The sun shines through clouds by the ancient Colosseum a day after strong winds and rain hit the city, in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. The national Civil Protection Agency has issued red and orange alerts — meaning possible “loss of life” from landslides, floods, and infrastructural damage — due to an Atlantic storm system that has brought torrential rains and hail, electrical storms, powerful winds and high seas to Italy from North to South. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
In the midst of all the chaos surrounding the Wuhan/Coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to find the positives. If you’re like me, a voracious consumer of all things newsy and geopolitical, the sheer onslaught of information — much of it rather bleak — can be overwhelming.
At a minimum, the message is mixed. And attempting to pin down accurate, helpful information frustrating.
Some of the starkest news has come from Italy, where the crush of over 15,000 active cases of COVID-19 has led to a virtual shutdown of the entire nation. Per CNBC:
Italy has tightened its nationwide lockdown further in response to the rising death toll from coronavirus, ordering all non-essential shops and services to close.
Announcing the measures Wednesday evening, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said supermarkets and pharmacies will be the only retailers to remain open in Italy.The latest restrictions come as the virus death toll surged over 30% on Wednesday to more than 800 — the biggest daily jump since the start of the outbreak. Italy is already under a national lockdown restricting citizens’ movement and activities until April 3.
While the gloomiest of doom predictors are insisting we’re only a matter of days behind Italy in meeting a similar fate, a tweet I saw last night helped lighten the mood:
People of my hometown #Siena sing a popular song from their houses along an empty street to warm their hearts during the Italian #Covid_19 #lockdown.#coronavirusitalia #COVID19 #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/7EKKMIdXov
— valemercurii 🌍 (@valemercurii) March 12, 2020
The people of Siena may be quarantined but they are not without hope. What a poignant and beautiful reminder that, even in the darkest of times, there are reasons to celebrate the human spirit.