Date: March 12, 2020
To: Rick Jamieson <>
Subject: From Masina in Italy

Situation update:

Thank you to everyone who sent messages to find out how we are. Never in a zillion years did I think something like this would happen.

I hope that you guys manage to keep this HELLISH situation in check. The whole situation is so surreal. Our poor medical personnel are working around the clock. They’ve got to the point where, because of lack of beds/ equipment/ personnel , they may have to start doing a selection on who they will treat. Those with the most possibility of survival will be treated first!

They’ve now put all of Italy in lockdown! This means that no one can leave their province. Children cannot go to the park to play. They’re talking about closing down the hotels. All shops, bars, churches, gyms , schools , restaurants cannot work. Thanks to video lessons we are managing to keep in contact with our students and continue teaching them. But believe me, it’s been a lot of hard work to get that up and running. They are now talking about closing all offices for two weeks. Only companies that have to produce things can stay open. But their offices will have to stay shut. The police can stop us at any time and ask us where we are going. We have to fill in a piece of paper at all times , saying where we are going and the reason. They are now telling us that we cannot go out even just for a walk without this paper. In other words , stay home!

The only thing we can do is go buy food or medicine. (always with that paper signed on us)

The good news is that the town where this all started (Codogno) is now virus free. It has been in total lockdown for three weeks now. No one in, no one out. Only supermarkets and drugstores open. There were no newly infected people in Codogno yesterday, but unfortunately there were 13 deaths. There have been on average at least six people who die everyday in my area of Italy. And these people are not all old! Yesterday a 59 year old died … perfectly healthy till this happened. I’ve noticed in the paper that a lot of younger people are now getting it too. From the ages of 19 – 50 … numbers are increasing.

You must also remember that your poor loved ones die alone. Once they are in hospital you can’t go and visit them.

It sounds like you guys are in denial about what is about to come down on you. We were like that. The first week everyone thought it was a joke. The second week , we thought hmmm maybe something IS up, we better get organised , the third week we are drowning. There’s been nothing but bad news for three weeks. Cancel your trips, stay out of crowds, don’t invite people over, don’t go to public places, stay a good meter away from people, wash your hands often and don’t touch your eyes or face with your hands , drink lots of hot drinks, cough into your sleeve and not your hands. If you have a temperature for more than 7 days, go and get a swab done. And for the love of God , stay away from elderly people. Do the shopping for them and leave it at the front door. They shouldn’t go out. I would also suggest wearing a mask when you are in public.

Anyway stay safe. I’ll keep you updated.

Hugs to you all


Date: March 28, 2020

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Bruce Springstein salutes Harry Chapin (died July 16, 1981) who at the time was one of the most beloved performers in the music industry. He was a dedicated humanitarian who fought to end world hunger. The world needs more selfless people like Harry Chapin in these unprecedented times of Covid-19.