MY CORONAVIRUS UNIVERSO: Life under Quarantine in Città della Pieve

Days 24 & 25

April 1 & 2, 2020


01 April 2020
Città della Pieve
1 Death
18 Cases
2 Recovered
110,574 Coronavirus Cases
13,155 Deaths
16,847 Recovered

Worldometer, Last updated: April 01, 2020, 21:54 GMT
02 April 2020
Città della Pieve
1 Death
18 Cases
2 Recovered
115,242 Coronavirus Cases
13,915 Deaths
18,278 Recovered

Worldometer, Last updated: April 02, 2020, 19:54 GMT


  • Italy’s lockdown has been extended until April 13th
  • Death toll rises above 13,000
  • New infections slow as health chiefs says epidemic has reached ‘plateau’
  • Parents are now allowed to take children out for a walk
This photo provided by Italian news agency ANSA shows Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addressing Parliament in Rome on March 25, 2020 about the measures taken to counter the spread of the new coronavirus in Italy. (Photo by FABIO FRUSTACI / ANSA / AFP) / Italy OUT


‘Coronavirus battle is not over’: Italy’s PM announces lockdown to continue until April 13th

  • Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed on Wednesday that the lockdown that has been in place since early March will be extended until April 13th.

“The scientific committee is beginning to see the results of the restrictions,” said Conte on the day when Italy recorded its lowest daily death toll for a week.

“But we’re still a long way from the end, and therefore I’ve decided to sign a decree extending the measures until April 13.”

Italy has been in strict lockdown since March 12th with people confined to their homes and only allowed to leave for essential reasons such as shopping or health visits.

Bars and restaurants remain closed, and only essential businesses continue to function.

The current measures were due to expire on April 3rd.

  • US jobless claims hit 6.6 million as virus spreads
  • More than 10,000 lives lost in Spain
  • ‘Deep concern’ over international abuse of coronavirus emergency powers
  • Oil prices surge on hopes of a price war truce
  • Wimbledon is the most recent high-profile sporting event to be cancelled, the first time since World War II.

What’s the situation in Italy?

Another 4.782 cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed on Wednesday, according to the latest daily figures from Italy’s Civil Protection department.

This represented a slightly faster rise in the number of new infections for the first time in six days – the rise has been gradually slowing day by day.

In total Italy has now confirmed 110,574 cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began, including the deceased and recovered patients.

Another 1,118 people had recovered on Wednesday figures showed, making a total of 16,847.

The death toll was slightly lower on Wednesday than on Tuesday, but some doubts were raised about the accuracy of data on fatalities.

The death toll figure rose by 727, compared to Tuesday’s 837.

This brings the total number of fatalities to 13,155.

Authorities acknowledge that the data are incomplete because deaths from COVID-19 related causes outside hospitals are not counted.

(Source: The Local/ April 2020/21:11 CEST+02:00)


Heaven help the Housebound! A letter from a mother of three in Hong Kong

Translated and adapted from the original version below in French.                                      Written by Catherine Boulet-Gercourt, FaceBook, February 29, 2020, Hong Kong

Catherine is a French mother of three girls, Suzanne, 12, in 5e, equivalent of our 7th grade, Felicie, 10, in CM2, equivalent to 4th grade, and Clementine,  5 years, in Maternelle, equivalent to Kindergarten. She lives in Hong Kong with her husband and her children attend the French School in Hong Kong. Before quarantine was initiated in Europe, she wrote this eerily prescient guide to how to survive being housebound with small children, doing home-schooling.

Update from Hong Kong 04/03/20

 Hong Kong faces a second wave of contamination, on the heels of when the epidemic appeared to be under control.  It is surmised that this second wave was caused by, all those who had left for Europe at the beginning of the crisis (many expatriates here) and especially the students who study abroad, especially in the UK, and who returned to Hong Kong. We are not living under a confinement as strict as in Europe, but all public spaces and infrastructures are closed again, gatherings of more than four people are prohibited, restaurants can only serve tables of four people maximum and must be spaced one and a half meters apart.  From this Friday onwards, bars and karaokes will once again be closed.  Working from home is still highly recommended and compulsory in some cases.  Utilities such as the Post Office operate at a slower pace so that not all employees are working at the same time.  Air traffic is almost at a standstill.

A little survival guide for my friends in France …

Dear all,

That’s it. The virus has reached your homeland, now.

We’ve been living with it for a month. Let me give you two or three little insights on what is about to happen. In any case, what happened to us – and what we are still living. I hope you’ll experience something a little less heavy-duty, but frankly, I doubt it. It sure looks like it’s gotten off to a bad start.

Anyway, the following is what could happen to you:

Shortages: masks (there shouldn’t be many anymore), hydro-alcoholic gel for washing hands, soap, bleach, pharmaceutical alcohol, disinfectant wipes, and basically anything that could be used to kill viruses / bacteria …

Rumors leading to shortages of unexpected products: here, especially toilet paper. People all started compulsively buying bog roll, there was no longer a roll available in all of Hong Kong. People stood in line for several hours to buy whole pallets of TP. It became discussion topic number 1. Great atmosphere. What are people doing with their hundreds of rolls of toilet paper now? Big mystery!

Here, rumors of border closings with China to goods have led to flash shortages of all kinds of products, like rice, pasta, instant noodles, fresh produce, meat … it depended on the days, it depended on the places. it lasted two or three weeks. It’s back to normal, now.

The joys of school at home …. Already more than a month now that schools are all closed here, and it will still be the case at least until April 20. A whole quarter, therefore. Big sigh.

Plan on  patience (a lot, a lot, a lot). Also make sure you have a working printer, paper and ink stocks for the 120,000 prints you will make each day. Make sure that your Wi-Fi connection is strong enough for all those little people who will be working in your living room all day. Think now about the thorny problem of sharing the computer among everyone. The older the children, the more they will need to spend several hours a day with videoconferences that they will not be able to miss … Especially if, as in Hong Kong, you must do homework with your children. You will have to keep them motivated and stay motivated yourself despite being fed-up! That will not fail to haunt the whole family from the third day onwards.

And expect to have to plunge yourself into the subtleties of French Grammar or the ecstasy of decimals! Parents of large families, rejoice! You will be able to divide your day between the cursive penmanship with solid round letters, counting up to 20, noun complements, long division, irregular English Verbs, Spanish vocabulary to designate all family members, stories from the chivalrous Middle Ages, and many other super interesting and super easy subjects to explain to your children, who, of course, will ask only that of you to mine that magnificent knowledge from the way far back!

Dust off your board games. You will need them when all public infrastructure has closed, and you have courageously decided to limit screen time for your toddlers. Imagine a city without swimming pools, tennis courts, sports fields, libraries, playgrounds and toy stores. No more extra-curricular activities, no more …. nothing. There, those who live in the countryside will clearly be ultra-privileged. So, go ahead,  open the door and push everyone outside, into the garden. For the others, good luck. We sometimes go rollerblading in the parking lot. Great !

You may also need to cancel your vacation. Maybe the trains won’t run anymore. If you wanted to go further, be aware that soon the other countries may refuse to welcome you. Or will it be France that will refuse to let you return if you leave? That’s good, who needs to go and get a break by the pool? Wouldn’t you rather stay confined in your living room doing long division? And that’s good, anyway your vacation budget will be spent buying another laptop so that the youngest one can work …

You can also forget outings to the theater or concerts or the circus …. These will be canceled. If you still decide to enjoy life and go out to a restaurant or have a drink, or just take a walk, you will come across an army of masked zombies and you will jump at the slightest sneeze. (We never stopped going out, but it’s downright burdensome to come across only masks, by the thousands).

Small businesses will suffer, shopping centers will suffer, restaurants will suffer, taxis, hairdressers, dry cleaners, SMEs (Small and medium businesses) will suffer. It’s going to be shit everywhere. The caregivers will be exhausted, the teachers too, they will have to learn overnight how to manage a virtual class on google and correct photos of their students’ homework received by email.

So there you go! It’s a great little virus. That said, not everything is horrible either, it just makes you decide to be positive.

It’s an experience. My children will probably remember it all their lives. Everything is closed, but you can still see friends – well those who stayed. Here in Hong Kong, the weather is nice, we have picnics at the beach or hikes. And confinement brings everyone in the family together, after all, we are all embroiled in the same shit show.

We are slowly starting to see the end of the tunnel (except for the school). You enter it. It may be handled differently. It may be softer. In any case, concerning HK, I was skeptical, but it seems to work, the number of cases of contagion by the coronavirus is very low. The city is still extinct, and the Hong Kong people are suffering after an already particularly trying year.

We think of you 😘 (Also think a little about us on occasion)

Original Version, Written by Catherine Boulet-Gercourt, FaceBook, February 29, 2020, Hong Kong

Petit guide de survie à mes amis de France …

Chers tous. Ça y est. Le virus est chez vous. Nous ça fait un mois qu’on vit avec. Laissez-moi vous donner deux ou trois petits éclairages sur ce qui va arriver.( En tout cas sur ce qui nous est arrivé, et nous arrive toujours … je vous souhaite un truc un peu moins pesant, mais franchement j’en doute, ça m’a l’air mal barré votre histoire).

Bref, voilà en tout cas ce qui pourrait arriver chez vous…

Des pénuries : de masques (il ne doit déjà plus y en avoir beaucoup), de gel hydro-alcoolique pour se laver les mains, de savon, d’eau de javel, d’alcool pharmaceutique, de lingettes désinfectantes, et en gros de tout ce qui pourrait servir à tuer des virus/bactéries …

Des rumeurs conduisant à des pénuries de produits inattendus : ici, surtout du papier toilette. Les gens se sont tous mis à acheter compulsivement du papier Q, il n’y avait plus un rouleau dispo dans tout HK. Les gens faisaient la queue pendant plusieurs heures pour acheter des palettes entières de PQ. C’est devenu le topic de discussion numéro 1. Super ambiance. Que font les gens de leurs centaines de rouleaux de papier maintenant ? Mystère !

Ici, des rumeurs de fermeture des frontières avec la Chine aux marchandises ont conduit à des pénuries flash de toutes sortes de produits, comme le riz, les pâtes, les nouilles instantanées, les produits frais, la viande … ça dépendait des jours, ça dépendait des endroits. ça a duré 2 ou 3 semaines. C’est rentré dans l’ordre.

Les joies de l’école à la maison …. Déjà plus d’un mois que les écoles sont toutes fermées ici, et ça va encore être le cas au moins jusqu’au 20 avril. Un trimestre entier donc. soupir.

Prévoir de la patience (beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup). Assurez-vous aussi que vous avec une imprimante en état de marche, des stocks de papier et d’encre pour les 120000 impressions que vous ferez chaque jour. Assurez-vous dès maintenant que votre connexion wifi tiendra le coup pour tout ce petit monde qui va rester à bosser dans votre salon tout la journée. Réfléchissez dès maintenant au problème épineux du partage du/des ordinateurs entre tous. Plus les enfants sont vieux, plus ils auront besoin d’y passer plusieurs heures par jour avec des visio-conférences qu’ils ne pourront pas rater … Surtout si vous devez comme à HK faire du home working, à côté de vos enfants que vous devrez tenir motivés malgré le grand ras-le-bol qui ne manquera pas de hanter toute la famille dès le 3e jour. Joie bonheur toussa.

Et attendez-vous à devoir vous replonger avec extase dans les subtilités de la grammaire française ou des nombres décimaux . Parents de familles nombreuses, réjouissez-vous ! Vous allez pouvoir partager votre journée entre l’écriture cursive des lettre rondes, le dénombrement jusqu’à 20, les compléments du nom, les divisions posées à 3 chiffres, les verbes irréguliers anglais, le vocabulaire de la famille en espagnol, le récit chevaleresque au Moyen-âge et plein d’autres trucs super intéressants et hyper faciles à expliquer à vos enfants qui, bien sur, ne demanderont que ça et seront avides d’emmagasiner tout ce savoir magnifique.

Dépoussiérez vos jeux de sociéte. Vous en aurez besoin quand toutes les infrastructures publiques auront fermé, et que vous aurez courageusement décidé de limiter le temps d’écran de vos bambins. Imaginez, une ville sans piscines, tennis, terrains de sport, bibliothèques, ludothèques. Plus d’activités extra-scolaires, plus ….rien. Là, ceux qui habitent à la campagne seront clairement des ultra-privilégiés. Tellement facile d’ouvrir la porte et de pousser tout le monde dans le jardin. Pour les autres, bon courage. Nous, parfois, on va faire du roller dans le parking. Super !

Peut-être que vous devrez aussi annuler vos vacances. Peut-être que les trains ne circuleront plus. Si vous vouliez aller plus loin, dites-vous bien que bientôt les autres pays refuseront peut-être de vous accueillir. Ou alors c’est la France qui refusera de vous laisser revenir si vous partez. Ça tombe bien, qui a besoin d’aller se changer les idées au bord d’une piscine quand il peut plutôt rester confiné dans son salon ? Et ça tombe bien, de toute façon votre budget vacances est passé dans l’achat d’un laptop pour que le petit dernier puisse bosser…

Vous pouvez aussi oublier vos sorties au théatre/concert/cirque …. Ce sera annulé. Si vous décidez malgré tout de profiter de la vie et de sortir au resto ou boire un coup, ou juste faire une petite promenade, vous croiserez une armée de zombies masqués et vous sursauterez au moindre éternuement. (nous on n’a jamais arrêté de sortir, mais c’est franchement pesant de ne croiser que des masques, par milliers).

Les petits commerces vont souffrir, les centres-commerciaux vont souffrir, les restos vont souffrir, les taxis, les coiffeurs, les pressings, les PME vont souffrir. Ça va être la merde un peu partout. Les personnels soignants vont être crevés, les profs aussi, ils vont devoir du jour au lendemain apprendre à gérer une classe virtuelle sur google et corriger des photos des devoirs de leurs élèves reçues par mail.

Voilou. C’est un super petit virus. Ceci dit, tout n’est pas horrible non plus, il fait juste décider d’être positif.

C’est une expérience. Mes enfants s’en souviendront sans doute toute leur vie. Tout est fermé mais on peut quand même voir les copains (enfin ceux qui sont restés). Ici il fait beau, on fait des pique-niques à la plage ou des randos. Et le confinement rapproche tout le monde dans la famille, après tout, on est tous embarqué dans la même galère.

Nous on commence doucement à voir le bout du tunnel (sauf pour l’école). Vous entrez dedans. Ce sera peut-être géré différemment. Ce sera peut-être plus soft. En tout cas concernant HK, j’étais sceptique, mais ça a l’air de fonctionner , le nombre de cas de contagion par le coronavirus est très faible. N’empêche que la ville est éteinte, et les hongkongais souffrent après une année déjà particulièrement éprouvante.

On pense à vous 😘 (Pensez aussi un peu à nous à l’occas)