It’s only the fifth day that we are blocked in the house. Still, it feels like an eternity.

We live in Italy, the country with the most COVID-19 cases after China. We live in Lombardy, region with the most cases in Italy.

Five days ago we got the official news: we are part of the red zone. Three days ago Italy got completely shut down. No one can enter or leave the country anymore.

Since then our life has changed drastically.

As a mom of two little kids ages four and six, I try to reinvent myself every single day. It’s true, we are fortunately not part of the groups that are at risk. We are neither old nor sick.

Still, it is hard to stay calm. 

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I don’t want to be told where I can go or not. 

I don’t want to be full of restrictions that cover my daily life.

I don’t want to bring with me a paper that justifies why I am leaving the house. 

I don’t want to wake up every morning anxious about what might be the news, that came up overnight.

I don’t want to fight every day with my kids about why they can’t see their friends.

I don’t want to hear the sound of loudspeakers from outside telling me to stay at home.

I don’t want to receive all these calls and messages asking me whether I am OK or not.

I don’t want to get nervous every evening around the same time, because I know soon they will publish the new numbers. 

I don’t want to live all this insecurity.

I don’t want to be in the middle of all of this. 

And still, I am. 

And still sooner or later probably all of us will be. 

So let’s face this together.

Let’s stand together. 
Let’s be scared together.
Let’s worry together.
Let’s fall together and let’s rise together.

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“Everything’s gonna be alright.” This is the title of a movement that was born here in Italy only a few days ago. A simple sentence, together with a rainbow. Painted by thousands of children and their parents who are all in the same situation.

They are all at home.


Now their messages are hanging down from balconies all over the country giving an important message to all of us . . . 

Everything’s gonna be alright.

We will be alright. 

You will be alright. 

Together we can do this.

And we will.

Lena Ognissanti

Raising two kids between three languages, two countries, two cultures, and one world.