East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

One day means ten


Today I ordered two books I need for research purposes (and for entertainment), and do not exist in ebook – there, the last bit is essential.
Ebooks are not just cheap, they are instantaneous – the moment the payment is processed, you have them on your reader. Paperbacks you have to wait for – and there is where the lockdown makes itself felt once again.

I used to joke about the fact, because I have a Amazon Prime account, I get my books mailed for free, and with the one-day delivery formula, which means I get them in three to five days. Because one-day delivery in Italy works if you live in a big city or in the immediate vicinities. Move to the hills, and one day means at least three.

But now it’s different: my books, mailed with the one-day delivery free Amazon Prime thingie, will be here on the 25th or 26th of the month.
Ten days.

And this is what we are no longer used to.
No eggs in the supermarkets, mail not delivered, ten days of wait for a book that normally takes one day to deliver. And I think this is what is slowly seeping in the conscience of my fellows citizens. The problem is not the fact that you are not allowed to go out for dinner with your friends. The problem is how everything is shutting down, and what does not shut down slows down. This, I think, is making people scared.

Also, today I heard fear in the voice of a client of mine.
He’s been poorly, he’s got a bad cough. I heard him on the telephone, and I could hear the worry, no, the fear in his voice. He’s waiting to see his doctor.
It was weird. We met two weeks ago – unnecessarily, on his insistence.
If in the last weekend he manifested the symptoms, it means he was probably already a carrier when we met. Two weeks ago.
Given what we know about the illness, I’ll have to sit tight and wait for another week to be sure I got out clean.

I listened to the guy’s broken voice on the telephone, and God forgive me, the first thing I was able to think about was that quote from The Hunt for Red October.

You arrogant ass. You killed us!

But then I just told him to sit tight and wait for what the doctors have to say.
His fear is enough without me telling him he’s an idiot.

So here I sit, and wait.
For my books, and for what this week will bring.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “One day means ten

  1. As bored (that’s not the right word . . . not quite scared, though, either) as you sound, it’s good to hear you’re still kickin’. Hope things turn around soon. I know nobody with the virus, but I assume that will change in the not-to-distant future. My sister says Germany is doing a lot better through this. I wonder why.


    • I think it useless to panic.
      I’m takingit one day at a time, and I am aware of the factthat I am lucky – Ilive in a small village, with little opportunity for contagion.
      I am sure a lot of things will change, and I am afraid many will not change for the best.
      As for Germany, we get contrasting reports here in Italy – some say they are handling the thing poorly. I have yet to check with my contacts there. Let’s hope foir the best.


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