On 9 March 2020, Italy went into national quarantine under the order of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, allowed to go out only for necessity, work, and health circumstances;
On 14 March 2020, Spain follow suit, and Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez formally declared a state of emergency.
Three days later, on 17 March 2020, French president Emmanuel Macron asked all French people to "restez chez vous"(stay at home), because "Nous sommes en guerre"(We are at war")
In just one week, three most beloved European countries in the world in 2019 have all of their shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, museuems....everything within their countries, as well as their borders, closed, all because of a virus which does not need passport.
And their people?
Stay at home, Stai a casa, Restez chez vous, Quedate en casa.
And when you go out, maintain social distance, at least one meter from each other.
And what is happening to these three Latin people who like to kiss and hug each other, talk to each other for hours on end while being very close to each other, loving the human contact as much as the street outside of their homes.
How are they adjusting the new "Lockdown life style"?
The Italian way
Italy was the first Western democracy to adopt such extreme measures in the face of the very dangerous Covid-19. At first the lock down was implemented only in the Lombardy area in the North, the richest region in Italy with Milan the fashion capital as its center.
Then it was nationwide.
It has profundly changed every Italian's life, from North to South, from Bergamo to Palermo.
Life becomes indoor business. You drink your coffee, do your homework; You talk to your friend over phone, take your yoga or pilate classes online; You skype and stream, and feel scared, hoping your neighbours are not catching the virus, and worried, worried about the future, worried that that you may have done 99% of things correctly to protect yourself and your family, to only be attacked by the virus on a bag of rice.
It has been 10 days after the lockdown in Italy, most people have been supportive of the drastic approach of the goverment and been trying to adjust, but according to the Italian police, about 43,000 people have violated the decree, among them a man in Sicily tested positive went out shopping, and a priest who officiated a funeral near Venice, with some of the violators claiming not understanding the restrictions.
Similar to Italy, Spain's epicenter of coronavirus is also in Northern area, including Madrid and Barcelona, the biggest two cities in Spain, but Spain went directly to national lockdown, forbidding its citizens to go out until absolutely necessary, like buying grocery, medicine, and curiously, tobacco.
To live indoors for Spanish, is just as difficult as for Italians, who are people of outdoors. But even for some non Spaniard who works from home as freelancer, it feels as if the time had stopped, and something as mundane as taking out the trash could cause attention of Police, and walking your dog has transformed from a chore into a priviledge.
And you can't help being amused by how Spaniards are using their creativity to deal with the lockdown.
The French style lockdown is very similar to the Italian style: You need to have a self printed "attestation"(a travel permit signed by yourself) to justify your reason for moving about, but you can walk your pet and you can still jog and ride bicycle(which seems to be banned on Thursday 19 March), as long as it's close to your home and not for too long.
Around 100,000 police have been mobilised to set up checkpoints throughout the country to enforce the rules, and in just one day, over 4000 French people were fined due to violation of the rules.
Although no paper is needed in Spain during lockdown as in France and Italy, but breaking rules can mean up to 30,000 euro fines, compared with Italy's 206 euros and France's 135 to 375 euros.
The most beautiful things that has come out of the lockdown, are the balcony and window concerts held in all three countries, by talented singers and musicians for their neighbours, and the nightly ritual of applauding to the health workers, which is now spread all over Europe.
And the Latin way
What is the most curious thing about the national lockdowns in Italy, Spain and France?
The tabacco shops are allowed to open as well as supermarkets and pharmacies, as it accounts as essentials in all three countries.
It has been proven by medical data that people who smoked and are smoking are more vulnerable to coronavirus, and Global health expert Alanna Shaikhhasand has suggested in her TED talk that it is the best moment to quit smoking.
So, it seems that besides the Italian way, Spanish way, and French way lockdown, there is also The Latin way.
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