So, we got a suspect Coronavirus case in our region, and Piedmont is locking up with a “preventive quarantine”, while the population is panicking. Here in Astigianistans, schools will be closed until the 2nd of March, and the same apparently will be true for museums, cinemas and theatres all over the region.
And we don’t know what next.
A few of my contacts talk about supermarkets being either empty, or being assaulted by shoppers eager to stock up before they lock themselves up in their homes.
And yesterday in a bar in Asti I heard a guy say “the only way to handle this” is to barricade ourselves up in our farmhouses, and shoot on sight anyone that comes closer.
Ten years ago, the N1H1 scare had a hundred times less impact, while being a lot more dangerous than Coronavirus.
But back then we did not have political propaganda to whip up panic and meaningless (and frankly racist) reactions all over.
Like, deserting Chinese restaurants or anything vaguely oriental – including “that supermarket where a lot of foreigners go”.
Or, really, seriously advocating shooting on sight of potential zombies, with a straight face, in a public place, while the people around you nod and say they’ll check their shotguns.
So, now the question is… what would a writer do, in such a situation?
OK, order a pizza for dinner, but then, what else…?
Ah! Watch this space for news…