Day 5

     APOCALYPTIC–That is what it is like here right now. We awoke early and departed for the UD campus because the older 4 kids had to log in and do virtual school today–the new normal for a while. The internet is better on campus so the plan was for me to drive them there and then let Sebastian and Annie play while I got some work done. But as we pulled out of our vineyard drive, there were no cars on the street. For a Monday morning, which is usually a traffic nightmare, all I can say is that it was like having been left behind after the rapture.
    When we got to campus, I learned that people on campus (there are only about 10 or 15) are trying to avoid each other. The forno dinner we had the night before would be the last social gathering for a while.
    The kids found online school easier than they had feared, so that was good. We had a nice dinner of lentils and rice, and started Mary’s birthday celebration early by watching home movies when she was little. Adorable!
    We then said night prayers as a family and then reminisced a little more about old memories. . . when the news hit: the Prime Minister of Italy is asking all Italians to stay home unless absolutely necessary. Wowzers. As a result, Ron and Jacob just bolted out to get last minute supplies for our stockpile, since we cannot possibly maintain several weeks worth of food and other necessities. . . it is just a loose idea we hold and then fail to meet. So, they are running out and we’ll see what happens. I have no idea if this means that grocery stores will close down. I heard that in China, all groceries were by delivery or . . . drone! What a wild ride we are on
     I sometimes want to panic but I tell myself: The US is just a month behind us but it makes no sense to go to the US; even if we get it, it is not likely to be life-threatening for any of us; sometimes I think (like many adults around here that I have spoken with) that I (and 5 of the kids) had it last month when a had the “flu” but a strange one that had a horrible respiratory aspect, which confirms for me that we would endure it a second time if we had to; the mortality rate is still very low (463 in Italy); the virus is rare among children. The CDC reports: “most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. . . infection among children was relatively uncommon.”
    A mood-mender for me is that we live on this huge vineyard. We are not around any people. I think if I were in NYC, I would be much more nervous. But the calm disposition I have tended to take toward this is probably (even unduly) the result of the fact that I am never around anyone! Now that the kids are not in school, they are not either. So, unless someone was infected from a while back and then it appears, we should be completely fine. And even then, we are in low-risk populations.
    May God grant us a heavenly ability to be prudent, careful, wise, and make the right decisions about where we are, where we go, etc. Then, once decisions are made, let there be silver-linings and joy. We are Christians, and we can do this! “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). May God answer prayers and bring an abundance of good for the world (crises can be purgative and bring health to a people who are sick) and for our family through this trial. God be with us all.