Over the past few weeks, uneasy routines have now become comfortable habits. Going out for essential supplies is no longer an enticing excuse to leave the safety of my apartment. The ordeal to glove up, mask up and then wipe everything down quickly takes the fun out of getting out of the house. And as the days get warmer, there is a genuine fear of taking off a layer and exposing any skin at all.
My daily walk is now timed for when I believe the fewest number of people will be on the streets in order to avoid anyone. My essential supply runs, too, are now roughly the same time of the day—when I do them—to make sure I’m on the same unwritten schedule as other like-minded people. I’m buying for days at a time now, and trying to avoid the grocery store when those people who are still coming in for one or two items shop every day. Those are the people to fear, the ones who play Russian roulette with their health—and everyone else’s. That kind of recklessness has no place in my personal COVID orbit.
So when Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, announced that the lockdown would stay in effect until May 4, I breathed a little sigh of relief. I’m not ready to get back out there—there are still too many cases being logged each hour and there are still around 600 people dying each day.