Where do I even begin? I am a writer, but have no words. My mind wanders, flips and flops, I read one page of a book only to turn over and have a second nap of the day. Love does bring us closer, but in this uncertain time it tears us apart. This is love in the time of Coronavirus.
Love in the Time of Coronavirus – My story
We flew back to Canada on a direct flight from Rome on December 27th, 2019, and as an already extreme germaphobe, I had purchased sanitary wipes, and I wiped down our entire row of seats the moment we boarded, people looked at me strangely and I could hear a few comments from the adjacent rows. Covid-19 wasn’t even the moniker, yet, for this virus that has rocked the world, we flew in peace, not even a bump of turbulence.
We landed in Toronto and drove the ninety minutes to my hometown. We were greeted with long, warm hugs, and kisses to the cheek. It was heartwarming and wonderful to feel my mother’s arms wrapped around me, and equally enjoyable to eat one of my favourite Canadian dishes – split pea soup. We drank imported red wine, from Sardinia, of course, we laughed, cried and told stories from eons ago.
We went about our daily lives, nothing, yet, was mainstream, so we shopped, ate out at fancy restaurants, went to local wine tastings and visited all the friends and family I hadn’t seen in years. Reuniting felt great, there were so many things to say and so many adventures to relive, and time was running out to tell them all. We crammed in hours of chitter-chatter with long-time friends, over copious amounts of red wine and potato chips, and then my husband left.
He flew back to Sardinia, Italy, one day before Valentines Day for an appointment that was made one year prior. Coronavirus was mainstream at that point, but it seemed to be contained to only China and Northern Italy. We didn’t worry. Why would we? China is so far away from Canada that the thought of the virus coming this way didn’t even cross our minds. We certainly didn’t think that we would be in the situation that we find ourselves in now.
On January 31st, 2020, the first two cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Rome. On that same day, the government of Italy suspended all flights to and from China, the Italian authorities then issued a state of emergency with only two positive cases. From there, clusters of the virus exploded in Northern Italy: the region of Lombardy being the hardest hit, then Veneto, then the rest of mainland Italy, then Sardinia.
The first decree was issued on February 22nd, 2020, and imposed quarantine to eleven municipalities in Northern Italy. Then came the ripple effect, and slowly but surely life as we knew it, changed forever. Schools were closed, sporting events cancelled, reduced hours at the supermarket, and by March 8th, the government implemented a new decree to completely lockdown the entire nation. Sixty million people are now in lockdown, they could not and still cannot leave their town of residence, they cannot even leave their homes and should they defy the decree they risk up to three months in prison.
You cannot leave your home without a government issued certificate that states your name, residence and reason for being outdoors. Drastic times, call for drastic measures. The whole of Italy abruptly came to a halt and not long after Italy issued a nationwide lockdown, my home province of Ontario issued a state of emergency. We closed schools, restaurants, small businesses, parks, and just recently, the longest land border closed to only essential travel.
Now, while we in Canada, are not on such a severe lockdown like in Italy, we can still go for a walk outdoors and we must maintain social distancing. We cannot visit our neighbours or family in another town, we must bunker down in our homes. Just this morning I read an article from a trusted source that fines will be put in place, upwards of $1000 to those that do not practice social distancing.
You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with love. Well, let me tell you …
My husband and I are currently in different countries with no means to physically see each other. Airports and airlines have pretty much closed their doors to non-essential travel. I could fly into Italy as I am a resident there, however, I may not find a flight into Sardinia as the two northern airports are closed, and if I do, that flight will take me four hours south of where we live. In the grande scheme of things this is a minor problem considering the state of world affairs. Listening to the daily death tolls out of Italy is staggering, today, close to 700 deaths. My biggest concern is my husband, he’s healthy and is in good spirts but he’s dealing with this alone. He doesn’t have a loved one at home to put his arms around, he doesn’t even have immediate family in the area. It’s just him and this saddens me greatly. I know one day, and I hope it’s sooner rather than later, that we will be reunited once again.
Hindsight is 20/20. Had we known, what we know now, he would have never left Canada for that appointment that took a year to book, and yet another year to accomplish. The important thing to remember is that we are safe, and we are healthy, which is not the case for a vast majority of people all over the world.
It’s been too long since I’ve up-dated this old blog, for many reasons outside this deadly virus, and maybe one day in the near future I’ll tell you why I stopped writing. Until then my friends, stay healthy, stay safe and wash your hands.
Until we meet again, my love. ❤
Flight after flight that we had booked has been cancelled from the UK to Sardinia. Such disappointment brings into focus how much we are missing our friends, the food, the wine and Icnusa beer as well as the beauty of the island itself. Our lovely neighbours, without even being asked, have kept an eye on the house, tended the garden and cut the grass so Saturday night pizzas and beers from the bar will be on us. What a huge lifestyle change the island brings.
Oh Jennifer. What a post. I was wondering how you’ve been doing as we’ve missed your blog. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you to be apart from your husband. I am feeling sad just not being able to see my extended family who live in different states in the US and can’t imagine if I didn’t have my husband by my side through this all. I’ve been following Debra’s blog and thinking so much of Italy. It is so heartbreaking. It is so unimaginable what is happening right now but it has brought out silver linings and realization more than ever what is important. Please keep us updated.
Jennifer – hopefully you can still “get together” often – through social media – whatsapp or facetime –
We just returned to Canada from Mexico and are in self-quarantine – we cannot go out or see our family and friends
In these times we need to continue to “see” each other via media.
We had to cancel our trip to Sardegna this year and will have to wait until this corona virus is defeated.
In the meantime – stay healthy and safe and maintain contact with those you love.
Hello, and thank you for the comment. Yes, we speak daily via social media, at least we have that for now, virtual hugs will have to do. I’m sorry you had to cancel your trip to Sardinia, hopefully when this clears up you will reconsider and come to this great island. Wishing you and your family health and happiness.
Thank you for your post. Things are getting real on Vancouver Island. My heart hurts for those separated from their loved ones during this time when comfort is essential. Virtual hugs to you and your sweetie. Andrà tutto bene – eventually.
Hello and thank you for your kind comment. The world is in such a state of affairs, I thought I’d never see anything like this is my life. After writing this post, I know that I’m not alone. Wishing you health and happiness.
It is so good hearing from you in this terrible time. We are sending our thoughts and prayers for both of you and your families, in Canada an Sardegna. My family in Anela and several other cities so far thank God, are all doing well. Staying in as they were told and keeping safe. You should use an app to secure sometime to see and speak with your husband. You will both be okay and back together when it is time. Your love for one another will be even stronger. Please take care and both of you be safe and follow all instructions for safety. Have a better day and May God Bless you both always.
Love & Hugs,
Your Sard American Friend
Hello old friend! How are you doing? It’s been so long since I’ve been on this ole blog of mine. Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out, I really appreciate it. We are doing what the rest of the world is doing, staying home. I’m looking forward to the day when I can hug my husband and island again. Until then … Love and respect. 🙂
Good to hear from you dear friend as well. You, your husband, my family here and especially Sardegna and all of Italy and the USA and every country afflicted by this virus. You and your husband stay safe. Have a beautiful day and May God Bless Always.
Rosemarie Manca Kleinberg
Your Sard American Friend
I arrived in Italy from Australia on 22nd February. I am currently in lockdown at our mountain house. For me this is not difficult. The garden is lovely and changing daily now that spring is here.
My husband was to come in a couple of days time. That won’t be happening. I am booked to return to Australia on June 20. I have no idea what will happen.
We just have to stay safe and stay home.
So glad you could find the silver lining during this pandemic. Let’s hope things are better by June. All the best.
❤️ It’s sad especially for Italia
hope we find a cure soon to many are dying
Love to you
It’s sad for the entire world, but yes, especially sad for Italy. Sending you virtual hugs. 🙂
I feel your pain! My husband and I spent one year apart, only seeing each other once for two weeks during that time. The difference is we MADE that choice, we weren’t forced into it…AND we didn’t have any worries. The virus is wreaking havoc on our metal state, and being away from loved ones only makes it works ;(
That’s a very long time, but like you said, it was a choice. We didn’t choose this, no one did. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel, the question is when. Wishing you health and happiness.
Thank you for this post, which captures what so many of us are going through, especially those of us who live between two countries. I am in daily touch with my Sardinian neighbors in quarantine, as we are now in France. It will be months before the immediate threat of contagion is over and we begin to rebuild some kind of new normalcy.
Hello, and thank you for your kind comment. May you and yours stay healthy and happy. 🙂