Category Archives: Uncategorized

Corona virus 25

  • Umbria has 969 positives and 28 deaths. This is a rise of 9.6%
  • Italy has 92,472 positives and 10,023 deaths. This is a rise of just 6.9%.

Wow, it’s dropping, it really is. (!) The reduction in the number of cases is ahead of the deaths but that’s to be expected. It takes someone on average about a week to die, so there’s a lag. Not to be callous about it, but it is a fact.

Another very good Atlantic article .
The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life

Quote below. And at the same time, South Korea acted decisively and have controlled the virus.

When the definitive history of the coronavirus pandemic is written, the date 20 January 2020 is certain to feature prominently. It was on that day that a 35-year-old man in Washington state, recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan in China, became the first person in the US to be diagnosed with the virus…

…It was not until 29 February, more than a month after the Journal article and almost six weeks after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country that the Trump administration put that advice into practice. Laboratories and hospitals would finally be allowed to conduct their own Covid-19 tests to speed up the process…

…Those missing four to six weeks are likely to go down in the definitive history as a cautionary tale of the potentially devastating consequences of failed political leadership. Today, 86,012 cases have been confirmed across the US, pushing the nation to the top of the world’s coronavirus league table – above even China.

It is more than 110,000 now (since the article just 2 days ago). It doubles every 3-4 days…you can imagine what it will become. I have to hope, that sooner rather than later, everyone in the US, no matter their political persuasion will come to believe this is real, and it is a juggernaut.

My happy spot for the US is the amazing Governors/mayors of (some of) the States/cities. Due to the lack of coherent leadership at the top it has fallen to the States. And they are rising to the challenge.

I finally baked my cookies!

The recipe is one from a David Libowitz. It is probably the best Oatmeal cookie I’ve ever had.

I was talking to a friend a couple days ago. We asked each other “when this is over will you feel comfortable going out?” We each answered no. And the double kiss greeting in Italy? It may take awhile. This is incredibly sad, as it defines the Italian culture.

I think I’ll call the syndrome PCVSD. Post Corona Virus Stress Disorder. I’ve been reading that it may well be a real thing. People will/already do, have agoraphobia. They don’t want to leave their safe place, their house.

Today is gorgeous. Watery sunshine. Birds are singing in the little forest behind us. The House Martins are flitting wildly about, as they do. And I got to go outside for a bit to pick up our weekly Calagrana dinners and wine. After lasts weeks run in with the Carabinieri I was nervous. And I was by myself. Drove fast, fast across the bridge and parked behind a bush.🤣 Right away Ely arrived with the food. Then, Gary, then Paul with Georgia (their pup) and finally someone else I don’t know. We all rushed about, unloading-loading, but I, for one, was deliriously happy to see people. Even if from / feet apart 😳. It felt wonderful. ☺️

Buona domenica everyone. We had good news here so you will too in the not too distant future — if everyone self quarantines. Stay home and safe. Forza America. Forza Italia.

Corona virus 22

710 cases in Umbria. 9.5% increase.

74,386 cases Italy wide. A 7.5% increase.

Now we’re cooking with gas!! We’ve reached the top of the bell curve. It’s what we’ve been waiting for. Single digits! But unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case in Lombardia and north. Still growing there. No one understands why.

In Umbertide, there are places around the Centro with rows of trash receptacales. One for carta (paper), vetro and plastica (glass and plastic), indifferente (trash that doesn’t care) and biodegradable. The closest one to us is maybe 250 meters away, on the edge of the Centro.

As the days have passed, I couldn’t help but notice the ENORMOUS pile of trash that has been building up in our hallway. In our normal routine, Luther would be carrying a bag out whenever he goes for a run. And we carry some out whenever we go to the store. Now, however, neither of these activities are happening. So…it looks like dedicated trips to the trash cans must be made. I assume the police will let us do that as long as we are carrying a stinking bad of garbage. It even occurred to Luther that he could put the bags in the back seat of the car and if stopped, claim he’s going to the dump. Ah, the fantasies we indulge in…


From the New York Times —
“Based on epidemiological projections, as the virus ran unchecked, it would quickly expand to infect somewhat over half the population before herd immunity would slow its course. Assuming a death rate of about 1 percent of those infected, about 1.7 million Americans would die within a year.“

I will add that the 1% death rate is not in line with the facts so far. Here it averages 3.4%. So the death rate would increase by over three times if it holds true.

Someday this will be past for the human race. And those who survive will go back to their lives. My sister shared this poem with me. It sums up so many of my feelings.

When This is Over -Laura Kelly Fanucci

When this is over,
may we never again
take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theater
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.
When this ends
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way — better
for each other
because of the worst.
Stay safe and at home my friends. Faremo insieme…

Corona virus 18

462 cases in Umbria. Up 17%. 10 deaths now.

53,578 cases total in Italy. Growth of 14%. Worst news is there were 793 deaths report yesterday, Saturday, in 24 hours, here in Italy. Seven hundred and ninety three.

Well they finally did it. They proclaimed that running or walking outside will be against the law outside your own yard. You can still walk your dog 200 meters from your house. So, of course I will comply. Too many people were misusing this loophole to congregate. I understand, it is for the best. But it did ruin it for me. I’m not sure how I can keep my knee progressing in this small apartment. Sigh. Walking was the best exercise.

Today is Sunday. We now pick up our pre-made dinners from Ely (of Calagrana – our favorite restaurant) every Sunday. We pre-order by Wednesday. Today we decided to walk separately over to the parking lot where she comes so as to not attract attention…soooo, I guess one of us will take the car next Sunday! The Carabinieri stopped and told us to wait at home. Boy did they NOT want us to approach their car!! Technically, Ely is supposed to deliver to our homes we think. Also Ely got stopped by them, and another lady there said she’d been stopped. They are OUT there today. They are definitely tightening up.

I’m watching the news everyday. Only in the evening. I watch the news conference with an ever-changing cast of characters…but always the same Emcee. (?) hmmmm.

I’m pleased to see five states have initiated a lock-down. But I’m sorry that ONLY five states have initiated a lock-down. California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois, and not mandatory. I’m not sure how they can make it mandatory like they can here. But they must. The US is sadly following in the footsteps of Italy.

I’m reasonably sure nothing else is going to happen today in Casa LUNA…LUther NAncy…so, since I don’t have a picture of any interest, here is one my friend Tom said I could use. From his beautiful house on the mountain nearby…

Stay safe…stay well…stay home! Wash your hands…
Faremo insieme!!

Corona virus 15

247 new positives in Umbria for corona virus. 25% increase. 2 new deaths.

I got out for some much needed fresh air and a solitary walk yesterday.  I took some pictures as a nice break from all the dire news. It was beautiful out. But I did feel a little weird. Then I reminded myself, we are allowed to go out for exercise alone. We must immediately return home. We must carry ID and the autocertificazione form. I complied with those rules. We are hearing rumblings they may stop all outside exercise because some people are not following the rules and are ruining it for us all.

I started off going straight out of town towards the river. I’ve always loved this path. It is directly behind our apartment and it is, strangely, called Via Grilli — the same name as our street. We know this because more than one visitor was sent down this path by their GPS…worse…it ends in a concrete ramp and metal railing. You must back out..😂

Along this path is a small corpse of trees. Bright green spring growth. It was the home of a colony of feral cats until recently.

Here is a sign, made by children in a nearby apartment. It says andrà tutto bene —- everything will be better ❤️

I went to the ATM. In our Piazza. Normally a beehive of activity with two bars,  stores open and people mixing … it is sad to see it like this.

And finally the churches of Piazza San Francesco. I sort of got trapped by cordoned off path so had to cut through here back to my casa.


I am following the news from the US and other countries. I am happy to see some US cities are putting into effect the same type of shelter-in-place regiments as Italy has. But, sadly most of the country has been slow to adopt these measures.

About 10 days ago we went into full lock down here. Not just suggestions that we stay home, or that just the elderly have to stay home. Or that we can’t have a gathering of more than ten people…or 50 people or whatever damn random number they decided was “safe”. No one is kindly asking us to “please stay home”. Here, we get arrested and charged with a felony if we are caught out with no good reason. Here, it is a serious quarantine where the only reason we are allowed out is to shop for food or medicine.

I realize no one wants to hear this, but the way forward has been made clear by other countries facing the same epidemic.

I hear people in the US say “Italy looks like us except they are a week or two ahead” but that is ONLY true if you enact the (admittedly draconian) measures we have taken here, and enact them, right now, today. If the US doesn’t take these steps it will have missed the opportunity to save thousands of lives. The time is now.

I’m very sorry to write that. But please, you must realize your reality is no more. Your everyday life has changed for the foreseeable future. It is time to accept and embrace your new reality. I want you to be OK, and for all of our lives to go back to normal…but that will have to wait. Forza America, forza world…

Corona virus 14

197 positive cases in Umbria yesterday. Still growing by 20% a day, or thereabouts.

2 new cases here in Umbertide. We got notice they will be disinfecting all surfaces around town. And to keep our windows closed.
Public Service Announcement: Good source of info sent to me by a friend who works at Johns Hopkins University.

I feel I’ve strayed from relating my own story here, so I’m going back to that primarily. Luther and I were just saying, as we arose to another day in our house…it is just like being under house arrest but we don’t have the ankle bracelets. 😂

I think today’s post will be stream of consciousness….

There has been a very heated debate (mostly on Facebook expat groups) about whether people are allowed to go out of their houses to walk or run for exercise. Tonight on RAI One, one of the main TV stations here, they said that people are allowed to exercise, inside or outside, as long as they do it by themselves. I’ve been worrying about my inability to exercise my recently replaced knee. I don’t feel it is good to sit around the house all day, every day without exercising it. If this thing was short lived that would be OK. But we are hearing rumors it could go through the whole summer.

Here’s another thought. We are in an agricultural area. I’m happy to report that the farmers are working their fields and planting. These are large scale (one crop in the field) farms. This reminded me of our lost Saturday Local Produce market. Where the people who come have farms around here to sell to us, the customers. And there is bound to be food in their fields which they would be selling to us in normal times. So what are they doing with this produce? The chain has broken. How can we facilitate the movement of the local food from the farms to the consumers here (who want it) with no venue? We need to come up with a new plan to help the farmers, so they will plant new crops at the proper time dictated by the season. We want them to keep planting. We don’t want them to go out of business. We need the chain to be unbroken. It is to everyone’s advantage to keep this going. I think I will post this on our local Umbria Facebook page…maybe we can come up with some ideas.

Hmmmm. I was looking in the mirror today. Not a good idea, in the best of times. And I realized I’m overdue for a haircut. It occurred to me, since all the hairdressers are closed indefinitely, that we are going to be – ONE shaggy nation! OMG we will look like cavemen when we emerge from our casa caves. Whenever that may be…

I’m still following the news from the US. Most of it is heartening. People are taking this all more seriously I think, finally. Except for one report from Florida…they’ve closed all the bars and clubs. Yay! But they let the restaurants stay open half capacity….Noooooooooo. 😱 If you are trying to limit transmission of this thing then go the whole way. Half full still transmits the contagion. Bad idea. I’m sure they are hoping to keep the restaurants solvent. I totally understand that. But I’m afraid our way of life will not be the same for a long time. Our businesses and economy will take huge hits. Inevitable. But more important are the millions…and I mean millions, who will die. We all need to act now.

An finally, and I’ll shut my trap after this, but a quote from our leaders. (What are they thinking?! 🤦🏻‍♀️)
“ Over the weekend, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a leading ally of President Trump, dismissed concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and said on Fox News that “it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant.”

Oh my god.

Gosh, this is not a good note on which to end. So let’s talk about lunch. I made a big soup today. It will last days. It has tomatoes, carrots, onion, celery, mushrooms, cabbage, one jalapeño, mixed grains and a little pasta. Very healthy, very hearty and filling. I serve it with a drizzle of good olive oil. 🙂 Picture!


All y’all stay safe. Wash your hands! And Anderà tutti bene!

Corona virus 13

164 positive cases in Umbria. It continues to grow, here and in all of Italy. The new cases and deaths continue to set daily records. We have not yet turned the corner. But we are hoping we will soon.
Another day has passed. And a beautiful spring day it is. I couldn’t ask for a prettier place to be stuck!


I keep in touch daily, mostly through email and Facebook, and it makes me feel more connected. It is a real help to me. I also read multiple news sources every day. In my conversations I’ve noticed a very big difference in the way people are handling this enforced lockdown. A lot of it depends on ones personality. If a person feels the need for personal contact, they are having a hard time! If a person feels they need to always be busy with a project, it makes it more of a challenge. If a person is happy in his/her skin and with being solitary, it is easier. If a person can entertain themselves with reading, cooking, chatting with friends, it is not such a trial. I understand these differences and realize this whole thing will be different for each of us. But we hang together, and we hang in. The Italian saying is andrà tutti bene — it will all be better. You will see this everywhere here. Most of these signs are made by children. They don’t understand what is going on, so keeping their spirits up is key.

People are still not taking this seriously enough.

Today I read a post by David Lebovitz. He writes a food blog from Paris. He said…” We are on day #1 of a fifteen-day confinement. Bars, cafés and restaurants were closed Saturday at midnight (which were packed in my neighborhood, as usual, with twenty- and thirty-somethings), and people were told to keep a distance between them and avoid public places. But the revelry continued on the streets around here through the wee hours of Sunday morning. Later in the morning, people waited in line, shoulder-to-shoulder, shopping at the Bastille market, and Sunday afternoon, people filled parks in Paris, or sat by the canal to have a beer with friends. To be honest, it was disheartening, and a little frightening, to watch the news and hear people being interviewed, talking about how they didn’t care, that they were going to do whatever they wanted. So here we are, with talk of the military coming in to make sure people stay indoors.”

And I said yesterday that Americans were not taking the virus threat seriously. To my point… I saw a poll today by NPR which said: “…only 56% of Americans consider the coronavirus a “real threat,” representing a drop of 10 percentage points from last month. At the same time, a growing number of Americans think the coronavirus is being “blown out of proportion.” This means 44% DO NOT consider it a threat.

This is dangerous thinking people. You put others at risk, not just yourself.

I’ve been following the news from around the world from multiple sources. Finally countries are taking necessary steps.

France banned travel outside the home except for essential travel.

The Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Spain have closed their borders to all foreigners.

Air travel is all but shut down. Countries are concentrating on helping to get their citizens back home.

The US and the UK both have changed their policies as of yesterday. The messages from the leaders are unambiguous at last. But the messages were quite different. One difference, Boris Johnson told the British people to prepare for it to last a year. Trump said for two weeks, but it could last into summer.

I’m sorry to hear the UK is still encouraging the schools to remain open.

Both the UK and many parts of the US are discouraging gatherings of 10 or more people. This is still too many people gathering together. At least according to my daily existence. I wonder how they come up with that number? Like 10 or less won’t transmit the virus? I don’t think so…

I noted the UK is “encouraging” people to stay home and they expect that most people “would accept that we are a mature and grown-up and liberal democracy where people understand very clearly the advice that is given to them”. But they said if necessary the powers to enforce the restrictions would be used.

I mentioned a few days ago that life has changed in so many ways here. One was no gatherings, to include Mass, Weddings, Funerals. The very sad consequence of this is that, with so many deaths right now, the grief is compounded by the fact that people are being buried alone, with no loved ones attending the funeral which is attended by a Priest and the funeral home employee. Families are devastated.

On a brighter note…The Italian papers are talking about the environmental changes happening here. The air pollution is practically nonexistent in the industrial North. And they said this morning, the canals in Venice are clearer that anyone can remember.
My sister said to me the other day…
“Crisis is the best impetus for change. Maybe the world will emerge from this a better place. We can hope so.”
Andrà tutti bene…

Corona virus 12

143 positive cases in Umbria.

First case in Umbertide! An old man who has been put in isolation. He lived in a casa di riposo or nursing home. Now all the staff, residents and families are quarantined. Had to happen sooner or later I guess. I hope he gets better soon.

The nightly concerts from windows and balconies around Italy continue. It raises the spirits and makes everyone come together. A man named Oliver Clark wrote a very moving tribute…here is just a piece of it…

“You can take away their livelihoods, their cafes, restaurants, theatres and even their beloved football, but nothing it seems can dampen the joy for life of the Italian people.”


Now I’m on my high horse for a bit…Listen to me!! I speak from experience. In reality the US should be thinking of themselves/yourselves! What is it with people there? They/you are all solicitous of us here (thank you…) but don’t you realize that our world will be your world shortly? I just shake my head. I keep trying to tell them/you. Sadly, you are following in the footsteps of Italy. People there are still not taking it seriously. OMG the spring break pictures!! Geez…bring it back to your family and friends! This will result in many more infections 😢. You are a few weeks behind us here. You need to close all venues where people gather. ALL of them. Restaurants, bars, discos. Please people…my friends…self isolate. No restaurants, no bars, no gatherings of any sort. Stay at home. It’s not that hard. And if everyone does it, it “shouldn’t” be that long…We hope…
All my good thoughts! Stay safe 💕

Corona virus 11

107 total cases in Umbria. You can see it jumps exponentially.

I noticed yesterday that my YouTube video was not in the email link to my post. I guess embedded links don’t work in emails.
To see it go to —

The flash mobs are very uplifting for us here.

So they think this will peak in Italy at 92,000 cases next week and then decline.

An interesting fact —- 35 people under 60 died in northern Italy yesterday. The median age of hospitalization this week is 40-49 years. So it is not only the old who are dying.

I had a lovely Skype chat with my niece (thanks Rachel!). She’s a nurse at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. I got some insight into how they are preparing. They have two large areas dedicated to Corona. And I found it interesting that they have their own test for it and it takes 24 hours to get the result. All done in-house. They can test any amount of people as necessary. I wish this could be done more. Anyway, I can’t help but be concerned for her but she will be careful, I’m sure. The nurses and doctors on the front lines are amazing! Stai sicuro Rachel!💕

The Italian Air Force and Pavarotti put on quite the show yesterday. The little plane is the virus. And it is vanquished by the flying “V” – which then release their green, white and red smoke. It was uplifting, and tear inducing…

If you can’t see this go to – it doesn’t always show in the email.


And last…I got to walk outside for a few minutes!! It is a beautiful day. The sun is shining, there’s a brisk cold breeze. We threw away some trash in the piazzetta near us. Everyone in their apartments has their windows open. And I could hear the children screaming. Please shoot me! I’ve got it good. I don’t know how the moms cope. I told Luther, in the two weeks we have left, how many murders will occur?

We walked out and across the bridge over the river. We were making a buy…😀 Perfectly legal! Calagrana has gotten creative and is making meals-to-go. We bought two, fully prepared and scrumptious, dinners! One a curry dinner, the other salmon with chili beans and roast potatoes. A break from cooking. And who knew we’d be resorting to Meals on Wheels!

Here’s a shot of the Tiber. Beautiful color today, and very clear.

Stai attento, listen to the authorities, stay far from crowds and, of course, wash your hands…💕

Springtime walk and Kilometer zero market – late February

I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having by going on walks and (of course) visiting our little Saturday market. It has been brisk but sunny and blue skies. Late afternoons feel like spring. Too early but I shouldn’t complain. I snapped a few photos. First the walk.

Sky is so blue with stark branches.

Reflections. Our little town – Umbertide.

A small road heads along The Tiber river. It was the ancient Roman road through this valley. This is a quintessential Umbrian view. Umbrella pines, cypress’, brilliant green winter wheat in the fields.

And the kilometer zero market today.


We have a baker who comes every week from Panicale. It’s a sweet hill town south of Lago Trasimeno. They love the whole grains and lots of seeds! I struck up a conversation with the woman, who is German.

The winter greens abound.

There are two local cheese makers. This one makes fresh ricotta and yogurt.


Winter salad. I bought some. We’ll see how it is.

March is usually when the spring flowers really pop out here. I’m looking forward to it!