Baby steps in a braver, different world

Letter from the editor

Helen Farrell
April 16, 2020 - 16:21

I just popped out for my weekly purchases from the greengrocer up the street. Everyone’s masked, standing well apart and patiently waiting their turn, but more than that lights are now back on in shops that have been closed for over five weeks. Although not every business is allowed to reopen, owners are permitted to return to the premises for professional cleaning and to prepare for the second stage in Italy’s fight against coronavirus. The drive to resume life, with whatever conditions are necessary, is palpable.



This hope is being fuelled by falling figures of new infections throughout Italy and the central government’s slight slackening on business closures. On April 14, early signs of a return to a new normality emerged as Florence’s bookshops began reopening their doors. The timber industry, children’s clothing and stationery stores are the other retail companies legally permitted to return to work at present.



Historic Ostolani stationery store, in piazza degli Ottaviani, reopened its doors on April 14. Mornings only 9am-1pm until further notice. Ph. Francesco Spighi



Tuscany has added its own requirements to the resumption of business as the regional president Enrico Rossi explains, “Bookstores, stationery shops and clothing stores for children and infants can reopen in Tuscany, but only after professional cleaning of the premises and aeration systems in addition to guaranteeing personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer gel, single-use disposable gloves to employees and customers, and a 1.8-metre interpersonal distance rule between persons.”



Indeed, Tuscany has been proactive in distributing face protections (two per person) to its residents. The wearing of masks will become mandatory as from Saturday, April 18. If you’re not a resident, you can still receive face protection by contacting your local Civil Protection department (in Florence, send an email requesting masks to [email protected] and [email protected]).



While we continue to wait at home for the country to gradually reopen, please tune into TF Together. We’ve switched platforms to ensure higher quality, so you’ll find our events live on Facebook. Tomorrow, Friday April 17 at 5pm, communication consultant Daniel Hernández Lyon chats about what charitable foundation Fondazione CR Firenze has been doing to help Florence (a lot!) and on Monday, April 20, at 5pm, Kamin Mohammadi guides us through tips for mindfulness during week seven of lockdown.



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