In the spring of 2020, the world fell prey to a pandemic due to the Sars-CoV-2 virus. Northern Italy was among the hardest hit areas in the world. Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, who lives in the northern Italian city of Genoa, reported almost live for the newspapers in journal form.
Quarantine, Diary in times of contamination, has been published in daily episodes in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and in the Belgian newspaper De Standaard. Since this release is intended to be an authentic and honest time document, nothing has changed in these previously published episodes except for some minor corrections.
Because no Dutch and Belgian newspapers are published on Sundays, the episodes written on Saturdays have not been published before.
On April 20, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer wrote in his “Viral Diary”: “In the first sentence of his report of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides says that he immediately started writing at the outbreak of the conflict, because he estimated that the events were far-reaching and more important to tell than much of the past. In my case it took a little longer. At first I downplayed the threat of the virus and shook my head in disbelief at the panic that started to take over. But as soon as I realized that I had made a colossal error of judgment and realized that people were choking on stretchers in the corridors of hospitals in Northern Italy and that extreme measures were unavoidable, I started this diary with the same thought that Thucyides had in his day. ‘
The cover photo is an authentic selfie the author took of himself in Piazza San Lorenzo on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at three minutes to four in the afternoon. That day was the first day he wore a face mask. He had just brought groceries to Stella’s mother.