In the Middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Italy is Where You’d Want to Be
Those who were born in my generation of the Early Millennials have only seen the descending parable of the Italian peninsula: the constant loss of relevance on the world stage, the progressive erosion of credibility of the political class, an unprecedented demographic — and ideological — aging.
The outbreak of the epidemic in Italy, the first country in the West to be hit by the Coronavirus, has brought the Boot back to the center of the worldwide scene (well, it was not a choice, to be fair).
From a medical, economic and political point of view, Italy will be a great test for the whole world, having the “advantage” of that couple of damned weeks compared to most of the G7 countries.
I have always found patriotism essentially an anachronistic, ridiculous, often unjustified thread, sometimes with fascist echoes, especially when it was based on an alleged gastronomic superiority, or on the football skills of the country.
Instead, I find it today, in these lonely days, of fear and reflection, and of comparison with what is happening elsewhere near (France, Germany, Spain, UK) and far away (USA, above all), where Governments face a health emergency with a disconcerting lightness.
It is today that I, as Italian, realize how lucky I am to have been born — and to have decided to go back to live — in a country that puts the lives of its citizens before any income statement, which takes care to be able to guarantee everyone medical assistance -healthcare, which aims to save people before companies.
As I would like to be in Japan if I were to be in the midst of an earthquake, in the same way I believe that there is no better country than Italy to live in the midst of a pandemic.
And I am happy that at the moment there are people who lead this amazing country, although I am not one of their electors, that are able to make the institutions credible and solid. The exact opposite of what is happening in USA with science-fact denier Donald Trump, and with populist, Brexit-fan Boris Johnson.
Because that’s what people need right now: someone to guide them, and tell them what to do.
This is what happens when we are faced with a new and unprecedented challenge, because there is no map for the virgin territory that we are exploring. We must trust. Hence, it is necessary to do everything, even on a personal level, so that this relationship of trust between the people and the institutions, of any color, continues and is strengthened, putting aside sterile and egotical personalisms and criticisms.
Unfortunately, the world that will emerge from this pandemic in a long time will be very different from what we knew.
When time will come to rebuild it, however, the world will realize that it cannot disregard the contribution in moral, ethical and pragmatic terms of the Italians.