Editor's note: Luca Ciferri, editor and associate publisher of Automotive News Europe, is living under quarantine at his Italian home in Villastellone, just south of Turin. He will be filing daily updates in this blog post.
Today is the sixth of 25 days of quarantine imposed on March 10 on the entire country to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the latest figures, the contagion has been contracted by 21,157 people in Italy, resulting in 1,441 deaths as of Saturday. So there’s nothing to be happy about.
Today is also the first Sunday with the entire country locked down.
It’s not clear, however, if you can still go out for a walk. In some areas it is apparently OK; in others, just walking to keep fit puts you at risk of being fined 205 euros. Since we're in the midst of a quarantine, those criminal offenses will be processed at a later date.
Cycling seems to being permitted, but it’s strongly discouraged by doctors. A simple accident would risk further overloading emergency units already crowded with coronavirus patients. So, best to abstain for now.
Dog walking is allowed, but I have a cat. So what's there to do on a springlike Sunday while locked in at home?
Well, you can watch sports on TV. It doesn’t make you fit, but at least it stirs some adrenaline.
The problem: Which sport?
The 2020 Formula One season was supposed to begin this morning. But the first race, in Melbourne, Australia, was canceled. The next three races -- in Bahrain, Vietnam and China – have either been postponed or canceled, as well. So the season might actually begin in Europe in May, if the coronavirus emergency is over by then.
The battery-powered Formula E series was quicker to respond, suspending its season in progress earlier this week. That delay will be for at least two months.
The luck is no better moving from four to two wheels: The MotoGP has canceled its first four races of the year.
What about soccer? No matches in Italy’s Serie A; the UK’s Premier League; Germany’s Bundesliga; France’s Ligue 1; and Spain’s Liga. Even the European soccer championship, planned for June-July in 12 different European capitals, could be delayed.
Tennis? Stopped. Same goes for NBA basketball and NHL hockey in North America.
Golf – a sport where players can actually stand the minimum one-meter distance apart from each other – was suspended, too.
So, in deciding how to spend my Sunday, I though of what Battista "Pinin" Farina, the founder of Italian design and engineering firm Pininfarina, told his son, Sergio, several decades ago. Sergio was a bit bored at the prospect of touring a Paris auto show, where his legendary father wanted to see each and every car.
“Sergio, in each car there could be even a small detail that could inspire us, so we have to see all of them,” Battista said.
Thus my Sunday will be dedicated to reading again what we have posted on the Automotive News Europe Web site over the last two frantic weeks. Here and there I should – and I hope you will, too -- find at least some small detail that could inspire our work through the trials of the weeks to come.