Tips from Milan: Self-Quarantine & Work from Home

by HULA , March 27, 2020
Painted by Marta Grossi (@martabunny)

With most of the world stuck at home for weeks on end due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a lot of the isolated are tearing out their hair trying to keep themselves sane from all the news, social distancing and homeschooling.  For the next few weeks, we will be interviewing (digitally – duh) women of different industries, nationalities all over the world to bring to you the best tips for self-quarantine and working from home because life goes on even when the world is under siege from this deadly virus. Whether you’re a mother juggling between working from home and keeping the kids entertained, or stuck in a foreign country alone fearing that going back home might bring something nasty to your family members, we hope the series ignites positive energy and brings practical tips that can guide you through this journey.

This week, we’re honoured to be interviewing Italian artist and creative director, Marta Grossi. Speaking from Milan, Marta talks us through her pandamic-daily-routine. 

 

Marta Grossi (@martabunny)

Where are you?

At the moment I am stuck in Milan in quarantine alone for 15 days. 

What do you do?

I work as an independent creative director, consultant and artist and I was supposed to be here for work meetings and some new collaborations. Shortly I came here, the Coronavirus situation got totally out of control very quickly, and I found myself stuck in Milan, without the possibility to return to my hometown in the Veneto region.

What is it like where you are right now?

I left with a small suitcase and very few personal belongings to stay just a few weeks in a rented apartment (so it is not even my own home).  I am situated in a very central area of Milan, where the warning is totally extreme. Lombardy is one of the most affected areas in Italy and although it is peaceful, I hear ambulances all day long. We can’t go out except to get food. The atmosphere is safe, but at the same time extremely intense and surreal. 

What is the biggest impact the virus has had on you personally?

The virus impacted my work and all my projects. Many luxury events related to foreigners coming here, are either cancelled or blocked.  I decided not to return to my family when they gave the maximum alarm two weeks ago because I didn’t want to create any risk with passing anything on to my parents or others. Social life can be quite challenging and sometimes it can feel overwhelming being alone for so long, but with social media and technology, I am always connected with my family and close friends. We do calls, video, meditation and yoga online, even happy hours, we support each other and I feel connected every single day.

 

 

Is there any positivity that you have discovered since the outbreak?

I have never seen my country so united as in this tragic and difficult time, from donations and fundraisers, ideas and constant support. I am sure this time is not wasted and is forcing us to focus on the essentials things in life, it will be a transformation for many of us.

 

What are your top tips during this period?

I try to wake up with a purpose and a routine. I usually do workout cardio with videos online and I sweat to keep myself fit, not being able to walk outside is one of the things I miss most. I gather daily with family and friends, online at 6 pm, and do a meditation and breathing class.  I also have a micro terrace where I spend one hour of the day out, mostly when the sun is out to get some fresh air.

But my main interest is to paint and create, I am lucky I have my pocket travel watercolours with me and some art materials left from a private commission I did the last month. I am also using creativity as a communication medium and a form of therapy – creating is helping me to release anxiety and to stay mentally healthy. I listen to a lot of different music, read and avoid watching movies or too much Netflix. I am creating a series of artworks inspired by my quarantine and sharing on my social platforms, hoping to inspire others during this time. Creating with what I have in the house and I found myself painting on the surface of a sink one day. I used the sink as a temporary canvas, because this virus is mainly spreading by hands, and we all have to wash our hands so much nowadays.

In Italy we have a slogan that has now become a popular hashtag “andrà tutto bene” it means everything is going to be alright.

 

 

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