Live more than ever

Publish date 05-02-2022

by Gian Mario Ricciardi


Italy has reopened with breathlessness and, for a long time to come, will struggle to breathe. The data show, both in the number of infections and in the rest, the slow fading of a tragedy that counts 135 thousand victims (five million in the world) and has touched us all.
“Everything will be as before” it was naively written.

It is not so. In fact, we walk more uncertain than before and full of fears, especially for health but also economic. We know that the rain of billions will end and we, our children and grandchildren will, in large part, have to return them.
We are in the middle of a dream that, unfortunately, will vanish.

We have gone from taking toilet paper from home to children at school to the 4 billion just allocated for digitization. They are great achievements, but expensive. At the end of the story we will be the only ones left, with all our usual weaknesses and those born in these two nightmare years. Let's go back to the bar, the pizzeria, the restaurant but, let's face it, with more fears than in the past: there is a mask, there is everything you need but the idea that the contagion arrives does not erase it.

Sometimes we give each other our hand but immediately withdraw it, almost ashamed of having broken a taboo that has been chasing us for too many months; the public gardens are empty, or almost empty, because we continue to be afraid, as it should be.
Of course, we are recovering, albeit very slowly, and it is good that we are starting to think about poor countries (Italy will send 45 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the year) because either we save ourselves together or no one will be saved, even more so today. with the borders crossed by planes, ships, cars. We are recovering, perhaps, but we will remain devastated inside: what will be the consequences of the lockdown on society, on us, on our children, on children, on the elderly?

Nobody knows. Almost all of them are moving by groping and trying. However, I believe that the wounds will gradually heal (let's trust science!) And we will all have to strive to free ourselves from the culture of suspicion of the neighbor, of the friend, of the person met on the bus or tram, at the concert, in the disco. It is a sensation that has dominated the great and historic Communist, Nazi and Fascist dictatorships. We remember the film The Lives of Others, set in former communist Germany, or the spies of the fascists in Italy. Well, one of the devious evils that the cursed virus is leaving us inside is just that. We suspect of everything and everyone: of the elevator, of the guy who touches us on the walk, of those who are in line with us or who, before us, have touched the products in the supermarket.

After too many dead and sick people, this feeling risks being, for too long, the dark evil of our days and undermining a large part of social relationships.
We can only react with a smile, a flicker of humanity, availability like ours did in the twentieth century with mutual aid societies, groups, associations, clubs. So it will be worth being reborn. But, in the meantime, let's enjoy the warmth of an October that looks like the Roman one, the sun's rays still warm on long and peaceful afternoons, smell the scent of the woods, the aromas of mushrooms and chestnuts. The rest will come with some heart rehabilitation time.

Gian Mario Ricciardi
NP November 2021

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