“Pandemic, it’s like a movie” This is the common feeling experienced by witnessing the events that have been taking place in the last few days in Italy. Total blocking of all movements (except if strictly necessiry) and ban on gatherings. The speech to the nation by the President of the Republic. And the speeches by the Prime Minister to unified networks. And again, schools, shops, except food stores and pharmacies, are closed. Even bars, canteens and companies and non-essential departments are closed. These are extraordinary and urgent measures to counter the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19.
A script changing day by day
Unlike a film, however, no script has been written and therefore from day to day situations change, our daily life is turned upside down. And as in all emergency situations, the best and worst of the Italians come out. We know the worst of it, it is the one that makes the most news and a stir, the one that attracts the most attention and consequently the one that is most talked about. The social networks and the newscast send images of unconscious people who gather joyfully or assault trains in order to escape from the north. Italians are subject to questionably satires and shunned abroad as plague-spreader.
There is always a way to look at the other with suspicion and there are those who almost feel satisfaction and a sense of revenge for the fact that the center of the problem (at least for the moment) is in the north instead of in the south. There are even those who loot by selling masks and disinfectants at exorbitant prices or fake volunteers who enter the homes of the elderly to steal. We could still give many examples of how the virus attacked not only the immune system but also the common sense and empathy of many Italians. But we prefer to dwell on the best, on all the positive things that this situation has brought to light and which have not had the prominence they deserve.
Italy rolls up its sleeves
The best is represented by an Italy that rolls up its sleeves, by doctors, nurses and health workers who do not hold back and work tirelessly. We have to turn the spotlight on what’s working right now. We think that elsewhere even just a simple swab costs between 1000 and 4000 dollars. The best in this moment are the “girls on the 4th floor” of an apartment building in Turin. They posted an ad in the entrance hall of their building, making themselves available to elderly to do the shopping for them.
And the best is Naomi, an unemployed educator and student on a forced break from lessons. She offered to provide free babysitting services to help many parents forced to keep their children at home without being able to leave work.
The best is the lady who decides to offer pizzas to the resuscitation team of Lecco. And the nurse who receives them, moved, finds time to thank her publicly even if she doesn’t know who she is.
And how can we fail to mention Captain Gennaro Arma? The photo of the commander who, in uniform with trolley and mask, leaves last, alone, the Diamond Princess has traveled around the world arousing a wave of respect and sympathy. “A hero”, the “symbol of an Italy that never gives up”, the “brave captain” who redeems Schettino’s mistakes.
Pandemic and solidarity
There were many free distributions of self-produced disinfectant gel and many donations to the infectious disease wards of various Italian hospitals. Companies, banks, football teams have contributed huge sums of money and fundraisers. As well as brands of the caliber of Armani and Dolce and Gabbana, known throughout the world as a symbol of Italianness. Not even influencers and jet set personalities have pulled back and used their popularity to help stop the epidemic. Chiara Ferragni and Fedez donated one hundred thousand euros and started a fundraiser that in a very short time reached dizzying figures. And to encourage quarantines and make long days at home less boring, “digital solidarity” services have been created.
In addition to multinationals such as Amazon and Microsoft. Italian communication companies and editorial groups such as Tim, Mondadori, La Repubblica, La Stampa etc. have devised various facilities to increase the chances of working, inquiring and reading books without having to leave the house. Schools are closed and, although education in this historical moment is certainly not the flagship of our country, in this emergency situation, in this pandemic, it is bringing out unexpected resources. While not “abandoning” children and young people, it immediately worked to find alternative but equally effective solutions to the classic lessons. The numerous teachers who also made available to students for individual lessons and personalized explanations testify to this. Or they immediately committed themselves to reorganizing the didactic material in order to make it available online.
Pandemic, it’s like a film, hopefully with a happy ending
In short, in this moment of crisis, uncertainty and fear in which the WHO declared the Pandemic, the most beautiful part of Italy stood out for its generosity. For its humanity, and Italy has never forgotten that to help, in any time, in any circumstance is the first thing to do to never forget who we are. Not to forget that we are not invulnerable and in a short time we can turn from being the one who help to those in need. The most beautiful Italy is the one that does not fight against the other but for the other. Because never as in this case we are these ‘others’. And if there is one thing that no virus can ever take away from us, it is our humanity.