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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

Letting Sanity and Fear Rule the Weekend

What better weekend than Halloween weekend to talk about sanity and fear? I, like most other people living in D.C. it seems, attended Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear this past Saturday. Metro and masses kept us from getting to the National Mall in time to be poised with a view of the stage. So instead, a friend and I walked around to admire all the sane people with their witty, entertaining, obvious and/or astute signs.

Here were some of my favorites:

Quite possibly my favorite of the day.

Photo courtesy of friend, Fiona

And then there were the costumes. I surmise that the costumes were, at least in part, attributable to it being Halloween weekend, but I could not back that statement with 100% certainty.
Barney?? I'll grant that my definition of sane is a little broader than most,
but I don't see the obvious connection.

Though I did not wear a costume this year (neither for the Rally nor for Halloween), I did find other ways of celebrating:

Welcome back Count Chocula!

My Pumpkins. N.B. without a proper carving knife, toothpicks
work wonders for keeping stars and heads in the right position.

Insanity strikes: Decorating little pumpkins on Saturday,
à la Martha Stewart, though she would have disowned us as students.

Pumpkins had a vital role in Cinderella: "Your coach milady."