Italian Diary: Inside The CoronaZone Lockdown


Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Italy is now on complete lockdown. Cases have soared to almost 18,000 people, with nearly 1300 dead. The spread of Covid-19 has not slowed down yet.

We are not allowed to go out and about except to buy groceries, go to the pharmacy, or for medical emergencies. Roadblocks randomly located check why people are in vehicles. (Delivery of food and medicine is legitimate reason.) Even for these limited purposes we must fill out a form available online that we fill out with personal information, including origin and destination. Police can verify the information and if someone is found to have lied, they can be arrested and quarantined.  

Part of the government’s decree is to change people’s behavior for several weeks – long enough to slow or stop community transmission. This means:

  • Restaurants and bars are closed.
  • All sporting events and public assemblies of any sort are cancelled.
  • Museums, theaters, cinemas, or places of group entertainment are closed.
  • People are being told to stay home – essentially self-quarantine – especially elderly people.
  • One person from each household may go out to buy groceries and get medicines.

These behaviors must stop:

  • Parties and other group gatherings
  • Touching other people
  • Shaking hands
  • Hugging
  • Kissing

Everyone is being told to be mindful of the one meter separation rule.  And to wash hands frequently.  

Food markets and pharmacies rigorously enforce a maximum number of people inside and waiting lines with spacing outside.

Mark Hinshaw
Mark Hinshaw
Mark Hinshaw is a retired architect and city planner who lived in Seattle for more than 40 years. For 12 years he had a regular column on architecture for The Seattle Times and later was a frequent contributor to Crosscut. He now lives in a small hill town in Italy.


  1. Thank you for all your recent reports, perhaps especially the one on future city plans for Venice
    I’ve lived in Seattle for over fifty years, but lived in Venice for a year in the early 80’s and have been back many times since. Not just Venice, but lots of elsewheres. I gather that you live somewhere in Le Marche – one of my favorite towns there is Ascoli Piceno.
    Restate a casa, state bene – tutti. Thank you again for writing, revelle Dunlop


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