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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

A New Postcard! World Pneumonia Day in Geneva

Geneva: A City of Causes and Compassion

Geneva, Switzerland hosts the headquarters of numerous large international organizations such as the United Nations and the International Red Cross. It is also the headquarters of the GAVI Alliance, an organization dedicated to saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries. GAVI was a co-founder of World Pneumonia Day which, as you saw on the postcard, raises awareness and funds for preventing the millions of avoidable deaths caused every year by pneumonia.

Geneva is known for many things:  peace treaties, Palais des Nations (U.N. HQ), watches, fondue, nearby skiing, but its iconic landmark is the Jet d'Eau. Originally built in 1886 as a safety valve for a hydraulic network, this fountain was recognized for its aesthetic appeal and moved to its present location in 1951. Since 2003, the fountain runs every day, and the water reaches a remarkable 460 feet (140 meters)!

Turning the icon of Geneva blue in solidarity with the campaign surely grabbed the attention of city residents, tourists and perhaps even airline passengers (it can even be seen from the 33,000 feet in the air!), and hopefully brought to light the needless deaths of pneumonia victims.

Jet d'Eau on regular days for comparison:

Photo Credit: Alfred Molon

Where are you?
Send me a postcard! Just take a digital photo, write a 2-3 line message and send it to touristliving(at)gmail(dot)com! I'll turn your photo into a postcard and post it on my blog to share your experience of living like a tourist in your own city. (Remember: whether you are living in Duluth or Dubai- I want to hear about the interesting or unique aspects of your city!)