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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

Happy July 1st... Happy July 4th... Just Happy!

picture by JojjE

After wishing a Happy July 1st for Canada Day, and today wishing a Happy July 4th for Independence Day, it occurred to me that perhaps, more than the historical reasons for celebrating (who today is reading a book on American history??), the reason we value holidays so much is that is gives us an excuse to be happy.

We always have excuses to be stressed, to be annoyed, to be frustrated... work, commuting, waiting in lines, dysfunction of household items, car trouble... most would agree that those things happen on a more regular basis than holidays do.

So when a day rolls around when we declare "Happy July 4th" or "Happy Birthday" or "Happy holidays"- we have built in some days to remember to celebrate happiness.

For me that is probably the best thing about holidays, we have our priorities straight. Happiness in sharing time with family and friends, in enjoying the weather or the season, in spending some days away from the regular routine that is often not at all about being happy.

So for July 4th, I wish you a happy celebration of U.S. independence... but I also wish you a happy day. And most of all, I wish for you that those days come more frequently than the holidays that we set aside for that purpose.

Side Note: I have discovered another great blog, Yes and Yes, from a talented blogger, who I believe is a kindred spirit to me. Her post, (case and point) Reasons I Love America (Even Though I'm Constantly Trying To Leave It), is very relevant for July 4th. Enjoy!