The printed and enriched edition of At the time of the virus – One hundred voices between feelings and reality, the ebook distributed free of charge by All Around Edizioni in early April to tell the Covid-19 beyond the figures and only the news. Part of the proceeds will be donated this time to Doctors without Borders. A choral book born from the urge to think together about how our life has changed in this time rewritten in spite of ourselves by something unthinkable.
There are many changes to which we have had to adapt, re-reading our emotions, our relationships, our professions. At the time of the virus reviews them with pages of thoughts, forecasts, desires, escapes from reality. Including a Dictionary of Words that marked the pandemic. The project, born online by chance, registered an unexpected success and a surprising number of downloads on the publisher’s website.
Its creation was attended by journalists, writers, sociologists, philosophers, students, a variety of profiles and stories in which it will not be difficult to find oneself. Among the brands that make it precious, also that of Paola Setti, author of Non è un Paese per mamme (All Around). A project that renews the importance of sharing, a remedy for the solitude of living, and more than ever indispensable in these times of isolation. Reading is comfort, but writing is also: an ally, a sort of catharsis that lightens and enriches at the same time. It is no coincidence that many therapists suggest to everyone, not just those of trade, to keep a journal these days, or simply to vent their tensions, or passions, on paper.
To understand how At the time of the virus was born and to know the news of the paper edition, we interviewed the curator of the project, the journalist Lucia Visca, one of the most lively minds of All Around.
How did the idea of this creative project come about?
The idea was born from the desire of the All Around team to react to the quarantine and torpor in which all of us, and with us our authors, were falling. Everyone phoned me and told feelings and sensations. So I convinced myself to say: write them, write them all and build an ebook that we will give to our readers.
What response did the digital version have?
Huge, we have partial statistics that already tell us about over 3 thousand downloads. Copies downloaded all over the world, from China to North America. Many in Europe. The lion’s share, of course, was made by Italy.
What news in the paper version?
Meanwhile, the number of contributions. We started with 36, in our ebook version, we got to 101. Some solicited authors, others who approached All Around through the ebook and social media campaigns. Priests, students, managers, teachers, doctors: everyone asked for a second version. Everyone proposed their deepest feelings, their expectations set on the page. The result is a fresco of great interest, an authentic portrait of the best forces of this country.
In addition to the stories, At the time of the virus consists of a vocabulary of words that mark the epidemic and the health emergency. Is there a particular word to which you are linked?
As a journalist, I love the concept of Infodemy: “The enormous dissemination of information on the disease and infections that comes from the most diverse sources, often unverifiable and which leads to the multiplication of fake news, especially on the web. The repeated advice: trust only official sources, newspapers, radio and TV “. The virus revealed the enormous responsibility of journalists in these situations. The colleague who drafted the vocabulary managed to put things right in a few lines.
In the light of the contributions collected in At the time of the virus, in your opinion, will we ever be able to speak of ‘normality’ again?
To be honest, I never liked the term normalcy. I live it as a synonym of tran tran, a custom if not an addiction. If the virus has helped to clear all the better. What is certain is that the rhythms and ways of daily life will change, at least until new generations are adults and not mindful of this post-war period.
How therapeutic has it been to tell, to put what we are experiencing on paper?
As I said before, very much. In a world where there was no talk of anything but death and social distancing, our small community understood that distancing is and has been physical and that life, in one way or another, always wins. Maybe because I’m optimistic by nature. I hope I have transmitted some of this optimism not only to those who have written but also to readers.
And what role does reading in this quarantine period play in your opinion?
I save, as is always the role of reading. To the hastag #iorestoacasa we had added #eviaggioconlafantasia. A book always takes you or where you love to be or where you’ve never been.
Why Italiani.it readers should read At the time of the virus?
Because in 101 stories he will surely find more than one to recognize himself in and because he will get the feeling of not having been alone in the weeks of the lockdown.
Are you thinking of a sequel, perhaps focused on the After Coronavirus “?
Who knows. We’ll see. But I have the impression that the real later will come in many months. Perhaps there will be room for another during which we are already dealing with four titles coming out this May, with great effort and great satisfaction.