Sparks of hope, but thank goodness the neighborhood’s cautious. There are definitely more people around, also some kids, strollers and joggers. The two bars (=coffee shops) have sort of opened, in the sense their entrances are barred by a table, and you go up and order your coffee and cornetti, which are then placed on the table where you’ve supposedly placed your payment. Some people who pay with their cellphones hold them up to be photographed before moving off to enjoy their loot, standing in the middle of the piazza.
Not ideal but at least it’s a beginning. The pizza place which had just opened when the shutdowns clamped down has timidly reopened too, with the same table-blocking-the-entrance system, not ideal as they had started off with a huge variety of pizzas to oogle and choose from: for the moment they only offer 4 or 5 basic types.
The tobacconist is behaving pretty strangely, he keeps clients outside his shop, you have to hand-signal what you want, and wave your payment at him so he sees if he has to give you any change. When it’s ready he puts it on the counter, tells you to wait and disappears into his back-office. At that point you can enter and grab whatever you’ve asked for and your change. I don’t smoke, my partner does. Maybe he’d stop if I made him go through the rigmarole himself instead of buying his cigarettes for him.
The newspaper stand right on the street never closed, and seems to have stricter distance spacing rules for clients now. People used to just love spending time in there giving the owner all the latest gossip, which he only put up with for business. He looks much happier now. There’s also a flower vendor on the road who reopened yesterday, and as they’re Muslim, I imagine they’re happy they had been able to close – for once – as it’s been Ramadam for the past 3 weeks.
I don’t pay too much attention to the news, except that a big number of businesses are meant to re-open next Monday, shops with strict masks-one person every 40 meters-rules, offices with complicated distancing and stay-at-home rules too. No canteens are reopening, so bring your own lunchbox. Somehow it doesn’t sound very reassuring, as most offices in the center are pretty cramped. Not to mention buses to get into town.
I’m probably off buying clothes and shoes for quite some time in the future: what’s wrong with my whole stash of stuff? Nothing. I’m even trying to Mary Kondo it. For books, amazon e-books will just have to do for the moment: I can’t bear the idea of being regimented in a bookshop. But most important, it’s on/off if hairdressers will reopen next Monday or only June 1st. I do know hordes of women are raring to go back. First chance I get, I’ve decided to have most of my hair chopped off, just in case we have to backtrack and the coronavirus rules get out of hand again in the fall…