During the last week of February 2020, a COVID-19 focus was discovered in a few small municipalities in Northern Italy. After locking soon those villages, the night between 7 and 8 March 2020 the Italian government put in lock down the entire Lombardy, which is the region of Milan and the most populated of the country. One day later it was the turn of the whole nation.
Not only Lombardy is known for Milan; it is also the region of Mantua, a small town today which was one of the main centres of the Renaissance in the XV and XVI centuries. And the place where the author lives, and where he has been keeping a journal in real time since the beginning of the emergency.
“Well, because of the coronavirus, the night between 7 and 8 March 2020 we became a so called red zone, and we are going to be until April 3. During the next weeks, being forcedly unemployed as a tour guide (which is my only job now), I’m going to monitor the situation, keeping a sort of a diary, trying to avoid fake news and panic speech”, are the words opening the diary.
Mr. Lucchini is noting the daily live in quarantine: old and new routines, government instructions, emotions. Passing from reports to poetic annotations and to frank opinions with “no care for politically correct speech”, as he states in the foreword.
Of course, a text written on the spur of the moment, in real time, but always lucid and reliable. Still, a text posing interesting questions, if you want to get them.
A short passage from the book
« So, after being emailed the usual prescriptions by my doctor, early this morning I decided to pop over a pharmacy. As I don’t want to be seen around by people (“Brother example is the best teacher”, Franciscan friars were used to say), yesterday I had phoned the only pharmacy doing night service in town to agree my purchase on the flight. The pharmacy is about a kilometre away from my place.
Normally I walk this distance in less than ten minutes, but this time I preferred to take it easier. Having agreed my turn with the pharmacy at 5 in the morning, when nobody is around, I can enjoy a relaxing promenade through the empty streets. I have to say in ordinary moments it has happened sometimes that I had to be around just before dawn, before the city wakes up, and I have always liked the atmosphere. Now I like it even more, as it is also a responsible choice of time.
The only human epiphany I have along my round trip promenade is a police car patrolling the alleys around my address. I am pleased to see they are patrolling, and I guess they are pleased to see I am alone and probably going back home. We pass by each other with no words, but a mutual slight wave.
But the real epiphany, the one making my day already before sunrise, is a colourful paper sheet stuck over a wooden door. A smiling cloud sat on a rainbow coloured fringe and a few letters clearly sketched by the unsteady hand of a little kid. “Everything will be alright” the childish writing says. I think so too, my puppy. Be brave. »
Diary from the quarantine
first English edition 2020
Ebook [pdf] – € 7,99
Brossura – € 15,90