The existential question of “where do I end and where does the rest of the world begin?” is even more difficult to affront these days because the distinction between one and the other has become a big blur. Never before have I felt the outside coming in like I do now. All it takes is the existence of one infected person to contaminate another (myself included) who then contaminates another who then contaminates another and so on and so on. Like lined-up dominoes where one fall leads to total collapse, the destiny of one person potentially defines that of others.
So I stay home because, by staying home, I can protect those contours that distinguish me from the rest of the world. My home is my haven, my anchor, an extension of myself. Being forced to stay home does not make me feel, under these circumstances, imprisoned. To the contrary—it helps me continue to be me.
As an expression of gratitude, I’ve begun writing and illustrating the history of our home. As opposed to a house, a home’s history has nothing to do with who built it and when or with who’s lived there before. A home’s history begins with the moment you move in and evolves with the experiences you live and express within its four walls.
The history of a home in the time of COVID-19 begins, for me, in the living room. Because it’s here that Pierluigi and I have spent so much time sitting together for the Civil Protection’s daily briefings. It is here that we learn how many have been infected, how many have died, how many have recovered. It is here, knowing that we can depend one upon the other, that we continue to create a history of our own.