The Outside

Today, I walked to the grocery store and out of my house for the first time in three weeks. The entire trip was terrifying. I wore a mask but constantly felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt like the police were watching me with every step I took. I was uncomfortable, and it wasn't just from the fear of getting sick. I was uncomfortable because it was unfamiliar for me. The streets were mostly empty apart from people walking to and from the grocery store.
Florence, Italy Ponte Vecchio Under Lockdown during COVID-19 coronavirus

The Ponte Vecchio is usually filled with tourists this time of year. It is a bridge I would avoid crossing because of how crowded it can be in normal times. The jewelry shops are usually all open with people occasionally looking into the windows, stopping for pictures, and listening to tour guides. This bridge is not supposed to look like this. It's not right. The city is too quiet. It needs to be filled with chatter and music. I want things to go back to normal. 

Whilst I was out, I wore a face mask. I'd never done that before and I think that was one of the things that contributed to my being uncomfortable. It wasn't that I was the only one wearing a mask, nearly every other person I saw also had one. I was made uncomfortable by the extreme measures taken by this country. I worry that we might have to wear masks for a long time after this lockdown. I worry that this virus has changed the way humans interact. I don't like this life of locking ourselves away until this problem gets solved by professionals. I know that we are doing our part by staying home, but I feel like there's more I could do. I want to help but I'm not sure how. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.  

With that said, I don't plan to go outside unless absolutely necessary. Although it feels useless, staying inside can actually slow the spread and save lives. Things are different now, and for them to get back to normal, we need to do the simple act of staying home. 

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