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Letter From Milan: Donatella Versace on the Coronavirus Shutdown and the First Signs of Hope

Letter From Milan: Donatella Versace on the Coronavirus Shutdown and the First Signs of Hope

While I sit down to write these few lines, I have the safety and well-being of each and every one of you in mind. The reason why I wanted to send this message is to let you know that no one is alone in fighting this battle.

Here in Milan and in the entire country, the Italian government has decided to implement strict restrictions to our lives in the attempt to stop the spreading of a virus that was underestimated by many. These measures have become increasingly stricter with the passing of the weeks, to the point that now we can only get out of our homes for very specific reasons only: to go to work—if your job has been declared essential to make sure that our society does not collapse—and to buy food or medicines. Everything else has been prohibited.

Milan looks like a ghost town. The army and the police have been called to make sure that these prescriptions are followed by everyone, and I am very proud of the Italian government for having taken these measures. Despite the situation, we feel united like never before and we have all understood that we will overcome it only if we play together, like a team. Like my favorite team: Inter Milan!

Our doctors and nurses have been working nonstop for the past weeks, sleeping on stretchers and giving their lives to save ours. Our hospitals are stretched to their limits, and we owe it to them, and to everybody else who is fighting this pandemic relentlessly and heroically, to do our part.

This is Week Three for us, and I know—I know—it’s not easy.

I know it’s not easy to not be able to go for a run in the park or to go to the gym or see your family and friends.

I know that, for some of us, this means being alone and that it is even harder.

I know we are all scared for our future and that the uncertainty of these moments does nothing to help us find those answers we desperately need.

But there is hope: Yesterday, for the first time since this pandemic has begun, we saw a decrease in the deaths and new infections.

Despite that, it is way too soon to draw any conclusions. This means only one thing for me: These measures are finally working.

Therefore I beg all of you to please listen to what your government tells you to do, to look out for one another by staying at home, and to use the technology that we all love so much to remain connected.

Please make sure that your friends and your loved ones are in their homes, safe.

It is true that we cannot socialize as we were used to doing, but we are lucky enough that we can do anything in the safety of our houses: training, working, staying in touch with the people we love.

If we all follow these simple rules, we will overcome this virus quickly and we can all go back to rebuilding our world. And maybe this is our chance to fix a couple of things while we’re at it.…

I miss you all!

From Milan, lots of love,

Donatella x