Love in the time of corona

A view of a deserted Nazionale street, downtown Rome, amid the coronavirus outbreak, Rome, Italy, 11 March 2020. Picture: EPA-EFE / Massimo Percossi

As a native South African living in Italy, I have watched in horror as this pandemic has unfolded.

My husband has been travelling on and off for the last 6 weeks, and sent me a photo with the caption, “Love in the time of Corona” – naturally he was boarding a flight with a face mask. We thought it was funny. And, truth be told, if it happened today, I would still giggle.

But in the uncertainty that is corona, I’m damn near terrified. Suprisingly, I’m not terrified of getting it, or the kids getting it, or the implications thereof (yes, yes, call me selfish), but I’m scared of what will come after this.

As a native South African living in Italy, I have watched in horror as this pandemic has unfolded. I’ve watched as the schools closed, and the opening dates kept getting pushed back. I’ve watched Italy go from Red Zones to an entire country on lockdown. I’ve watched family members close their business doors with the hope of re-evaluating the situation at a later date. I’ve watched Europe follow in Italy’s footsteps. I’ve watched the South African narrative unfold with the reality of minimal testing occurring.

I’ve taken “home schooling” on the chin, and honestly – I know that I’m fortunate that I can stay home and do this with them in this time. I am taking on the role of mother, friend, teacher, disciplinarian, chef and everything else in between.

But here’s the thing: I’m scared for how the world will look when this is over. What businesses will be standing? How will our education system be re-evaluated? How will governments restructure? And, will we be able to survive the global economic recession that is about to hit?

I’m uncertain of what jobs will look like after this. I’m uncertain what socialisation for my kids will mean. I’m uncertain what big businesses are going to do. I’m uncertain about how the global imports and exports of food and grocery items are going to affect my weekly shopping. I’m uncertain about how this will affect travel and my “bucket list”. But, mostly I’m heartbroken.

I’m so heartbroken that this is going to be part of my kids’ childhood narrative.

And so, in an attempt to not let this be viewed in a negative light, we spend our days painting, cooking, planting, reading, watching movies and just living. Being present with them in a messy home that’s filled with love. My hope, is that when they look back on this time, it won’t be with fear, but with a mature understanding that, yes – it was scary, but we had the best time, despite the fear.

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About: Erin Mc Luckie Moya

Journalist, radio presenter and digital strategist, turned mother of two.

Story teller of all things interesting. South African currently residing in Italy.





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