I’m in Italy — So is COVID-19 — Am I afraid?

Shall we ignore the elephant in the room?

I think not.

The coronavirus in Italy had a 25% surge in the past 24 hours. The Local it (Italy’s news in English) reports there are now 520 confirmed cases and the infestation has spread to the south with the area of Puglia reporting one and Sicily with three.

According to Sergio Matalucci out of Milan, eleven towns have been quarantined. Schools, universities, cinemas, clubs, and museums are closed. Events have been cancelled. Supermarket shelves stand empty as people panic-buy groceries, unsure of what’s ahead.

He goes on to write that grocery owners say they don’t lack stock in their warehouses. They just need to get it to the stores more quickly – a timing issue, not a supply issue. That’s good news.

It was slim pickings in my fridge. I climbed to Tutto per Tutti market this morning and found that even here in sleepy Praiano, in an area in the south of Italy as yet unaffected, shelves had empty spaces that hadn’t been there on prior visits.

Nicola, my host, told me people who had booked his rental properties for March have cancelled. He’s concerned for himself and his town. The economy of Praiano hinges extensively on tourism. Economic consequences are being experienced worldwide. Some types of businesses will profit. Many more will not.

So what’s actually happening? How much of the reporting can be trusted?

We’ve been bombarded for several years now by cries of ‘fake news’ from the very top of the power pyramid in the United States. Media giants have the ability to sway the thoughts and actions of the entire world population by choosing what to allow on their channels or what to suppress. I highly doubt, highly highly doubt if they even know if their sources are valid.

As I read article after article, these are the thoughts uppermost in my mind. Frankly, I don’t think we have any idea what’s really happening. We have limitless quantities of information at our fingertips. We can click ourselves down rabbit-holes and wind up light-years from where we began. But we have absolutely no way of knowing truth from lies.

Yet I’m addicted to that stream of information. Some part of me still trusts, or desperately wants to.

So I’ll keep reading the news. I’ll take precautions. According to the WHO more than 80 percent of patients infected with the virus have a mild reaction to the disease and recover. I’m here in Praiano until March 6th. Nobody can predict what will happen in the coming eight days but if planes are still flying, and I’m still healthy, I’ll leave Italy from Naples on that day and head back home to Bali.

Meanwhile, I’m grateful that the sun still rises. The sea is still blue. And this town of ancient stairways and kindness is mine to explore.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Feb 28, 2020 @ 00:25:47

    Feel the same down here in SMA. I also return 3/9. trusting…sl

    Liked by 2 people


  2. stevecastley
    Feb 28, 2020 @ 00:30:08

    Stay safe and keep informed. Much of the news will be true.

    Liked by 2 people


  3. Pat Malcolm
    Feb 28, 2020 @ 02:02:16

    Sherry, I admit to having thought of you when I heard of the virus’s spread in Italy. I guess to anyone I would say, don’t be afraid, but do take precautions. Buy some hand sanitizer if you can. Avoid hugs and handshakes. And have a Plan B if that plane isn’t flying out of Naples or if it cannot land back in Bali. Virtual hugs are still ok, so here’s a big one!


    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 2 people


    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Feb 28, 2020 @ 03:31:22

      Virtual hug accepted and thanks for the great advice, Pat. I have a friend who keeps me supplied with Thieves hand sanitzer. If you’ve ever heard of Thieves Oil you’ll know it doesn’t get any better than that! I take it with me everywhere.



  4. Carol
    Feb 28, 2020 @ 02:39:34

    Stay safe and enjoy your time. This too shall pass.

    Liked by 2 people


  5. healingpilgrim
    Feb 28, 2020 @ 14:43:56

    I’ve been really enjoying your tales of adventure and discovery Sherry. Great photos too – especially the divine dishes you’ve been fed and prepared (oh that panzella!) I hope the rest of your holiday remains unaffected by C-19, and that you return home sated, sunshined, seasalted and without incident.
    (I’ve planned a group walking retreat in Tuscany for early May; crossing fingers we’ll all be there and in good health!)

    Liked by 2 people


    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Feb 28, 2020 @ 18:51:26

      I love the seasalted part! It’s one of my favorite condiments! It brings to mind the term Old Salt used for seasoned sailors.I sincerely hope there’s a CV-19 ‘all clear’ long before May for yours and Italy’s and the rest of the world’s sake.

      Liked by 1 person


      • healingpilgrim
        Mar 30, 2020 @ 13:02:24

        Thanks, wish that were so… all is cancelled. Or, most optimistically, indefinitely delayed 😉 Glad you squeezed in your month-long Italian odyssey before all came to a grinding halt. Hope you’re safe, home, healthy and keeping well.

        Liked by 1 person


        • writingforselfdiscovery
          Mar 30, 2020 @ 13:28:08

          I think pretty much everything everywhere is cancelled, although there’s a blossoming of online of activities, classes, interactive chats, virtual book clubs, happy hours, if the mind can think it suddenly it exists. I’m at home, safe, surrounded by beauty, but the virus is gaining momentum here, too, and it’s only a matter of time before Jakarta locks down and most likely Denpasar and Ubud will follow. We’ve already been told to stay home unless for groceries or emergencies. Thanks for asking. Take care, Amit.

          Liked by 1 person


  6. Diane Struble
    Feb 28, 2020 @ 16:44:27

    Enjoy your last few days. It would seem this town is just fine. Not so much the airport. You may want to acquire a mask and take wipes with you to clean your area of the plane. I have never done that, but it has been recommended for years because time constraints do not allow for thorough cleaning between changing passengers. I will look forward to your continuing posts.

    Liked by 2 people


    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Feb 28, 2020 @ 18:45:54

      Thanks for coming on this adventure with me! Yes – wiping down my screen, tray table, armrests etc has become a habit with all the flying I’ve done the past years and I’m armed and ready to do the same with the three different planes I’ll be taking on my way home! I absolutely plan to enjoy the rest of my time here – I’ll walk to the beach this afternoon. I haven’t been there yet and it’s the main attraction for tourists in high season. I have to check it out even though at 55 degrees and winds at 9 mph from the northwest, I won’t be going for a swim!



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