I am writing this post at the request of one of my readers. He said, “Since you live in Italy (I’ve lived here for 14 years), and the whole world is watching Italy, maybe you could reassure people who are worried about this virus.”
So here I am. And as you can see from the video, the whole country has united to combat this virus.
Italians are an interesting bunch! Firstly, they are very tactile. They always greet each other with a kiss on the cheek (men included.) They often touch each other while talking, either to make a point, or just to make personal contact and demonstrate affection. So, it is not natural for them to stop doing all of that!
And I must admit that they can be a little bit “deviant” at times. They can break the rules – like double parking to run in and have that all-important espresso. But the interesting thing is, almost nobody complains – because they’ll be doing it next! I lovingly call them “exceptional people” because the rules are for everyone except me!
But not in this case! The entire country has followed the mandate to stay at home in isolation to fight this beast. (There have been some people who have not followed the lock down rules – and have received hefty fines. Rightly so!)
And it’s working! Because in Codogno, the epicenter of the virus in Italy, there are no new cases! Why? Because 99.94% of the population followed the rules and stayed home. No businesses were open (not just schools, bars and restaurants, but offices etc. – all commerce)
Yes, people lost money, but isn’t that better than losing your life? Or your mother’s life? Or your son’s life?! And it’s not just about us! You can do this for the highest common good. For his father or her sister.
And besides, we can use this time at home to be with each other! Read a book out loud to each other. Play with the dog. Write a play and perform it for each other. Write a silly poem about your spouse (I actually did that yesterday – and got a good laugh!)
And we can reconnect with old friends virtually. I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard from friends I haven’t seen in years, asking if we are OK over here in Italy.
We might live in different countries, with different customs, languages, religions and beliefs, but in the end, we all live on ONE BIG ROCK!