If you leave the house today the cast of Italy's version of the reality TV franchise Big Brother will return to a world that is very different from what it was 13 weeks ago left behind.  Quarantined in the famous "Casa" and given their best in a playful manner – which often means the worst of itself – the participants of the current season continued the competition around the clock, which was recorded by a crew with face masks and gloves . The rest of the productions in Rome's famous Cinecittà studio have gone dark.
The end of this season of Grande Fratello VIP as the show is called here comes due to three weeks earlier than originally planned The Covid-1
It will be reflected in a strange mirror. Without ever performing, Italians live in a Big Brother world for a month. There are no awards other than survival. After a month of increasingly stringent closures, however, we are slowly getting tired. And unlike the TV analog, the Italians have no idea when the season ends. First we were told April 3, then April 13. Few of us believe that the suspension will not be renewed.
The cast of Grande Fratello VIP has at least an idea of what to expect when they rejoin society today. In the second week of March, the producers of the show informed them about the pandemic and its aftermath in Italy, and gave them unprecedented contact with their families. That also made for dramatic television.
The sight of empty streets and closed restaurants is certainly a shock, but maybe they have an advantage over the rest of us because they have gotten used to social isolation while being trapped in the Big Brother House for three months. Maybe they'll immediately find work as a trainer and teach others how to live in quarantine.
Italy is about one week to 10 days further than most United States in this disaster. It can rightly be said that we are still not used to it. Yes, we can do some of the old basics via Zoom or Skype – workouts, yoga, therapy sessions – but other things can only be done in person. First of all: hairdresser. It starts to show up.
Last week in Rome, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, appeared in an allegedly soothing message to the nation. The President usually only speaks to the nation on New Year's Eve or on special occasions, so everyone was very concerned about the March 27 video that was shot in the Palazzo del Quirinale, the presidency's headquarters on Rome's highest hill.  Mattarella sat in his office in front of the Italian and European flags and spoke a few calming words about the pandemic. Then he suddenly stopped when someone outside the camera informed the President that his hair had a tuft . "Eh, Giovanni," said Mattarella, patting his head and smiling a little. "I can't go to the hairdresser either." (As it turned out, Giovanni is the President's communications chief, Giovanni Grasso. The hashtag #ehGiovanni went viral.)
Barber shops are of course not necessarily forced to close, and we all struggle with hair that grows unhindered like grass on the squares and returns to a state of nature.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also has hair problems. He recently started holding virtual press conferences that attracted a sizeable television audience. Reporters ask questions via Skype. The spectacle is strange in itself. But what was even stranger in the last press conference was Contes hair: the color had started to turn gray, especially on the temples. "Nobody knows when there will be growth again," wrote a friend on WhatsApp. "But regrowth is definitely here."