March 13, 2020

Taking a Breath + Coronavirus Update

Hello sweeties,

this is an impromptu post, but also a follow up to my Adjournments and Apologies one from a few days ago. What with my week off work coming in ten days and my current level of stress/fatigue, I decided to operate some substantial changes on my schedule. All your lovely words of encouragement on the aforementioned post pushed me in that direction, but the last straw (in the best sense) was Lindsi's comment. I suddenly thought, why on earth am I doing this to myself? scheduling with a vengeance, putting too much stuff on my plate, planning to blog even on my week off work? So, I shuffled a few things around, and while you won't notice that I'll be on a hiatus because the March posts have already been written, I won't be blogging again until April.

Here's what will change on here. On Wed. 18th I'll post my review for When Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse (that I planned on saving for later) instead of the one for my NetGalley book Life on Repeat by Amy Larson Marble. That review has been postponed - I haven't had the chance to read the novel yet because of my computer problems, since I downloaded it on the one that's been in repair for two weeks, and in the meantime I couldn't download it on my fall-back computer as well. So I'll just let it expire and download it again in April (it's a Read Now book, and it will only be archived in August, so no rush). I decided not to torture myself with reading and reviewing it in haste only to met a totally self-imposed deadline. The other posts I had in store will, of course, go live as planned.

From Mon. 23rd I'll be on vacation for a week, and I plan on tending to the house, plus reading for pleasure, without any review obligation. Can you believe that so far I've only had the time to read 3 of my 11 new books? Of course, I've also been beta-reading for Joshua Winning, and it did cut into my time, but still - this is insane.

Speaking of insane things, the Coronavirus situation is stressing me out to no end. Honestly, I'm not afraid to get sick with it...I'm more afraid to catch one of my usual laryngites and to be quarantined for two weeks with no reason. I mean, they only perform a swab on you if you have symptoms AND have been in contact with a confirmed case, because swabs come at a cost for the national sanitary what they do is put you in precautionary quarantine, and you and your whole family have to stay home for fourteen days and have strangers (??? I assume you can call SOMEONE SOMEWHERE?) tend to your needs...for nothing! The other day an electrician at the local hospital sneezed ONCE, a nurse heard him, and he was immediately sent home in quarantine! I mean, maybe he sneezed because there was dust on the thing it was working on, for goodness' sake. Why not perform a swab on him? Jeez. Just for once, I can't wait for the summer to come and this thing (hopefully) to start receding. Also because it's making a HUGE dent into our economy. Every cancelled event or closed place comes with a price. It's affecting the radio station where I work as well, because half our advertisements are of restaurants, pizza places and the like, and some clients have requested to put those ads on hold until people start to go out safely again...I live in one of the relatively safe zones (there are just four seven confirmed case of the virus in my hometown so far [*Saturday update*] - there was only one until two days ago...), but the blasted thing is spreading so fast.

 Since some of you graciously asked, here's how things are going for us in Italy at the moment:
  • Starting from Tuesday, shops have been forced to close until April 3rd, unless they can guarantee that their customers can at least keep one metre's distance between each other at all times, or access one at a time if the place is small. That's why, for instance, hairdressers aren't working (and of course I was supposed to have my roots touched up LOL. Oh, well - of course there are more pressing issues right now). You can only go out for necessity reasons - home-work commuting, food and medicine shopping, doctor appointments, walking the dog, getting your car fixed...
  • You have to queue outside of pharmacies, offices, supermarkets etc. - with the same criteria - and only enter one to four/five at a time in most places, depending on the building's capacity. (Note: I went to one of our supermarkets this morning, and they were ushering in a dozen people at a time. Apart from the distance signs in front of the cash registers and other sensitive places, we were pretty much passing each other in all the isles, one meter's distance be screwed. Many customers - and all the staff - were wearing masks though).
  • Of course, all events of any kind have been cancelled or postponed. Not to mention, school were already closed since Mar. 5th, and they will remain that way until Apr. 3rd as well. I only hope that's the final deadline, and after that day we can - if slowly - start living a normal life again. In the meantime, my troath's hurting on and off, which is somehow normal for me, what with my vasomotor rhinitis and my gastroesophageal reflux...but it feels worse these days, and I'm so scared to get sick and be forced to stay home, I swear it's hurting even more.  
How about your corner of the world? Have you been affected? I mean, the whole planet has been affected of course, but it sounds like there are still relatively safer places so far...

So, these are things right now in a nutshell. Thanks everyone for your encouragement and understanding, and rest assured that, though on a hiatus, I will visit all your lovely blogs nonetheless! Have a great March and stay safe!


  1. I am not really going to comment too much on the virus stuff because as it is a world wide pandemic, it's everywhere I turn and on all my social media. I am feeling quite bombarded by it, and a bit bombarded by everything and just need like, a break, if that makes sense ;.; Anyway, I have online university classes and my travel plans I was going to put through have been abandoned for the unforeseeable future. Anyway, I like the sound of taking a bit of a hiatus and just reading for pleasure and enjoying some time off. Have fun <3

    1. I hear you. It's especially hard for people like you, who used to travel a lot. Let's hope things will get normal (or, well, MORE normal) soon! And thank you!

  2. I don't know. I get being as cautious as possible, especially as my state has confirmed cases of people catching the virus without being in contact with a confirmed case. Stay healthy, and use your time the way you want to.

  3. Hi Roberta,

    I completely forgot that you're from Italy! Most of my dad's family is still there as well, and I know it's been pretty nerve-wracking for all of you. Sending you love and support <3

    Canada has nowhere near the amount of cases Italy has *touches wood,* but a lot of preventative measures have taken place. My university has completely suspended all lectures and the rest of the term is to be held virtually. It's a necessary precaution, but one that is also kind of disappointing as I really like going to school.

    I think what the world needs now is healthy distraction and a little bit of laughter. I have realized that talking about this all day and having the news on 24/7 has not done well with my mental health. I've been trying to keep things light-hearted, joke when necessary, and share good news. For example, did you know that scientists have recently cured a second person from HIV? That's awesome!

    Anyways, sorry if I sound kind of cheesy. Just hope that everyone can stay a little bit positive :) I'm here if you need to talk.

    1. Thank you Emily! I didn't know you had family in Italy. I hope they're safe and will stay that way!

      I like your mind-frame. And we all need to hear good news like the one you shared (no, I didn't know!). Just 20 years ago it would have been unthinkable.

  4. I don't understand why we are so hard on ourselves about breaks when we completely understand when others need them. And we have ALL taken them for various reasons.

    Everyone is super supportive and is here when you get back.

    As you know, I have GERD too and that dry, hacky cough - so I try SOOOO hard not to cough in public and scare everyone lol

    I don't live in an outbreak but our state is one of the epicenters for it and it's about 3 hours away from me. We're trying to be prepared and cautious but not AHHHHHHHHH!!! lol

    I'm hoping we all get through this soon.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. "I don't understand why we are so hard on ourselves about breaks when we completely understand when others need them."
      LOL, that's one of the great mysteries of blogging!

      I don't so much cough as blow my nose often because of the aforementioned vasomotor rhinitis, but the overall effect, I suppose, is the same. Yikes. I hope no one will mob us 😲 😅.

      Hang on! Stay home and read all those ARCs LOL. You can resume your nature walks later 😉.

  5. I'm relieved to hear you're as healthy and safe as can be expected right now. 💛 Those measures are extreme. It's not getting too bad over here right now, but there have been a lot of precautionary closings--sporting events, the NBA, major theme parks, and a lot of universities and schools. My nieces and nephews don't have school again until April. I'm able to work from home, so at least there's that. I hope you have a lovely vacation and get a chance to rest and relax!

    1. The extreme measures were only in place in the northern regions (the ones with the biggest number of confirmed cases/deaths) until people started to panic and stormed the relatively safer mine. Then again, maybe the whole world should take extreme measures for a couple of weeks or a month - it's hard, but at least it might stop the virus from spreading and/or bouncing back...

      I'm glad you can work from home, and I hope you'll stay safe and healthy! Also, thank you!

  6. Ugh, I'm still so sorry the corona virus has been stressing you out. The way things progressed in Italy was so hard to grasp because from where I am it all seemed so fast and unexpected. I about told you everything I'm experiencing, lol, so all I'll say is that I hope you're handling everything well, and I'm sending strength and love.

  7. Oh, wow, I thought the situation here was strange, but it's way more intense near you. I can't imagine if I got quarantined for sneezing---with my allergies I sneeze all the time!!! Hope you stay healthy!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I think that was a case of a nurse overreacting, because we all know that it takes at least a fever and more symptoms in order to scream coronavirus!

      I'm trying to cope. Thank you - you too!

  8. Reading for pleasure can be so nice after all the pressure of reading to review and whatnot. It feels liberating sometimes! and good for you for taking a break- sometimes those are needed.

    The coronavirus thing is scary for sure. I've thought of you since I know Italy has been hit hard. Here in the US I feel like we're just starting to catch up and realize how important the social distancing is. I'm sure our total lockdown will (more or less) take effect any day- they keep inching toward it haha. Anyway stay safe and be well!

    1. I wanted to do more than reading and tending to the house during my break, but of course...not now LOL.

      We were sort of slow in catching up too, but one could hope that the other states would learn something from our mistakes. It looks like it didn't happen, nay, some nations are dealing with the virus in a weird way - like, the UK isn't in lockdown so far, but they want all people older than 70 or with health problems to auto-quarantine for 3 months!!! How can they expect people to cope???

      Thanks! You too and your family stay safe!

  9. ROBERTAAAAAA HI I HOPE YOU'RE ALIVE. At this time you're more than likely off from work and honestly, you deserve that break. I hope you continue to stay alive and honestly, Lindsi's right: don't stress yourself. We'll be around still (and I'll definitely be around to poke you here and there, even though I've been out of sorts with the universe lately).

    Coronavirus has been stressing EVERYONE out, me included. I'm more afraid of the hate that will come with it than actually getting the virus myself, considering that despite my financial situation and being an essential worker, my mom has pretty much pulled me out of work. I hope you won't get quarantined for no reason and things will ease up in Italy soon! :( On my side of the world, we're just starting to get rapidly worse - my area isn't as bad as other states, but in my state, I'm living in an area with the most cases so um yeah... kind of scary. I'm surprised with the rapid number and the amount of counties already in lockdown, the state hasn't issued a lockdown (but then again... I'm not surprised... and I'm not surprised we don't have a national lockdown considering how we're topping everyone in cases.) And anxious. But I'm spending the rest of my senior year of college online (RIP to everyone who wanted a graduation ceremony to go to).

    Anyways, stay safe and alive!

    1. GOOD MORNING SOPHIA 😉. Actually, my staycation week ended yesterday...I knew from Twitter that you were out of work (and frankly, I wonder why the public places haven't been closed to begin with). I really hope you're managing to stay not only safe, but out of hate range 😢. How's online college going?

    2. Not as bad as some parts of the world! I haven't been out since March, but I did have to deal with quite a few glares while shopping, or people running away the moment I enter an aisle. I'm honestly more scared of what I'll receive when I do need to go out again for food more than actually getting the virus itself if you want my honesty...

      And let's just say Zoom is god awful and I hate it but I'm thankful I go to a school that is equipped to pivot to online classes quickly (of course... I'm not a fan of presenting over Zoom though, nor am I comfortable but unfortunately I have to for one class. I guess we'll find out if my mom starts screaming my name across the house randomly, haha).

    3. "I'm honestly more scared of what I'll receive when I do need to go out again for food more than actually getting the virus itself if you want my honesty..."
      I feel you. I wish I could bring you some confort, but words are of little help in the face of this. {{{hugs}}}

      Ha, Veronika from Wordy & Whimsical isn't a big fan of online conferences and stuff either. It's funny how being there in person would feel more comfortable...because I'm team-in-person too. Good luck!


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