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Lockdown Letters 'The paranoia of becoming infected will stay with us all for a long time'

In this special series, ‘Lockdown Letters' gives our readers at home and across the globe an opportunity to share their stories about how the Coronavirus and the measures to tackle its spread are impacting their lives in these unprecedented times.

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An almost empty Piazza del Duomo in the centre of Milan. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

An almost empty Piazza del Duomo in the centre of Milan. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

An almost empty Piazza del Duomo in the centre of Milan. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

“No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague and emotions shared by all,” wrote Albert Camus in ‘The Plague’.

Four weeks ago, I woke up to learn that the coronavirus had well established its presence in northern Italy. And, Milan in Lombardy where I live was well on course to become the Covid-19 epicentre.

The initial lockdown process was almost immediate, we were jolted into isolation to prevent a further spread.

Almost immediately I alerted my family in Ireland because I knew this problem was obviously not just stopping in Italy.

The daily news conference is at 6pm when they deliver the official Covid-19 numbers for Italy. This has since become part of our daily routine, listening for the latest numbers. Sadly, these numbers are people, and those people have families. It’s very, very sad, and heartbreaking.

After the first two weeks #iorestoacasa started trending, this means ‘I Stay Home’. A new decree was signed, obliging everyone to stay indoors, simply go to the supermarket and return home.

Even five weeks ago, the idea of being house-bound for a long spell would have been unthinkable. But I am following the rules and spending most of my time here in the apartment. For now it is something we all must do. I am fully committed to doing whatever it takes to see an effective decline in this tragic situation.

We don’t know when we will reach the end of this contagion, and the paranoia of becoming infected will I have no doubt stay with us all for a long time to come.

I am using my time on lockdown to reflect and think about life post-coronavirus.

I think what has changed could change our values, and focus on achieving a more balanced way of life, and focus on making a safer future.

We are living history. The challenges posed by Covid 19 are similar the world over but everybody’s experience of this emergency will be different. In this special series, ‘Lockdown Letters' gives our readers at home and across the globe an opportunity to share their stories about how the Coronavirus and the measures to tackle its spread are impacting their lives in these unprecedented times.

Please email your submission (400 words max.) to stories@independent.ie along with a photograph. We will publish as many letters as possible on Independent.ie and a selection in print every week.

Online Editors