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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

So you had a bad day...

As we all know, bad days can happen in any city, and when you are having one, it is easy to find proof of why this city is particularly to blame...

Ad campaign in DC metro (personally I think the rat is cute though)

As any good tourist, I like reading up on the city that I am frequenting (or living in). This picture was posted awhile ago when a rat-type animal stole the limelight from President Obama as he was giving a speech in the rose garden.

The accompanying article provided this interesting, if not appealing, commentary on D.C.:

"Moreover, rodents of all kinds are pretty common in Washington. From time to time, city officials issue alarms about surges in the rat population when residents put out extra-big summer piles of garbage. Washington is, after all built, along a river, on what used to be a malarial swamp."

So summer in D.C. means "Extra-big piles of garbage," rats and living conditions reminiscent of a malarial swamp... I wonder if this writer likes this city?

But on those days when it is 102 degrees out, 90% humidity, and I am removing my belt, purse, shoes or other metal object of apparent concern, in order to get through the metal detector and security checkpoint for the building I work in, for the 80th time, with my $5.00 burned coffee in hand, and 2nd class, apparently useless, security badge in the other... I can just remember that after all, I am living in a former malarial swamp. What do I expect?