The great hunger

Publish date 20-05-2020

by Marco Grossetti

Food emergency, the Arsenal of Peace at the forefront.


There are those who wait for the sound of a bell inside their home, those who supply gifts with small deposits that empty at the speed of light, those who swear and curse the world because it is never their turn. The phone rings continuously, everyone wants to know how and especially when. The Arsenale della Pace is the port where sailors land in this time of lockdown. Safe haven, but not for everyone. The luckiest ones are those who thank for the help received, their name is associated with a letter. It is the list of the elected, those who will return home winners, the full fridge and the rest of the family who rush to celebrate the hero. They received a phone call with day, time and address to report to.


In the distribution system their name is associated with a letter, the pass to pass the checks at a time when navigation is prohibited for all boats. Unless it's a necessary and indispensable issue. How to feed your family. It's like a blind date, most of them never in life had had to ask for help to put lunch together for dinner. A sigh of relief accompanies the pleasant discovery that there are no endless queues to face for the landing, fights and crowds to fight and grab the catch. The eyes full of humiliation and shame are filled with amazement when the table dedicated to them is filled with food that will fill another table for days, the one at home. Someone calls for help and waits for a friend or relative to bring home all the good things that would sink his small boat.


There are those who take the meat even if they do not have the fridge to store it in, those who go away dragging a bag full of things to cook wondering how to get the gas back into the cylinder, those who trust that they have not been shopping for more than a month , who sadly whispers that he has lost without notice the sweet half with whom he had shared a life these days. Someone landed there by chance, dragged by the current. He has seen other people receive what he desperately needs and begs for mercy, he wanders around with empty bags and trolleys which he hopes to fill to supply a desolately poor hold. There are those who leave resignedly and those who remain around in the hope of a landing. He hangs up on the phone, 800444404, the toll-free number of the Civil Defense, the gateway to receiving help and removing the curse. Whoever manages to take the line, protrudes the phone and implores linguistic mediation to give the right information to a kind employee who cannot transmit his identity: name, surname, address, telephone number, reason for the request, any help already received, telephone self-certification of the state of good health. Whoever does not find his safe haven, swears and curses his own destiny through the unfortunate person in front of him, the innocent representative of a life that has not been good for him at all. He must phone when he needs to eat, wait when he does it from the moment he came into the world. Someone listens to him, but nobody saves him. Go away and hope to see him come back the next day. Combined with the invented letter of an imaginary alphabet, yet another exception to make for those who, according to the regular rescue procedures, would always remain in a rough and rough sea. In the meantime, there are those who wait more or less comfortably at home waiting for supplies. A gentleman calls because he needs to know what time exactly his lifeboat will arrive, he has no electricity at home and like every afternoon, he wants to know when he can go to church to charge his cell phone. Those who distribute home help go aboard a boat that has an exceptional permit, motivated by the necessary and indispensable question of the people they need to reach. Rescuers are not only lucky enough to be among those who have and not among those who are without.


They have the privilege of having to stay outside in a time when everyone is closed inside, of being able to do something when nobody can do anything, they enjoy the right to contravene the rules to modify, at least in part, the course of this story. If nothing else, the story of the person who is waiting for them.


Meanwhile, someone telephones asking the bank holder for a donation or presents himself in person with a precious load, which however abundant, is destined to run out quickly, because in this market the demand is constantly higher than the offer. The generosity of those who have more is the only hope for those who swear hoping that their turn and its exception will finally come, for those who claim the help they have the right and need without knowing when it will be fulfilled. Someone is still waiting for his first time, but even the luckiest ones, those who were part of the elected list, know that their luck is not forever. The table on which they served has not yet been disinfected and sanitized to accommodate another sailor as per regulation. Before leaving the safe harbor they have just discovered, they think about how long stocks and supplies will last and formulate the right question to ask in order to be sheltered from the storm that will break out inside their houses at the next empty fridge. Then they lower the mask because they cannot afford misunderstandings or misunderstandings. Five words are enough to determine their course and their destiny. When will it be next time?


See the focus Reflections in Time of Covid 19

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