lights (those from the Christmas tree). I get rid of objects that no longer represent me, I make space, not to fill it in again but to live more freely in it.
Davide: to face death and life at the same time
I never expected to find myself in such a situation. I recently lost my mother and my partner is pregnant with our second child. There is a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, a lot of pain. I work from home so I can keep earning a living and this makes me feel more secure. Working in the digital field, I still have a lot to do: meetings with customers have turned into video calls, more emails are sent, and all activities proceed more or less regularly.
With my son at home every day, coexistence is often stressful, but my wife and I do everything possible to organize ourselves. I spend more time with my boy, and this makes me happy. My wife has renewed all the furnishings in the house, she says it relaxes her and I let her do it. Sometimes I look at her curiously as she concentrates on deciding where to place a framed picture or serving dishes. I think each of us in this situation finds his own way of spending time, feeling more confident, relaxed, fit in. I don’t do much sport, but I discovered the pleasure of fitness by following online workouts recommended by some apps.
Federica and Virginia: giving value to time and home
We are two sisters who share a flat in Milan. We are facing these days of forced quarantine, really trying to reap the benefits of all this free time, that for the moment, does not have a deadline. We are learning to exploit it, without however feeling the obligation to necessarily fill it. We do many things when we feel like it. Physical exercises suggested by our personal trainer or some newly downloaded fitness app. We try not to turn this into an obsession. We do it only for a couple of days a week to relieve our back pain.
We have taken up cooking although we were never really into it. We are experimenting with imagination and we prepare our favourite snacks: pancakes and crepes. Federica has even learned how to make candles at home! We paint with watercolours, we read books we never had time to read before, and at times we do it during a hot bath. We made bracelets and we would like to try to paint a T-shirt with the “tye-dye” technique, of which we have always been big fans but never tried before.
Perhaps, the best thing we’ve learned recently is looking at the house differently. We both never appreciated the fortune of living in a space that we love and feel ours. For this reason, in the evening we meet in the living room to discuss how to optimize the rooms together. We are doing a lot of decluttering, getting rid of objects unused for a long time, changing the arrangement of the furniture to find a new point of view, and renewing it with some new accessories purchased online. It’s nice to feel safe at your nest.
Carlo: remote working, today and tomorrow
Working with computers has always been my life, I am part of the IT department of my company and working remotely is no news for me. Although not being able to go outside, walking in the open air and interacting with others is very difficult for me, too. I’ve always been called a “nerd” by friends. I try to disconnect from the computer for a couple of breaks during the day, I do some exercise in the tavern, I watch documentaries and films that I have never seen. I’m not a video call guy, but mom can’t be denied seeing her “baby” at a time like this, can she?
Working remotely is in my opinion one of those aspects that Italy still needed to improve in order to discover its full potential. Right now, when the spread of coronavirus has forced the whole country to work from home building solid foundations of what we call “smart working” has become necessary. You only need an adequate workstation, a timeline to follow, some catch up calls with the team. Working from home can be very productive, it is simple, practical, it responds to many individual needs as well as reducing business costs, and therefore it should be encouraged. Who knows, after this experience many companies may understand it.
Emanuele and Vincenzo: the importance of hope
During the quarantine, we focused on the fact that we lost many small aspects of our daily life that we did not notice before. A simple aperitif with friends, a coffee break on the fly with colleagues. We often took these things too much for granted and now we miss them. Perhaps, this global crisis will teach everyone something.
We often wonder what will become of us, of our lives, after coronavirus. In the meantime, we try to respect the rules: we stay home, we cook new recipes, we do some works out in the living room, waiting for the gyms to be reopened, we tide up the house and especially we keep our hopes high.