April 09, 2020

My New Normal: Coronavirus Edition

Hello sweeties,

it's been a month since my first Coronavirus update, and while I made a decision not to write a series of posts about it (both because we're all dealing with it, though in different ways*, and because I didn't have any breaking news to share anyway), it's time for a new one. Here's a breakdown of what happened in my area - and more precisely, to yours truly - in the last month...

* ...but if you did a series of posts, it's OK! Everyone copes differently - and I, for one, probably read most of them 🙂.


Italy's been in lockdown since March 10th: all this time, only strictly necessary activities have been allowed, and of course, only stores of critical importance have been permitted to stay open. We slowly started to get used to wearing gloves and the dreaded masks - seriously, I use the disposable type made of cotton, and it feels like having a winter scarf on your face. The other types aren't easy to find (though my region is starting to distribute them to ordinary citizens now, as opposed to just giving them to shop owners), plus I'm broke 🤷‍♀️.


For a month I've gone to work Monday to Friday, I've been shopping for groceries etc. once a week, and I've only been to the nearby pharmacy once when it all started, and again the other day, hoarding all the stuff I would need for a few weeks. Let me tell you, it's been a rough month. Since my only free afternoons were on Saturday and Sunday, and I didn't want to spend my free days queuing outside the supermarket, I took to going there on Tuesdays at the opening hour, which meant waking up at six. And still there was a queue outside, if small-ish. After waking up so early (I'm not a morning person, don't judge me), waiting for my turn, trying to shop with the store's gloves over my own (which was required but pretty much challenging) and putting everything in place at home, I was ready to crawl back into bed again. I'm too old and tired for this shit - not to mention all the other stuff that life throws at me daily 😫.


I had an appointment to touch up my roots the very week we went into lockdown, which is just my luck. As of now, I have two months' worth of white regrowth, and they're likely to become three until hairdressers are allowed to open. Plus I'm growing my bangs for my yearly perm, and if I can't have it done in a month, I'll start chewing on them. Seriously, I'm a walking nightmare right now. I can live without anything else for a long while if I have to, but my hair matters to me, so I'm cranky as heck. It isn't helping that, despite hairdressers being closed, I can't seem to spot anyone else around looking so hideous. Maybe they're dyeing their own hair, or more likely have a family member dyeing it for them, because I can't even envision doing suck a nasty job on yourself without being able to see the back of your head.


And finally, the icing on the cake: since last Tuesday, I'm on wages guarantee fund (not sure it's the right expression) for two months (hopefully not longer). That is, I'll only be working 2 days out of 5 every week, and they will get paid in full by my boss, while for the other 3 days I'll only receive 80% of the salary from the Italian social security system. Which sucks, because I already earn less than 500 € a month... Also, I still don't know when social security will pay its share of my salary - I'm sure there will be a delay 😟. The fact is (for those of you who don't know or don't remember), I work for a small radio station - as a host - and entities like that are having it rough right now, what with relying on advertisements. The upside is that I'll have more time to tend to the house (which is in dire need of it) and maybe - just maybe - I'll be able to recharge a little...besides not having to go out five days a week, and to go shopping at the break of dawn because all my afternoons are booked. I'd rather have the money, but when life gives you lemons...


Anyhow, I have good news for you - well, good-ish. Things are starting to look up in Italy, if inch by inch, as far as the positive case numbers are concerned (BTW: to this day, there have been 40 cases and 4 deaths in my town, population 33,000+). While it's practically sure that our lockdown will be extended until May 3rd (because April 25th and May 1st are national holidays, and we don't want people to go on a picnic or something, do we?), we're starting to see a small light at the end of this tunnel. It will be a long way back to normal, and I'm sure that we'll have to wear the darned masks and queue outside shops and maybe go to the hairdresser two at a time and to the restaurant five or six at a time for weeks - but slowly, we'll start to live again. In the meantime, medical researchers are trying to patent a virus suppressant, which is the true key to go back to the life we once knew (once? I mean, just a handful of weeks ago, but it feels like eons), and that will be when we can be normal again. Scared and scarred, because many of us have lost someone, because death and isolation and the loss of all the small and less small things that make our lives worth living have taken a toll. But if we can be strong now, just for a little while more, we'll go back to feeling human again soon enough. Hang on everyone 💗.


  1. My heart goes out to you. The job situation (and financial situation) must be really stressful. We just started being masked here. I did the one lap around the outside of the supermarket this morning, and it was so stifling. I cannot believe people wear these all the time. You know, if I could, I would do your hair here at Sam's Salon. I have trimmed my own bangs, and have a box of color (I always do both things), but my hair is getting really long. I am regretting not making my stylist cut it shorter the last time I saw her. I bought some hair clips to keep it out of my face, and that will have to do. Hugs and hang in there!

    1. Thank you! It's kind of nice being home, but I'm stressing out about the money. Which I always do, only now it's tenfold 😓. I hope that I can go back to working normally when these two months have passed.

      "I did the one lap around the outside of the supermarket this morning, and it was so stifling. I cannot believe people wear these all the time."
      Yeah, I saw it on Twitter that you had your first real queue today. And I hear you about masks. I don't know how people cope with keeping them on for hours, whatever the type. And gloves too! One of my husband's colleagues is married to a pharmacist, and she says his fingers are pruned when he finally takes them off.

      Haha, as you know, I saw that Sam's Salon was in session 😉. I usually cut my own bangs too, but now I have to let them grow...only, I don't know for how long.

      Hang on in there yourself! 😘

  2. ahhh those grey hairs. I was supposed to have gone this week. Plus my stylist is having a baby so I have no idea I'll get in either. They'll be so backlogged with their own clients that I doubt they'll be taking hers on too. I do do touch ups on my own though but I just focus on the top and sides lol. Kind of a cheat in between appointments but it wont' work for what's coming lololol

    I'm so sorry about your job and your lines and just...everything.

    You know how much I struggled with my move but I' so happy I'm here now. Fl response is a mess and I would have been surrounded by COVID non believers and tons of people.It's fairly quiet where I'm at. No lines, most things in stock. I don't have a lot of shopping options but we have the basics.

    Kevin's mom made us masks and they are so comfortable and form fitting. They have little spaces to insert filters to make them even more efficient. I wish I could send you some.

    Hang in there my friend!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. Aww, I hope you'll manage to find someone to do your hair (right) when the time comes! If it's a salon, there's no reason why the other stylists shouldn't take you on. At least it's what would happen where I go - it's not like everyone has a personal hairdresser there. But maybe that place is different (I remember you telling us it was pretty stylish and stuff).

      Yeah, I heard about FL from Kristen, and it would be unbelievable if that wasn't only one among 9 (I think?) States that refuse to acknowledge the emergency. At least you're in a safe(r) place now. And you even have home-made masks! Your MIL must be very skilled.

      Thank you! 😘 In a way, I'm sure this additional month of lockdown will pass in a flash. I mean, everything's hard at the mo, but at least we know the (supposed) deadline now, and as for me, I have too much on my plate (even without work) for me not to feel like the days are too short.

  3. My dad has told me that things are slowly starting to get better in Italy. Like you said, it will be a very long process, but at the very least, hopefully the peak is over. I so understand how stressful everything financially is right now. I guess we just have to put things in perspective and give thanks that we are healthy. I so hope summer brings nothing but good fortune to you!

    1. Oh yeah, you have relatives in Italy, don't you?

      I know...we should probably concentrate on the fact that we haven't been affected by the darned virus. It's not easy, with everything that's going on, but then again...perspective. Thank you Emily, and I hope you Canadians will be out of the woods soon!

  4. Thanks for sharing. It's good to know how others are coping. I've only worn a mask a few times as we're just starting, for the most part, to get with the program with that over here. I'll be doing it henceforward whenever I go out though! I hear you though- the stress definitely takes a toll.

    I hope Italy has seen the worst and every day is better for you guys. Testing is still a joke here so we have no idea how widespread it really is, but it's not looking good. Tough days ahead...

    I'm sorry to hear about the wage situation! The only sliver lining there I guess is you'll be home more and less exposed? still, the financial parts of this are so hard... hang in there.

    I love your message of hope there too! :)

    Stay safe and well!

    1. I know the U.S. as a whole are still behind - it seems that every state reacted differently and at different times, also because the virus emergency started later for you...it would have made sense to plan ahead, but then again, it's not like Italy did it after China was hit with the virus either 🙄. I won't lie..."though days ahead" sounds pretty accurate. I hope you've stored lots of those board games! But if we're (slowly) making it, you U.S. folks will too.

      Yep, that's the silver lining, so to speak. I wouldn't mind staying at home more if it weren't for the wage problem. But as I said...I'll make lemonade LOL.

      Thank you! You and your loved ones stay safe 💚.

  5. Thanks for sharing with us, sweetheart. I'm sorry you're having a rough time (though it seems just about everyone is right now). If it makes you feel any better, my mom purposely leaves the white at her temples because she likes it. I think it looks cool and suits her sassy personality. Maybe your hair is better than you think! 💛

    We'll be on lockdown for the foreseeable future, but I'm glad. At least most of our state governors seem to care whether we live or die. I also have an 800-page novel to keep me company. I'd ordered Sarah J. Maas's new book, House of Earth and Blood, before all this began, and it is a monster.

    1. "Maybe your hair is better than you think! 💛"
      Haha, thank you for trying, but since the white is on the crown on my head (and well beyond it now) and I have TONS on white hair (on a black backdrop), I'm definitely NOT looking cool! I'm sure your mom does, tough 😉.

      Yeah, at least your state is reasonable! If people are left to their own devices, they will probably gather on the beach and have a picnic or something, virus be damned.

      ...800 pages??? *faints* Happy reading!

  6. I'm glad there's some light at the end of the lockdown tunnel in Italy! Even if it is still weeks away. Here in the UK, they're about to review our 3 week lockdown but we all know it'll get extended, it's just a question of how long for. Our daily death toll is terrifying right now. Almost a thousand people the other day. :( They haven't brought in face masks for shopping yet but I'm sure it'll come!

    I'm sorry to hear work is such a struggle too. The financial impact this is having on people - even with government interventions - is immense. I'm lucky I can do a lot of work from home at the moment but how long I can keep going, I don't know... I don't have the roots problem though, I've been dying mine myself with a box dye for years! My hair is getting longer than I'd like but nowhere near as long as I used to have it... It's just a time consuming pain in the ass when it gets this long.

    1. I know the UK is having it rough right now...but since we started (relatively) earlier to put our measures in place, you're probably going to start seeing some improvements in a short while, too. Not that Italy is out of the woods yet, because some regions still have a high death count, but as a whole we're starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel you were talking about.

      I hope you're able to sustain working from home until the emergency starts to recede! Stay safe!

  7. I'm glad to hear things are starting to improve in Italy. I hope your financial situation works out ok. Idk about other places, but here, mornings are the most crowded at stores, so maybe you'll at least be able to avoid people more if you're shopping in the afternoon. Yeah, I think a vaccine or treatment is going to be the only way to get our lives back, so hopefully that'll happen soon. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe <3

    1. Early mornings and late afternoons seems to be the best shopping hours here, but even when I go (around 13/13.30, after a VERY fast lunch) things are semi-manageable. Still rough...but I guess that's part of the new normal as well.

      I know you seldom leave the house even when there aren't nasty viruses around, but since it only takes one family member to catch it. I hope you and your family are doing your best to protect yourself! I wish you all the best 💚.

  8. I'm so glad you posted an update. I'm watching Italy very closely as we in New York are sharing your fate, sadly. I have loved my trips to Italy so much and am so sad to see this happen there.

    Shopping once a week is tough. I am a mood shopper/cooker and here in a city we shop frequently. Now I have to menu plan and be more flexible and creative.

    I hate the mask. I started wearing one but thankfully I did because I found out after that I had been exposed several times, briefly, to people who later tested positive. Twice with a mask and once without. I'm fairly certain that I'm fine, but it really brings it home. ANYONE can be a risk, especially when you live in a place with a lot of cases. But really anyone, anywhere. It's easy to get complacent, but if you are high risk or live with someone who is, you shouldn't.

    I just (today!) ordered a home hair coloring kit. I can't take it anymore and figure my hair can't look any worse. And I'm not going anywhere for at least six weeks if it looks terrible it will grow out.

    I'm sorry about your employment situation. This aspect of the pandemic is also affecting many people in the US. Layoffs, pay cuts, and thef act that the "gig" economy offers no safety net. This economic side is going to take its own terrible toll.

    Sending you good wishes and all solidarity from NYC!

    1. "I have loved my trips to Italy so much and am so sad to see this happen there."
      I didn't know you visited! Where have you been?

      I used to shop once a week before as well, but at least I was in and out without having to figure out the best hour, or queuing, or dealing with masks and gloves ON gloves. I hear you though - for someone used to plan their menu (almost) daily, this must be additional stress.

      Wow, it struck close to home, didn't it? Did you get tested? I hope all's well with you (and your family of course). The fact is, we aren't even certain if masks are effective, if some are better than others, etc. Still, right now, it's the only thing we have.

      Good luck with your hair coloring kit! I don't have the skills and patience to try coloring mine. As I said, it's a mess, but the very thought of working on it makes me feel tired and bored already LOL. I can barely stand to dry-blow it, let alone dyeing it...

      The job issue is real...especially for those who were working off the grid, so to speak. Also, I'm afraid that, after the emergency phase, prices will rocket up, because those who haven't been able to work due to the lockdown will want to recover all the money they lost...

      Thank you! Same here! I know NY is one of the places where the virus hit the hardest, so here's an extra dose of good vibes!

  9. Okay, so that is seriously not good about the funding situation, especially as you don't earn 'that' much already. I hope financially you'll be able to manage and be okay? I am glad you're staying safe while going out to buy food and such. And sorry about the hair situation! There are more difficulties for a lot of people, I guess :( I am glad that there does seem to be some hope now though.

    1. Well, my husband works at the local hospital as a switchboard operator, so he should be safe as far as salary goes. At least there's that.

      Thank you - things are moving very slowly, and our life (I mean everyone's) will be different for who knows how much time even after the emergency period, but it sounds like we're getting there.

  10. Thanks for sharing this update. I think a lot of people are experiencing less-than-ideal circumstances during this time of transition, and I appreciate being able to read on how you're doing. The fact that we are all going through this together goes a long way.

    I'm currently a first-year university student, and I am now three weeks into online classes. I feel like we are missing out on a lot of learning. I am fortunate that I still am able to work my campus job from home, but because of the timing of our school shutting down I was unable to start being paid until two weeks ago, although I had been logging what would've been paid hours in March.

    I think it'll be a long time until we find a "normal" again, but I'm so glad to hear that things are starting to look up in Italy. I live in the northeastern US which was hard hit by the virus, but I hope that if anything comes from all of this it will be new appreciation and empathy.

    Wishing you well :)
    claire @ clairefy

    1. I was wondering these days if online classes would ever be able to replace the real thing...who knows, maybe one day, but it sounds like no one nowhere was ready for it to happen now without it disrupting the regular learning curve. I hope you and everyone who's having online classes right now will manage to go into their next school/college/uni year (or to graduate) with minimum damage done! And ugh, it sucks that you're only getting paid now - I hope at least they've paid all your hours since you started in the meantime!

      I hear you. Maybe empathy is a bit of a long shot, because alas, I guess most people are looking at the rest of the world in suspicion right now - but surely we'll appreciate all the things we were taking for granted a lot more, when this is all over.

      Hang on and stay safe!

  11. Sending you all the love (I get about financials - I'm using up all my sick days in addition to what little catastrophe pay I do get, and after that I'm basically stuck returning to work... but that's in June and hopefully I'll have find a better place in May)! I'm glad things are starting to look up for you in Italy; you'll soon be free! Hopefully not with a second wave, god no.

    It's a big of a wild mess here, though my county isn't protesting as much as other states from the sounds of it (of course that could change, or maybe we're just wise enough that we'd rather stay inside unless it's for essentials). As a country though... well... that's a hot mess I'm not touching.

    I hope things continue to look up for you and Italy!

    1. June is less scary than May...I hope things will have started getting as near to normal as they can by then...but I hope even more that you will have found a better job. Heaven knows you deserve it! 😘

      It's hard to stay home...even harder when your earnings depend on it. But there's no arguing with the numbers. Deaths are deaths, positive cases are positive cases. We all need to bite the bullet just a little longer. Thank goodness "someone" gets it...🙄

  12. I'm a month late for this post, but ugh, I hate that you've been impacted by the virus like this, especially with your work. :( Don't feel bad about being cranky over your hair - as long as you don't go out to protest (preferably with guns) to open hairdressers you're fine, lol. But seriously, I feel like it's okay to be sad about the small things, because they can really impact our mental state. (I have yet to attempt to dye my hair, but we did my mom's and it turned out surprisingly well. It sounds like a nightmare to do on your own, have you attempted it since this post?)

    It's like this - I'm not seriously suffering because I can't go shopping, but I love shopping, even when I end up not buying anything. It's something fun to do with my friends. I also love the cinema and the theater, and I had to miss out on two theater performances because of the virus. (It's also funny because I rarely purchase tickets, because the theater is so expensive, but I had TWO for this period, lmfao.) Also, I really wanted to see Dua Lipa again, but all festivals have been cancelled. At the same time, there are MUCH BIGGER issues, so I can't complain, I've gotten off easily enough so far, but yeah, the situation is horrible.

    1. "It sounds like a nightmare to do on your own, have you attempted it since this post?"
      Nope! I don't want to have to work on my hair on top of everything LOL.

      I hear you. I know you love live music and shows, and who knows when they will be available again. As of now, here in Italy, we've been given a bit more of freedom when it comes to going out, but shops are still closed at least until the 18th, which sounds counter-intuitive...I hope we're not getting a fresh batch of cases because of that...

      Hang on sweetie, and let me know if you did your own hair!

    2. That does sound weird about the shops. Here they are opening on most places, like I said. Wearing masks is a must on public transport and shops. Restaurants etc. can also open - with the exception of our county - but only those that have an outdoor space, no one can eat indoors.

    3. Masks are mandatory here too, but restaurants etc. can only offer home delivery and/or takeout service so far.


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