One member of our development team lives in Northern Italy, which for a time was the alarming epicenter of the outbreak. The initial reaction among family and friends was skepticism. How could this be happening here?
For Francesco, his wife Giulia, and their 18-month old son, Davide, life is still far from normal. Francesco has been working from home as he often does. Of special concern is that Giulia is a health care professional working in a COVID-19 designated hospital. At first, the personal protective equipment (PPE) was running low, but now things are better. Once fully suited she resembles an astronaut.
Very early on, they decided that they were not going to go to extreme efforts to isolate from each other. It just wasn’t practical to try to keep Davide away from his mother! In fact, if they were going to get into trouble it would be together. There was a very strict crack down on being outside. Giulia and Davide were walking together in a nearby vineyard when they were stopped by police! Luckily, they could point to the house and were not fined. Imagine!
Francesco reports that the disruption that is the hardest to bear is not being able to see family – especially when you have a toddler. But the more mundane tasks like going to the market or pharmacy are more difficult. You need a pass to go out on errands. Then when you get to the market they don’t have what you need, like flour. [Ed note: Francesco was the first to warn me about flour shortages – it hadn’t happened in the U.S. yet] “Of course we need flour,” says Francesco, “We are Italian!”