Covid19 times – translated by Giulio Panza

I barely open my eyes, even though I slept well. It has not happened for years. Worries are intensifying, and a mood swing befriends me during the nap. I am troubled. I have been waking up for weeks without my shrill and steady alarm. In weekdays it is like if a biological alarm made my eyes open, for a simple sense of duty, just in time to start working at home, smart working. I am one of the few lucky people who can treat themselves, lucky enough to plan on a wage, a low wage, because I have a part-time contract.

Businesses are exhaust and most of them will face failures and closures, once corona virus emergency is up to its end. Few days ago, my husband was told his company is downsizing. He is in that category of those disadvantaged people in the Italian economic system: he is a freelancer with a VAT number  and he will be lucky, only if his insurance fund will give him a small amount of 600, 00 € for March, that’s anyway not granted! Only a scarce number of people will enjoy that small amount, basing on the chronological order, they gave the request in, despite the delays and the errors of a congested web site. Perhaps this is the reason why my sleep is always more shaken.

Today it’s my birthday, and I am figuring out that time flows, regardless of our habits, that are waiting for a recovery.


How worthy is this word? It is the first time we do find ourselves between what we were and what we will be. We have never enhanced the worth of such a word, but now. Time qualifies our life.

I live on the border between the two areas, that are suffering the most a spreading pandemic. Covid-19 is erasing an entire generation of grandparents. But the truth is far from this: it’s stealing us time for sorrow, the possibility of a last goodbye, it made us inept bystanders to what’s inevitable. 20 minutes far from here dozens of military vehicles are transporting in other areas graveyards the corpses of our victims. For the news they are numbers, but each of them is a relative or a friend of someone who meant everything to someone else. Their personal belongings have been sanitized, soundlessly thrown in black duffels, and only after these two steps delivered to their family. Nothing else to weep for our loved ones. No deserving ceremony for those who sacrificed themselves, just to leave a better and wealthier world for their children. Perhaps, this world runs too fast, but it was a matter of habits, the same habits that will not belong anymore to us, at least in a short time.

I get up clouded by my thoughts. In the kitchen my daughter rolls out on the floor papers saying, “Happy Birthday Mum”, while an enormous silver 43 is covering the upper part of the wall. These days are surreal for her too, but children quickly adapt to new habits. For them home is where there are their parents and, in this place, they can spend time altogether for long. It is a dream that comes true. Of course, she misses open spaces to run over, a garden to lay on and her play and school mates. Even the school adapted to abrupt changes and classes are online. No one would have imagined it before.

When the first infection was announced in the news, we were not ready. We avoid fear, believing it was silly, but then the speed of the virus spreading caught us. At now hospital are collapsing and the emergency turned to planetary. I am worried about future, and no one knows when quarantine is going to end. Today I am happy, tomorrow euphoric, the day next angry. Closed people died due to the virus, but neither their relatives nor I have undergone the swab. This has made me anxious and for days I have been afraid of being ill or infecting someone else. On the one hand, people are posting words of hate on social networks, in particular against runners. It seems an absurd hunting to the “plague spreaders”. Actually, they only spread fake news or conspiracy theories. Probably, this is the real hunting… to a “share” or a “like”. It doesn’t help, anyway, because more free time means spending more of it online, letting negative emotions involve us.

But today, it’s my birthday and I am not going to let sadness win. I am going to dance with my daughter and my husband on the terrace under a warm spring sun. Then, I am going to taste some sea food dishes, delivered by an excellent deli. I will receive many wishes. I can already feel all those virtual hugs. This birthday will be particular, not sad. Because until I am alive, I have chances. It doesn’t mind, if it is at home, or far away around the world. I don’t fear challenges, I am scared of violence. However, united but distant, humanity will succeed in it. We will succeed in it. Together.