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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

Hooray for Purple!

Baltimore's City Hall in purple
In this town and in this season, it bodes well for me that I love the color purple, the local football team's color. I recall an approving comment from a fellow commuter on the purple scarf I was wearing "Oh, you must be a Ravens fan?" I stared at him blindly trying to figure out why he would assume that. Receiving my look he said, "Your scarf?" Oh, purple. I get it. "Yes," I lied and stopped the conversation. It's not that I am NOT a Ravens fan. It is that I am not a football fan (potentially a greater sin still).

One of the downtown skyscrapers turned purple
There was a time that I feigned being a football fan, contenting myself with the funny Superbowl commercials or the beer at the pubs showing the games. I tried to learn the rules. I tried to watch people's faces to understand the attraction. I even tried to find one particularly cute quarterback that I could at least have a crush on to make the game interesting. But nothing. So I have stopped trying. It just doesn't stick.

Yet, though I have not watched one game this season (Ravens or otherwise), one would have to be blind (and deaf) not to know that tomorrow is a big game for Baltimore's football team, the Ravens, whose team colors are, as aforementioned, purple and black.

The Bromo Seltzer Tower shining purple
So even though American football isn't my thing, I do like hometown spirit and most of all, I do like the color purple. (My room is purple. My favorite building in Montreal is purple. Many of my articles of clothing are purple.) So I have been very happy that in support of the game, fans have "painted the town purple." Downtown Baltimore is now a smattering of purple streetlights, logos and spotlights. And I am delighted.

The Constellation in Baltimore's Harbor sporting purple
My love of purple seems to match this city. So while I know nothing about the game, players, opponents or teams, I feel like, in this small way, I am supporting the city I grew up in.

And I would love the city to stay purple as long as possible, so if that means that Baltimore's team makes enough points to beat whoever they are playing to then get to the Superbowl which I assume is in a couple weeks to play some other team I don't know, then so be it! Go Purple!