I wrote this on 7th April to publish on 8th - not knowing at that point that I would be starting my journey home! I am not sure my perceptions of a change are accurate of course, but I had found an English speaking chemist who spoke of 'light at the end of the tunnel' and I will post it anyway in the hope that it is of some interest...
Day 27 of the lockdown and there is a change in the atmosphere here in Venice.
As the death toll rose, the restrictions tightened and the seriousness of the situation sank in, the silence deepened. People stopped chatting. They stopped looking each other in the eye and walked along with heads down. Screens went up in the shops to separate the customers from the shopworkers and more people began to wear masks. No-one was friendly any more. They were not unfriendly exactly as they swerved to avoid you in the street, but It began to feel zombie-like. Perhaps you will see the same thing happening where you are.
Then one morning it seemed to me I could hear more voices than usual on the fondamenta below our windows, but the queue at the supermarket was just as silent and I thought I was probably mistaken. Two days later however I sensed a definite change. It coincided with further confirmation that although deaths were still increasing, the infection rate was going down. (I get my news by the way, by photographing the headlines on the billboards at the newspaer shop then translating them with Google Translate. As you might imagine I am developing a rather strange vocabulary...)
That same day a beautifully dressed elderly woman adnired my shoes and we stopped and chatted for a minute or two, the requisite distance apart of course. It was delightful! My Italian still doesn't extend very far beyond I'm sorry I don't speak Italain, do you speak English? I was very glad to discover that she did.
A little later I went into a tiny pasticceria and asked for un croissant crema and was charmed by the smiling, helpful woman behind the counter. My eye problem means I can't see very well especially when I come in out of the sunshine and I have learned to say so in Italian Non posso vedere bene. She was the first person I have seen smiling for weeks and it cheered me up no end!
The only other smile was on this election poster which went up just about the time of the lockdown and seemed really inappropriate..in fact I thought it might actually lose Zuin votes.
My neighbour threw a little packet of biscuits from his balcony to ours and gave me a.thumbs up.
Just get through this next bit.
Things will get better.
Hang on in there!