Life in Milan with Covid-19

Today it's my 15th day at home. During this time I only left twice to go to the groceries - couldn't do differently - as getting supplies delivered to the house has become challenging: 15/20-days delay or none at all.

I was one of those who initially underestimated the situation, that felt Covid-19 was only happening to "others" in China or just a handful of people here in Italy.
Only three weeks ago, after seeing how rapidly Covid-19 spreads, it all became less surreal.

This realization is perhaps too late for some aspects, as, for example, we can't find any FFP2/FFP3 masks (all sold out). We're therefore resorting to surgical masks that don't offer 100% protection, but they're better than wearing a bandana over mouth and nose, or none at all.

Not sure why it has spread so quickly here in Italy. With us being the very first whistleblowers we've attracted worldwide attention to declare Italy as the Covid-19 spreader in the western world.
I'm not going to argue whether this is legitimate or not.
I'd instead suggest to take Italy's example as a blueprint for the do's and don't helpful for other people and nations. It's not only about the systems and procedures to take, but it's also about the experiences, mindset, and feelings that trigger actions that can be learned from.

This is a new experience for many of us; it's since the 800's and after WWII that we've not seen such a pandemic effect. No wonder why it's so difficult to get ready, psychologically and pragmatically, to accept such a change in our lives.

As women of sports and cyclists, we are so used to be outside that the idea of being confined to our apartments is quite dystopic.
But it's necessary. Not out of fear, but out of a conscious awareness that the virus transmission chain needs to be drastically interrupted if we all want to get back to our freedom soon. 
We can do it, as women we are the bearers of change, resilience, and new beginnings.

We're very adaptable by nature despite it being difficult; we can get used to almost anything.
Honing in on to this realization can get us through almost anything. If we follow and abide by the safety measures provided, we'll get through this fast.
But we need to change, and quickly. Italy's strict lock-down policy has thrown everyone off, including me, and we've been forced to adapt.
Be smart; learn from this. Start your own spontaneous quarantine.

I’ve chosen to keep spirits high and believe that this is an opportunity to go inside of ourselves and reflect on our values, prioritizing what's important for us. All of the sudden health, food, family, and relationships are rising to the top of my list. Never like within the past few weeks have I been so close to my family, to overseas and local friends in ways we'd perhaps taken for granted.

All of the sudden, we're looking at each other's back, dispensing tips and valuable info on where to get masks, how to boost the immune system, keeping each other company with video conferences (and aperitifs) and supporting our morale.
What emerges is a necessity to surround ourselves with timeless and quality relationships and experiences.

Besides working from home and orchestrating all the company’s operations remotely, I’m keeping sanity by training indoors. I’m lucky to have a smart trainer connected to Zwift, the best platform there is at the moment to cycle indoors.

NGNM Women Crush Wed's cycling Zwift

I’ve been a fan of training indoors for years, and particularly now, my once a week session has now morphed into a 5-day Zwift affair.
Joining women-only group rides is fun, but it’s critical for me to keep up with my workout plan for climbing Mont Ventoux from 3 sides on the same day in June - the NGNM Mont Ventoux Challenge. Read more here!

All of this, and more, is possible on Zwift, a life savior for me.
I’ve always dreamt of being able to ride with other women independently from our location, a huge flock of cyclists across borders, and I’m so happy to see how our NGNM Women Crush Wed’s ride is gaining regulars and forming a beautiful community. Join us in the next few weeks, every wed. night at 7 pm, it'll be a fun party!
This is another way to be close to each other in these lonely times.

NGNM Zwift Women Crush Wed cycling

Those couple of trips to get groceries I meant earlier, felt like a short vacation. Even waiting 20 minutes in line to get in the supermarket has its upside: breathing fresh air, and seeing something different from the same four walls.
See how situations can quickly shift? Only last month I’d resent this while now I appreciate it - what a lesson.

As Bill Gates said in his Ted Talk four years ago, and Jared Diamond in his book Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, the virus epidemics are the new World Wars. And Covid-19 is certainly one, albeit small compared to how much more devastating it could be.
We all contribute to creating a world in which we all want to envelop ourselves, with more positivity and free spirit than ever before, and we're all in this TOGETHER.
We must all aim for the future. Our future is now.

Just like after any war, when this will be finally over, I guarantee you that being back outdoors and on our bikes, it’ll be heaven on earth.
Until then, please be safe, practice social distancing ( 2 meters/ 6 feet minimum), wear a mask, disposable gloves and wash your hands frequently, disinfect doorknobs and handles, computer keyboard and mouse.

Train indoors, talk to your friends, family, and above all, try to be positive. We're in this together. Be inspired and inspire other!

Take care,

Milly De Mori
(NGNM founder)

HIGHLIGHTS from our stories