In this week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Edoardo Molinari sheds light on living in Italy amid the Coronavirus pandemic, and reminds us all to be responsible.
The situation here is scary, and it changed very quickly. I missed the cut in Qatar and the tournament in Kenya was cancelled that same day, so I changed my flight and went home on Saturday, and at that time the situation looked like it was still under control in Italy.
Then all of a sudden that Monday night our Prime Minister was saying we need to do more and he was going to lockdown everything apart from offices and factories. Two days later you could only go out one time a week to the supermarket, and now they have shut down factories or businesses that are not involved directly with the food chain, or things we need to survive.
Golf is not a priority. The most important thing right now is to make sure we all behave in a way that can help this situation get under control.
It’s a scary time. When you see the news every night on TV, they are talking about so many hundreds of people that have died the day before and so many thousands of people that have been infected. It’s hard to keep track of the numbers. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to stay home, because there are a lot of people that have lost their jobs and will struggle for a long time in Italy, and around the world.
I’m really not thinking about golf right now. Even if I knew that my next event for sure would be in two months, six months or a year, at the moment there’s far more important things on my mind. I have a room in the house where I have a very small gym and a little putting green indoors. I spend an hour every day in the gym and half an hour putting but at the minute golf is not a priority. The most important thing right now is to make sure we all behave in a way that can help this situation get under control.
It’s been 7 straight days now of being at home. Been outside of the gate at the end of my garden once to go shopping for food. Hopefully everyone will do the same in Italy until April 3rd so that we will regain our freedom soon. #coronavirus #Istayhome— Edoardo Molinari (@DodoMolinari) March 17, 2020
We’ve been at home for just over two weeks and haven’t left the house for any reason in ten days. It can be quite difficult to get a grasp of the situation because if you don’t leave home, it’s not like it’s any different from any other day, but as soon as you turn on the TV or go online to read the news, it’s everywhere.
We live just on the outskirts of Turin in Northern Italy and I consider myself very lucky because we can at least go out for a walk in the garden with the girls and the dog and spend time outdoors. Our eldest daughter is three and a half and as she cannot go to kindergarten anymore,we have had to tell her there’s a big flu in the area and it’s not safe, but I think she’s just happy to have both mum and dad home at the same time.
We are trying to avoid contact with people as much as we possibly can. I haven’t seen my parents in more than a month. When we ask them how it is where they live, they say it’s just a ghost town; there’s no one walking around, doing anything, everyone is just scared and locked down in their apartments.
We have a ten minute chat with them every day because they want to see their granddaughters as well, so we send them videos and pictures and just get in touch that way. Even if we could visit, we wouldn’t, because it’s just too dangerous to go around so we just try and avoid contact with people as much as possible. Luckily we can use technology to communicate. I’ve also spoken with Francesco in London and we just spend time letting the kids talk on Facetime to each other.
I’m proud of how most people in my country are reacting, it says a lot about Italian people. Last week the government asked for 300 doctors, or anyone with medical experience, to go and help in Lombardy, and after 24 hours they had more than 8000 people who had volunteered. There’s a lot of people who are trying to help each other, trying to find new ways to communicate and to survive.
On the other hand there are still people that think it won’t affect them, that they can still go out for a run, go out and see someone and try to live a normal life but that is very dangerous. At the end of the day they are not just risking their health but risking the health of a lot of other people without knowing that they are doing it.
We were told last week ‘you’ve got to stay home not for yourself but for the people that are going to the hospital to work for you’. I think that’s the best message about this situation. I have a few friends that are involved in the emergency services, and it’s very scary to hear their stories when they tell you they have spent 18 hours in the hospital yesterday and have seen so many people dying. It’s madness. I consider myself very lucky because we can live close to a normal life apart from the fact we can’t leave home, yet everyone involved in the medical profession, they still have to go out and work in this difficult situation, putting them at risk of getting the virus themselves.
Unfortunately, it looks like every country is delayed from us by one or two weeks right now. From the view of a professional golfer sitting at home, it’s been strange. When they locked us in, I thought every other country in Europe was going to do the same, it just felt like common sense after seeing what has happened in Italy to stop it before it hits a high percentage of the population. I’ve been speaking a lot with Alvaro Quirós and Gonzalo Fdez-Castaño, who were relieved when lockdowns were announced in Spain.
Tomorrow at 3PM in Italy (2PM UK time) I will start hosting a daily quiz on the Instagram page of my golf academy (https://t.co/Gmf0ZfzBhO). 5 questions a day, 10 days in a row. Big prizes for the top 3 and daily prizes too. All proceedings will fund Turin hospitals! Please help!— Edoardo Molinari (@DodoMolinari) March 19, 2020
I’m trying to do my bit to help. I started a golf academy last year and it was going great, but obviously March is the start of the golf season in Italy so all of a sudden I had four professionals sitting at home doing nothing because everything is shut down. We had a meeting about ten days ago, and decided that we should do something to keep people entertained and link it to raising some funds for the hospitals.
We decided to start an online quiz on our golf academy’s Instagram page with daily prizes, and the only thing we ask is that in order to be able to participate, you have to make a donation on our gofundme page, which goes to help hospitals in Turin. It doesn’t matter how much, we just want to get as many people involved as possible. We do five questions every day, and the winner gets a sleeve of balls and a signed cap, and at the end of the ten days there are some big prizes: A Scotty Cameron Putter, a Titleist three-wood, and a pair of Footjoy golf shoes..
We can still be positive, we just have to be very careful and very patient. There is a way out for pretty much anything in life, but we need everyone to adhere to the rules. The big issue is that there must be 99 percent of the population that do, but it only takes one or two to do something stupid and the numbers will go up again. I think it will take a lot of time – much longer than people think – and it will be a difficult situation even once we are through it because of the impact on the economy. But I’m still very positive in the long term that we will get through this.
If I said anything to you, it would be stay at home. Please don’t think you are immune to this virus or that you won’t catch it. It’s better to be careful, to make a mistake on the safe side if anything, and just be patient and be positive.
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