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Lockdown solidarity

Life comes at you fast, as they say.

I’m sitting on the terrace of my apartment in Torino, writing, while H is inside teaching children through a screen. I haven’t left the house for a week. Outside, everything is closed except essential services. I can hear the garbage removalists downstairs, the lifting and closing of supermarket shutters, and occasional, awful sirens, but other than that the city of Torino, the whole of Italy, seems to be holding its breath.

I have written a couple of things about this experience.

Italy in Lockdown: ‘An old reality and its assumptions have slipped away from us’ is up today in the Adelaide Review, about just how fast the pandemic has changed everything and some of the ways that Italy is facing the challenges.

On a more practical note, I wrote Working from Lockdown on Medium/@paythewriters about my experience working from lockdown in the hope it will help other freelancers to prepare for lockdowns/self-isolation during the pandemic.

Another essay, The Unconcerned, was published in the Sydney Review of Books last week. It’s about the arrival of climate catastrophe at the Venice Biennale, and art in the Anthropocene. It’s eerie to see Venice empty again so soon.

There will be more to come, of course – I am fortunate in that I can still get work done from here, and grateful for the semblance of a routine I am managing to maintain.

Solidarity to all in this challenging time, especially to doctors, nurses and other health care workers who are on the front lines, and to waste removalists, checkout operators, factory workers, delivery drivers, food couriers, and anyone else who is risking their own health to keep essential services working.

While I’m here, I think it’s also worth sharing this message from young Italians, who wish they knew 10 days ago what they know now: