Another update from Cortona under quarantine, late April – mid May.
There is so little traffic on Cortona’s streets, the grass has been able to grow between the paving stones. The health crisis has meant the suspension of routine maintenance by the Comune. The warmer temperatures and rainshowers of spring have turned the city streets into greenways. To protect children and parents, all the public parks are closed. To enforce this idea, playground equipment has been swathed in red-and-white hazard tape. The “andrà tutto bene” drawings by children continue to be spotted throughout Cortona.Several times a week, just after dawn, city maintenance vehicles spray down the streets with a chemical disinfectant. I’m not convinced that one can contract COVID-19 off of an infrequently-traveled cobblestone street, but if it makes people feel safer, ok. Waiting in line to enter the supermarket in Camucia – masks on, 1,8 meters between customers, only one person per family. Gloves are issued at the door; even if you bring your own, you must put a fresh pair over them. After all, you could have been wiping your nose with those old gloves. Stores must provide, if possible, separate entrances and exits, so that customers don’t cross paths at the threshhold. Consequently, businesses have come up with some creative solutions for directing traffic. Oh, and don’t forget to sanitize your hands. It has become the norm to see about ten pieces of paper taped to every door, filled with instructions and rules.
Everyone is hopeful that this current “Phase Two”, which continues next Monday, May 18th with the opening of more retail stores, as well as bars and restaurants, will not bring a second wave of infections. The gradual reopening, with lots of rules and precautions, will next bring gyms and hairdressers back to work… IF the rate of infection stays down. Then, in early June, we may be allowed to travel outside our region again.