The times are over when you could squeeze the shred of lemon through the narrow bottle neck and then toast one another. The times are over, when you were still standing next to each other with a beer and the later the evening, you took each other in your arms. The times are over when the bottle was empty, you sat down in a circle, let the empty bottle rotate and chose your kissing partner. Nowadays such things can be deadly. Not to mention the fact that when you call Corona today, the mood has long since gone.
The figures in Italy are rather sober and frightening. Despite the ordered quarantine, the numbers of newly infected and dead people are not going down. Perhaps one has to be satisfied that they are not rising, but 5300 newly infected and 400 deaths per day show how tense the situation is at the moment. Even the outwardly appearing relaxed atmosphere of some Italians, who party from home beyond their balconies, cannot disguise this. One experiences the insecurity when going shopping. The calm that has been created by the reduction of traffic - air traffic here in Fiumicino has almost completely stopped - is almost eerie. One stands powerless in the face of the whole thing and is forced to do nothing. This will be quite tough for some people, especially as Giuseppe Conte has already announced an extension beyond 3 April.
For us sailors the world is also getting smaller and smaller, almost every country has closed its ports for the time being. Many long-distance sailors have left their boats in a marina for the winter and do not come to their boat anymore because of travel restrictions. Others, like us, are waiting for the situation to change at least a little and for one or the other harbour to open again. There is always something to do on a boat and so you will not get bored yet. This week I have been working intensively with our shortwave radio system and have achieved at least small partial successes. At least now I know that I have to look for the problem with the antenna and its connection to get a better radio reception. This may sound trivial, but there are a lot of mistakes that can be made or potential for improvement.
Meanwhile, Gaby is diligently studying sailing theory. From mooring to sail trim, from anchoring to weathering a storm. She'll be able to use all of that. Except for the weekly shopping and the five or six marina people, our social contacts are completely suspended. Of course we have contact with family and friends through WhatsApp, but sitting together in a cozy circle and drinking a beer is something we miss. Over the age, when we still turned the empty bottle, we are anyway already scarcely beyond, so that at least from this side there is no more danger. Also for a non-stop circumnavigation of the world we are already too old, although the opportunity would be just now favorable and would wave us with certainty some price from our club TO. But also from the age we are out, especially since we would not know where we should still accommodate the cup on our small boat. There, every storage space is important and I would not like to do without a bottle of single malt in order to have to put a cup or a mug in its place. No, there we wait patiently for what is still to come and hope that it will continue soon.