West Cork teacher Emer Downing is enjoying the little bit of freedom she’s now being afforded, after two months of being locked down in her Bergamo home
ON May 4th, while all of you back home were enjoying the Bank Holiday Monday, we here in Italy finally got to rediscover the great outdoors.
Having been confined to our houses for the previous eight weeks in Italy’s phase 1 (total lockdown), people were gasping for a taste of the outside world.
We had only been allowed out for the supermarket, the pharmacy or if we were an essential worker and we had to carry paperwork in case we got stopped for police checks.
The first day of phase 2 brought blue skies and temperatures in the mid-twenties.
People took full advantage.
I, for one, got out on my bike; the thing I had missed the most in those months stuck at home.
There was a great atmosphere, seeing people out jogging, walking and cycling with their children – not just lugging shopping bags around.
Builders, gardeners and some factory workers returned to their workplaces with new physical distancing rules.
Restaurants are allowed to continue to offer takeaway services only. Thankfully this rule also extends to takeaway ice-cream from our local gelateria.
The children I teach were delighted to go and visit their grandparents as people were now permitted to visit immediate family and partners, but not yet friends.
While I am very happy to see the vast majority of people leaving their houses with masks, I’m also disappointed to see a few, particularly teenagers, hanging out in groups in public places.
Milan was a source of scandal in the first week of Phase 2 with huge numbers of people congregating along the trendy Navigli area.
With new cases still rising daily in four-figure numbers, and the death toll in the hundreds, I hope that people can take more responsibility and not abuse the new privileges we have been awarded.