Love in the Time of Coronavirus

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 devestasted 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. ❤

Snapshots: The Endless Path

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Just a quick snapshot from an adventure I took away from the emerald coastlines of Sardinia, Italy. There is nothing more I love than to venture into the heart and under the shadows to discover the real Sardinia, because it’s only there, where you can find an endless path that takes you to amazing places.

What’s your next adventure?

The Smurf House of Tempio Pausania

Did you know – that there is a small smurf house nestled in the valley at Monte Pulchiana in the province of Tempio Pausania? I didn’t either until a wonderful outdoor excursion brought me there recently. In reality, this granite mass is called a tafone. Tafoni(plural) are small to large cave-like features that develop within the natural face of granite or sandstone. Obviously, someone had the brilliant idea to turn this tafone into a little smurf home. Love it!

Otherwise known (in Sardinia) as The Smurf House or Casa dei Puffi. This smurf house sits on private property and you cannot access it without permission from the owners, and from what I’ve been told, this little house is used as a farmer’s shed. You can drive by the property to see this house, however, there are many ‘do not enter’ signs on the gate. This day the gate was open and I took a quick chance and stepped onto the property to grab a quick photo.

If I could, I would love to live in a little house like this. What about you?

Snapshots: Reminiscing about Cagliari, Sardinia

It was a whirlwind twenty-four hours at Cagliari this past fall, and I still can’t get this Mediterranean island city out of my mind. She’s jam-packed with events, spectacular beaches, wineries and local events that could keep me busy for a lifetime. I met a dear friend for an afternoon coffee and he showed me around this magnificent city by the sea.

He graciously pointed out areas of the city that had witnessed war, and buildings that still today suffer from the age-old conflict. I shall never forget those splendid hours in this city and my heart is calling to her. I will return, I shall return. Thank you, Cagliari for being the island city that this city-girl needs every once in a while.

Snapshots: Peek A Moo

My early morning runs consist of pastures, steep rolling hills and plenty of hefty beasts. I was at the four-kilometre mark when I saw this beautiful beast peeking at me from behind the granite wall. I stopped running to enjoy the moment. I leaned on the granite slab with my iPhone 5S and snapped away, she didn’t move, just watched me with those curious eyes.

It was 6:30 AM, early for her and early for me. I pass her every other day on my run, sometimes it’s her relatives that stop and stare, but today it was her and she was lovely. I enjoyed each moment. Once I got home, showered and had that second espresso of the day, I uploaded this photo to social media. Well, it didn’t go viral, that was not my intention, I just liked the photo and wanted to share it with my world.

Within minutes, friends from all over the globe were congratulating me on such a wonderful photo, I just thought ‘right place, right time.’ Many friends suggested that I submit it to a photo competition or to National Geographic. I did the last, here’s the link. It’s not a competition, just a place for photographers to drop their pics for the world to see.

If you liked this photo then share it with your friends. Thank you.

Opinion: 100 Years Younger in 21 Days

A new British reality program has hit the airwaves where eight people between the ages of fifty-five to ninety-three undergo extreme diet plans and exercise regimens. The program is filmed on an island full of centenarians, an island full of splendour, an island filled with mystery, and a longevity that is deeply planted at its roots. The island is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, the island is Sardinia, Italy. The goal of this television program is to look, a joint, 100 years younger in 21 days. Surely, that is not possible! I’ve lived here for ten years and I can see the age creep in, it’s inevitable. Coming to Sardinia will not make you look younger in twenty-one days, but she will definitely make you feel younger in twenty-one days. Read on and I’ll tell you how to easily live to 100 years of age. Continue reading

Ollolai, Italy: The small Sardinian town selling homes for €1

We’ve all dreamed of owning a home on some far-away exotic island where they don’t speak English and life is the clichéd dolce vita. The town of Ollolai, a luscious green zone in the Barbagia region of Sardinia, are now selling abandoned homes for €1. Shocking but true. The internet has lit up from joyous dreamers who want to pack it in and live the la dolce vita, I mean who wouldn’t want a taste of this attainable dream, for only $1.52CAD you too can stop dreaming and make it a reality. But how…? Continue reading

A Sunday Afternoon Between Mountain and Sea

It was an overcast day but not chilly when we decided to head up into the mountains for an afternoon walk with friends. We weren’t in search of anything, in particular, just the meeting of new people, dialogues, laughter and panoramic views that stretch as far as southern Corsica to Limbara and to the northwestern tip of Sardinia. Pure Sunday bliss in my books, a perfect Sunday spent between mountain and sea. Continue reading

The War on Plastic – Italian Style

UPDATE: 1/5/2018 Deceit is an ugly form of extortion that can lead people to believe something that is not true. I was lied to and I believed it until I did some research. I’m in disbelief that the supermarket owner, where I’ve done my shopping for the last three years, lied to me about the “automatic charge” on biodegradable plastic bags for fruit and vegetable purchases. I was led to believe that it was a mandatory charge; that if you buy one lemon you will be charged automatically .2c for a biodegradable bag whether you use one or not. I fell for it, but only for two days, then I went into other supermarkets around town and asked.

The law only states that supermarkets cannot give out free biodegradable bags like they have in the past. Makes sense. There has never been an issue with paying for the bag if used or needed.

At one supermarket, the owner told me that he cannot give any bags out for free and that there would only be a charge if you use a biodegradable bag. Punto basta.

It’s comforting to finally realize the truth about this scandalous topic that has overtaken social media. I’m glad I did my homework and continued to question people as deceit is hidden around every corner here … fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

However, this new rule/law still has some flaws dear Ministero dell’Ambiente. Consumers should be able to bring their own mesh bags from home to buy produce. The supermarket needs to be held accountable for health and hygiene measures. They need to train people who work at the cash tills to clean the belt and scanning area several times a day. Eliminating and banning the use of plastic bags within all supermarkets is a start. I’m sorry I said that you suck, I was hangry.

*****Below is my full rant on the topic before I found out I was being lied to. Continue reading

Inside Sardinia: Urthos and Buttudos at Cortes Apertas Fonni

There is no better way to experience the ancient rituals and traditions from Sardinia, than at the highest town on the island, at Fonni. It is at 1000m above sea level where the mysterious customs of Urthos and Buttudos were born. They are gruesome characters that parade throughout the streets and take over balconies by jumping to the sound of golden bells held by a cloaked man. These rituals are played out during holidays and festivals and are acted out on the street for all to witness. Come face-to-face with their ancient rights, traditions and culture only here, only at Fonni.

Who are Urthos and Buttudos?

Urthos and Buttudos are characters Continue reading