I was in the process of finishing Part 2 of my Vietnam adventure last Monday night when The Prime Minister of Italy announced a lockdown on the whole of Italy, to take effect the following morning. The decree not only stopped all travel but also specified that people had to stay at home only leaving their houses, one at a time, to buy groceries or go to the pharmacy, doctor or bank in their own neighbourhood. There were a couple of exclusions including one that permitted travel if you were on your way to your domicile.
I had a flight out of Rome to Reykjavik on Thursday where I was meeting family for a trip around Iceland. I immediately cancelled these flights as well as the trip in Iceland and booked a flight to Toronto leaving on Wednesday. It took me hours on the phone on Tuesday and I also had to pack and prepare to leave the next day. I felt like I was in a science fiction movie fleeing from an apocalypse, wondering why I hadn’t given myself another day to sort things out calmly. By the end of day, it became clear that I had made the right decision as Air Canada announced that the flight I was booked on was going to be the last flight from Italy to Canada. I was so glad that I had gotten a seat on that flight.
At the airport the next morning, I wore a mask as did many other travellers. After getting through security, each traveller was screened for fever before being allowed to go to their gates. The plane was packed and I was more worried about picking up the virus on the plane so I wore my mask throughout the flight except to eat lunch.
I am so relieved to be home in Toronto. I’m in self quarantine for 14 days as there is evidence that people can be carrying virus without showing symptoms. Today is my 5th day back. My sister left me food in my fridge and family and friends have kindly been offering to drop off supplies. I haven’t had time to be bored yet as I was suffering from jet lag the last couple of days as well as getting over the stress of fleeing Rome in a hurry so I’ve been taking it easy. As I write this, Canada has ramped up its containment procedures. I hope that Canada manages to avoid the disaster that Italy is experiencing.
I have plenty of time now to continue with my travel tales and if any of you are in quarantine, you might be glad of another distraction so I will continue with my adventures in Vietnam and Cambodia in my next posts.
Be careful all and stay well.