Day 11–Risking Prison

    Today was the first day that I have left the house since the school closures 11 days ago. Since then, the government has gotten increasingly stricter by the minute, limiting more and more of what one can do. Right now, the only thing permitted is to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, and only if you have no fever or symptoms and have government paperwork and documents with you. The punishment for not having the paperwork or for falsifying the documents (to do something non-essential) is a fine or time in prison.
    Low on some food supplies, I prepared to venture out. I figure that, since Ron is a male and hence more susceptible to the virus, I would be the one. As I filled out the paperwork I joked that I’d call them from jail using my one phone call. Jake asked, “Do they have that in Italy?” We Googled it and discovered that yes, you get as many as you reasonably need if you are arrested here.
    The streets were almost empty and the grocery store had a line outside. They only let in a few people at a time to allow for social distancing. I entered and got the things I needed. I came home and had an emotional crash. It is just so hard to be under the pressure of not contracting or passing on the virus. It has just had a huge explosion in Italy and is more lethal than expected (almost 7%). Italians are an aging population and big smokers, and these are two demographics that are vulnerable to the virus (since its respiratory). So, one could have imagined Italy being hard hit. But to witness it actually happening is really emotionally difficult. The hardest thing for me is to know that I can have it, but have no symptoms and thus not know I have it, and so be able to pass it on. Today I worried about killing people as I walked through the grocery store.
    All of this while we lived an otherwise “normal” day at home. We had our own Sunday worship service as a family, reading the Scripture and singing hymns including “O Sacred Head Surrounded” written by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Also, Ron is taking us through he Gospel of Mark, which he teaches at UD and now is sharing with the 5 oldest kids and me–a riveting experience and the kids love it. We did that for about an hour today. This evening, I have spent several hours studying for my class on the Eucharist that I am taking (now virtually) at the Angelicum. I love Fr. Roch’s book, Wedding Feast of the Lamb.
    The virus has hijacked our old way of life. But we are not willing for it to hijack our lives as such, and we press on, in faith, hope and love.
     We pray in a very special way for those suffering and dying from the virus, as well as for those who are vulnerable to it, and for the poor and those without medical help. God, pour out your mercy and may we all find ways to help those in most need.