19 Mar A Day in the Life of an Italian Family under COVID: Day 9 in Quarantine - Back to basics, SmartWorking, Industry closures, eCommerce Business, Government support

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Here is a day in the life of an Italian family including smartworking, state of industry, eCommerce business and DIY retail, and government support.

Everything here in our home is actually quite calm.  We are not in a panic state. We are pretty relaxed. We have the whole family together which is nice.  I suppose one of the advantages is that it reunites us all. We spend a lot of time together.  

Everybody is cleaning their cupboards,  organising their books, getting things back to minimising, sorting things around the house we don’t need.  A lot of it to be thrown away, a lot to be given away, so that's an advantage. I’ve done a lot of work in the garden sorting out things I would never have done for the Spring.  My veggie garden is so perfect, all ready to be sown.  

As far as our family and the virus is concerned, it's only my uncle who is positive.  He went bobsledding in Switzerland 15 days ago and picked it up. He's been in bed with high temperatures.  Apart from that, nothing really to report. We don’t know of anybody who has passed away, and I don’t know of anybody else who has the virus, so we've been lucky.  

As a family we are lying low, keeping everyone at home.  I go shopping once a week. We make a big shopping list. Generally we are just taking it easy, trying to get by and make it affect our lives as little as possible.  

One of my sons is smartworking from home.  He works online with crowdfunding. He had to buy another monitor, as he is sometimes online with more than 60 people at the same time, with no problems.  Daily he is online with about 6 of his office colleagues. He sits in his bedroom with the headphones on. Every now and again he comes down and gets a bite or a drink.  He’s cool and everything seems to be going along well. He says business has dropped off dramatically but they are still raising finance and he's happy.  

My daughter was doing a pottery course in Tuscany but she’s returned home and is organising her bedroom.  Cleaning out her life and getting it sorted. My other son is helping me a lot in the garden. We fixed up the river, pruning the trees and cleaning out the plastic - something we haven’t done since 1999.   

In Italy under COVID-19, DIY is considered one of the essential commodities, so the DIY stores are still open but closed on weekends.   I heard it is a huge drop in turnover and a big shock even though their weekday sales are a bit more.  

Generally there is a major move to online business.  My friend says his online trade has gone up by 30%. The problem is that the courier people are carrying the virus so they are starting to limit the kind of products you can buy online.  

We made a couple of online purchases.  We couldn’t find Vitamin C so we bought it online and it was delivered within two days.  Otherwise our standard online purchase is the dog food. I bought myself a new pair of slippers from Amazon Prime which arrived within two days.  It seems like online business is working.  

Generally business is taking a huge knock.  They are closing down factories that are not essential products.   Areas where there are high numbers of infected people, they've stopped companies from working, and factories have been closed down.  This will probably last for about two weeks.  

Italy is definitely going to take a huge knock.  They've made a new budget and put big money into assisting companies, reducing income tax, and home loan payers are not going to have to pay their mortgage bonds anymore.  

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