I get up at 4am—uncharacteristically, I can assure you—and make a strong cup of coffee. Sitting on the still-dark balcony, I wait for the sun to rise, breathing in air that has become notably cleaner these last few weeks, and attempting to extract some sense from this strange new world we’re living in. My husband is awake too, having never really gone to sleep, brain kept in constant agitation by endless streams of news coverage. The only sound I can hear is that of the birds, also surely trying to figure out what has happened to all the humans. I know that, in a few hours, my three-year-old will wake up and the working day will start from my makeshift office in the study/playroom. We have breakfast together and then I retreat to the desk, feeling a degree of guilt that I’m not dedicating myself to replacing the activities he’s used to enjoying at scuola materna, yet also an undeniable relief that I have something to distract me. Being present in the house, but also not, means there’s a certain amount of confusion for my toddler. Every now and then he comes to the glass door to where I’m working and just stands behind it, knowing that he shouldn’t disturb me, yet curious to find out what I’m up to. I can’t resist and take a five-minute cuddle break, a perk of working from home. He looks up at me, hopefully asking “Have you finished working now?” It’s only 9.30am, but I say, “Nearly” and lead him to his own table and chair beside mine where he sits dutifully concentrating on colouring a picture of blue skies, vast fields and roaming animals.