The effects of Covid-19 creeps closer even as the rate of new cases is declining.
We still say "Buongiorno!" albeit through layers of fabric.
We met in the sunshine in the park next to where we live across the river from Cambridge and the main Harvard campus. Meeting outdoors is safer in the times we’re in.
Our street market was cancelled but the fish truck still appears twice a week as it always did, attracting a village street cat that sits politely, awaiting its supper. People buy the freshly caught fish, but with a meter separation in between. The usual discussion of various fish ensues as always.
Part of the government’s decree is to change people’s behavior for several weeks – long enough to slow or stop community transmission.
Books are a big draw, but the Gronigen Forum also has lots more: movie theaters, exhibition halls, an auditorium, a comics museum, a hip restaurant and bar, and a rooftop "market square" with great views. (And shops.)
The disappearance of crowds due to the coronavirus scare might actually be good thing. No city can thrive on a monoculture of mass tourism.
As I check in with various friends and colleagues in different parts of Italy, it seems most are being cautious and careful, but there is little real hysteria. But online is going crazy.
The key to opening up these Italian beaches to all walks of life is to tie together the promenade, bikeways, benches, existing open spaces, and broader piazzas for concerts and street markets.
This focus on mixing as many uses as possible within the same space challenges much of the planning orthodoxy of the past century or so, which has studiously attempted to separate residential areas from retail, entertainment, manufacturing, and office districts.
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