Ciao! I’m Fortunato, a 70 year old chess player. I used to play for Malta’s national chess team, but five years ago I retired and I started teaching chess. Last year, a pandemic out broke in the world, and changed so many of our lives, including mine! You see, about 10 days ago, I realized that I got COVID-19, and I’ve been in quarantine for almost a week.

Before this happened I used to go to the parks and play chess with my friends, or help the young people with their chess problems. I remember a day that a little girl walked up to me and my friend and she asked us if we wanted to play chess with her or not. Well, to be honest, I laughed a little (I was not laughing at her! Her act was just so sweet) and we accepted her invitation and we started a game. She played so well compared to other kids her age; I told her that she is so talented. She laughed a little and told me that her dad taught her chess. Her name was Selene and I asked her to meet again in the park and play more!

Yea, so it was my hobby, sitting in parks and playing chess, and I enjoyed it extremely. But I haven’t gone outside since I realized I got the coronavirus disease. My wife passed away a few years ago, so I have no one by my side and I feel lonely. Although staying home helped me to be more creative and peaceful, I cannot deny the fact that communicating with others was the key to my happiness.

Hopefully, I’m recovering fast and I can meet my friends, especially Selene, soon. I’m sure there are many other people in the same situation, so I’m not worried and I’m waiting to get well soon!