Good advice for the quarantine

Heard some advice on the radio last night, it said to have inner peace, that we should always finish things we start, and we all could use more calm in our lives. I looked through my house to find things that I’d started and hadn’t finished, so I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Whisky, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiumun srciptuns, an a box a chocletz. Yu haf no idr how feckin fablus I feel rite now. Sned this to all who need inner piss. An telum u luvum. And two al bee hapee wilst in de instalation.

What was the first sign of civilization?

Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she thought was the first sign of civilization in a culture. Student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks, clay pots or levig stones.

” But no Mead said the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighs) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You can’t run away from danger, go to the river for a drink or look for food. You are meat to the beasts that make beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough to heal the bone.

” A broken femur that healed is proof that someone took time to be with the one who fell, tied the wound, carried the person to safety and treated the person through recovery. Helping someone else overcome difficulties is where civilization begins, Mead said.

Today in Florence, day 2 of “La Quarantena”



Today was a gorgeous spring day and I wanted to get out in the sunshine and fresh air.  I took a bus ride to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is a favorite ride and then I walk home across the city.  Only 5 people on the bus.  The Piazzale was deserted.  I like it this way, though not for these reasons.





Can never resist a flower photo.



Ciao da Firenze, from the Rose Garden:








Piazza Santa Croce:








A lovely signora was enjoying the spring weather from her window:







Coronavirus and Italy

All of Italy is now under governmental orders to restrict travel.  Today is the first day of life under the new guidelines.  All schools, universities, museums and more are closed. This is a very drastic attempt by the Italian government to get ahead of the coronavirus, the first of its kind in the Western world.

I teach English part-time online in China and all of my regular students have been quarantined at home for the past 6 weeks.  I’ve been amazed by their stoicism.  And, if preliminary reports can be trusted, China has begun announcing that they have stopped the outbreak of the disease and some schools will begin reopening soon.

So, for now, I will stay hunkered down in beautiful Florence, filling my time with wandering around the city (though not eating out), reading great books, studying the language, and teaching my students.  I’ll keep my post updated as time goes on.

At this point, we are looking at 3 weeks, more or less, of “stare a casa.” Staying home. Fortunately, I’m a homebody! Maybe I will finally get caught up on my blog posts and language study.