The second wave of Covid-19 has once again limited our activities, however, this time round, there has not been a total shutdown. Since our social life is pretty poor and we have a lot of spare time, some of us have witnessed a complex exchange of homemade delicacies that even the best catering company could not have organized.

I don’t remember how it began, I only know that during the first wave we made homemade bread and pizza and lasagna that in the end we had to eat because we couldn’t leave the house. In this phase of the pandemic, however, there is a certain freedom of movement that allows us to briefly visit our family and friends, always respecting the precautionary measures.

A constant pilgrimage of homemade dishes started: food was prepared and brought to our friends and family to make up for the lack of hugs, kisses and time spent together. There was broth for a friend with sinusitis, sweet rice torte for the neighbor recovering from a bad illness, beans with sausage for the in-laws stuck at home, Grandma’s lasagna to take away because it is impossible to eat with our elders and a long list of dishes prepared with great care. For weeks friends and family have been cooking non-stop to send love in a gastronomic format from one house to another, and it is absolutely moving to witness this “black market” of happiness.

Maybe we feel like we’re trapped, we miss our past life, the possibility of traveling or going to the cinema and theater. The economic situation is getting worse and nothing is easy anymore, starting with the decisions that are made to try to control the virus.

However, our spirit of adaptation has allowed us to find a new way to communicate and enjoy the little things that we can still do. We learned to convey our affection by replacing kisses, hugs and handshakes with something more practical and, at the same time, poetic.

This new custom could help us experience the most unusual Christmas in recent decades. We will not be able to share meals with lots of relatives and friends, but nothing prevents us from being close to our people and make them feel a little less lonely with a simple gesture: exchanging all the love that can be contained in an apple pie.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Photo credit: Barbara Bindi

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