Is this the new normal?

I have been hesitant to post a new story/blog/whatever we’re calling this now because of the recent more important topics that I feel take priority. However, as the news of NC staying in ‘Phase 2’ and now being mandated to wear masks everywhere, I felt it was okay to join in on the narrative.

I was able to participate in the BLM protest here in Milan!

If you have followed my journey, you know that I have had all the issues possible to face with the COVID-19 pandemic in Milan. We were the first big hotspot for the virus in Italy, and the Lombardy region is still considered ‘unsafe’. We have been told to wear masks since March (I think). I have been wearing one, for the most part, since February when I returned from Paris, thanks to Robin Kiser who gave me a bunch to bring back with me. We have been told, it may not prevent the spread completely BUT it helps slow the spread down. We have been told that you need to think of others continuously, because still…this may not effect you directly but you COULD effect someone else’s outcome and health. If you have an issue wearing a mask out in public…its very simple. Just stay home. If the researches, doctors, and healthcare professionals are wrong, the most you’re out is the small inconvenience of wearing a piece of cloth on your face.

As Italy has been finding its new normal for Phase 3/opening, people are too. While still taking every precaution necessary we can still have a little fun around town. The regions have opened and the borders have opened to EU and UK people (sorry fam, no USA tourists yet). But it hasn’t come without its struggles. 

The “quarantine crew”. We were all stuck in the same apartment complex for the duration of the lockdown but didn’t meet until the middle of April. Finally able to go out and be “social” again.

Remembering to always bring/wear a mask, trying to make sure to practice social distancing, trying to make sure we strategically plan “nights out” because groups over 3/4 most likely will cause issues, remember where we can take the masks down and where we are supposed to have gloves. It’s a lot.

However, we have to remember, we may have all these restrictions lifted. We may be able to travel around, and act “normal” but the pandemic is still here. There are still cases being confirmed and people in recovery all over the world. So, if you are going to do your thing and try to have a life again, please do!! But please remember that we still have to be careful.

My Uni Wives. We have been working together for a couple months now virtually. And I got to meet them finally in person and now we can’t leave each other alone for more than 2-3 days.

I have been itching to go everywhere and anywhere that my bank account will allow me. Unfortunately its mostly to Starbucks, a couple of fun outdoor restaurants along Naviglio, and a pizza here and there. But things are looking good for the end of July, because we’re planning a big trip to Sicily to celebrate the end of school. I did however get to go back to my first love, Como. Put me on a train and pour me a cold glass of Prosecco and I am a happy camper. But Como is just the most beautiful place I have been to so far…and I go basically just for one meal from my favorite restaurant.

Getting into the last couple of months of work for school, but the hardest classes so far, have been interesting. I have resumed my spot at what I call my office now…(its Starbucks don’t get too excited) the baristas know me by name and my order at this point and it is a great system. I work on schoolwork from about 10:30am to 6pm everyday and then longer if I have multiple projects to do at once..which is pretty much always. There have been many days where I stay up until 4am working with my school wives. We never sleep anymore, or at least sleep like a normal person.

We have been able to meet up for group projects and some virtual classes. I feel like this is how people on dating apps feel meeting people for the first time. Because a lot of my school colleagues who I am working with, I had not met in person yet before COVID-19. Or I met them, but did not really know them. Flash forward to COVID-19 and we were forced to do group projects with people we don’t know, and hopefully we can all work together well and get good grades. We talked via WhatsApp and Zoom/Skype calls for 3 months, and now are able to meet up in person if you are still in Milan. We have had virtual friendships and partnerships for 3 months so trying to get to know someone in person outside of putting a marketing or research project together is funny.

School has about 16 days left of online classes, before a 2 month holiday. I am counting them down and so proud to be doing well in all my classes. Even at the expense of no sleep, tons of stress, hair loss and oily skin. I can’t wait to see how everything is going to unfold throughout the rest of the year. Some big plans, and news are on the horizon. So I am looking forward to it.

Wash your hands, and wear your masks.

Until next time.

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