Dorina Lupu (36 years old) talks about how things work and how her life has changed in the country where she has been living for 8 years. From the moment pandemic started up to today, with restrictions, life habits changed completely and us all, never the same after everything goes away. “I don’t know if we became better persons, I think we became more selfish”, Dorina says, talking about another side of the pandemic – when some people empty shelves in supermarkets, for instance, and simply forget or don’t care that there are also others around with the same needs, and that we have to learn about caring and not thinking about us only, especially during this period.
Dorina is living in northern Italy, approximately one hour drive from Trieste, and is working as home assistant for people with disabilities. When first cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy, nobody ever imagined what would follow. “It all started in Lombardia area with patient number one, the first outbreak broke out there. Before this patient, two chinese tourists had been found positive in Rome, these tourists healed themselves. The patient number one was working in a factory with a lot of employees, common dining hall”, Dorina remembers the beginning. This first patient, 38 years old, also healed himself, although he was in a very bad condition – but many outbreaks have exploded in Lombardia, where is registered the biggest number of death people because of pandemic, in Italy.
Life with mask, disinfectants and fear
From that point on, statistics kept on growing and people had to change their lives and adapt “while going”. “There were many government decrees, they were given overnight”, Dorina remembers. Today, you are allowed to get out of the house to go to the supermarket or to the pharmacy – only one person from each family, you are not allowed to go more members. You are also allowed to go to work. When you get out of the house you must have a statement filled in with information – where are you going to, for what reason, where are you working if you are going to work, a copy of your contract, also. Running outside is also forbidden now, you are only allowed to get out with your pet, and no more than 200 meters away from home.
“In supermarkets you find basic food, but it is over during one day, people are afraid World War 3 is coming and they are getting out with their baskets full. And the authorities keep on telling people not to make stocks for nothing”, Dorina says.
You rarely find masks and disinfectants, and with very high prices, 5 euro for a face mask, for instance, or almost 4 euro for a 75 milliliters hand gel. “Food prices have also risen, people buy much more food than it is necessary”, Dorina says. Frequent controls are made by the financial authorities, to be sure speculation is not practiced.
Dorina is wearing face mask, gloves, has disinfectants in her car and is using them all the time, leaves her shoes outside when getting back home. She is aware that you can’t eliminate 100% the risk of contagion, but she is trying to protect herself and people she is working with as much as she can. At the entrance in supermarkets there are disinfectants and gloves, and some of them don’t allow you to enter if you don’t wear protection gear.
“People with disabilities I’m working with don’t get out of the house at all, I’m doing shopping, medicines, food, and I’m trying to be positive, it’s a big responsibility, you have to protect yourself and them, also”, she says.
“I think that when everything goes away we should learn to appreciate more certain things and values”, Dorina says, but she is a little bit skeptical. Many people have bought a lot of food all this time without thinking that others also need and won’t find it anymore. Also, there are people who don’t afford expensive food products – and when they got to the shop could not find basic food with reasonable prices, because everything had been bought before. So, they had to buy even less with small amounts of money. “I don’t know if we became better, I think we became more selfish. People are encouraged to help their neighbors but I don’t know how many of them actually do this, because they are afraid to be infected”, Dorina says.
She thinks that even after things come back to normal we will keep social distance for a while, maybe wear gloves or mask at the supermarket. “We must be more careful with our hygiene, wash our hands more often”, she says.
But there are also good parts in everything that’s going on – if we can say so. The donations for health system, for instance, the civil society that wants to help, public personalities getting involved also.
Also, people are reading a lot these days – you can order books from the public libraries and they will deliver them to your door.
Among the economic measures taken by the authorities are those of suspension of mortgage loan rates for few months, of some taxes also, car insurance is suspended if you don’t use your car anymore, local mayors give to families in need tickets than can be used for buying food.
#coronastories are opened for people of all ages, from different professions and different countries. If you want to talk about the way you feel and understand these times, please contact me. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also talk on Whatsapp – +47 455 17 634 or on Skype – Ramona Sarac.