Last week, the Wolrd Health Organization released a video about the Italian response to the Covid-19 situation and praised what the Goverment, the health system and its operators, as well as the whole population did in the past few months to counteract the pandemic, leading the Country to be now the least impacted context in Europe.
At the same time Mr. Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, spoke about it and said that the Brits are doing worst than the Italians against the covid because they enjoy their freedom so much and they hardly accept limitations and restrictions…
…as if the Italians were not free or do enjoy feeling miserable in their homes.
Mrs. Johnson’s speech caused a reaction by the President of the Italian Republic, Mr. Sergio Mattarella, who is a very quiet and responsible person who never speaks out of the line and especially never out of necessity. But he also coulnd’t stand such words and replied that not only the Italians love and enjoy their freedom but they do also respect each other’s right to stay in good health. It is at times of catastrophies that the Italians do get together and cope with the circumstance: be it a earthquake, a flood or a pandemic.
That is exactly what Mr. Johnson does not know well about the Italians. We might be noisy, we migh be not well organised, we might be funny and in some cases we also are a bit superficial, but we are definitely responsible and serious people when the common interest calls.
At the begining of the pandemic, being the first Country seriously hit by the virus, out of China, we were scared to death. Watching scenes on tv about military trucks taking dozens of coffins out of the hospitals in Bergamo, getting to learn how many new cases were detected every day at 6.00 pm during the daily press conference of the Civil Protection, and getting to know how many were dying without even a chance to say one last goodbye to their loved ones or being deprived the possibility of having a funeral, was very devastating.
Those are the reasons why we did the lockdown perfectly. Except some very few reckless idiots, the whole population stayed at home and went out just to go to grocery stores and buy food. Some industrial units were active, especially those that are essential for life such as food industries and farms, all the rest was closed thus there was no need to go out.
Secondarily the lockdown was not lifted all at once. There have been 3 steps. In the begining we were allowed to only visit our family members, then after 3 weeks we were allowed to go back to work, at those companies who counl’d make it with smart working, but have been allowed to move from one region to another only one months after the first ease of the restrictions.
Did we like it? Absolutely not. But we did it. We all felt it was a shared responsibility to protect each other, wear a face mask, sanitize our hands frequently and limit out social life for a while. Limiting our own freedom was not stupid neither selfish but rather the opposite: we limited our own freedom to keep the others safe. Wearing a face mask is not meant to protect ourselves from others but rather the opposite: it is meant to protect others from us because we might be the uncoincscious carrier of the virus, especially if we do not have symptoms.
Are we still respecting the restrictions? Yes and no. We do still wear face masks and we get very upset whenever we see somebody, especially those coming from abroad, who do not wear it. We do still sanitize out hands dozens of times a day, we do still try to avoid large gatherings, especially indoor ones. But we are back to our normal lives: we go out, we share a drink with our friends, we go to clubs and to work..always reembering to take a mask with us, avoiding unnecessary physical contacts and so on. It will all be for a limited period of time. We rather prefer to avoid kissing every time we meet as we were used to do for a while than getting to a point that won’t be able to do it anymore.
Are we still scared? Yes. Not much for us, but for all the Countries around us: France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and also UK. We have seen too many dying, we have seen how the virus can distroy the economy, we have seen how much it is important to respect the rules as a common interest. We all have a stake in preventing the virus from further ourbreaking.
I am under the impression that Mr. Johnson didn’t learn the lesson yet.
What about you? What was your reaction to Covid so far? are you still scared or not?