#IOSTOACASA (I stay home) this is the hashtag and motto my country uses to invite people to take responsibilities and stay home in the hope of containing the spreading of the virus. And what does it mean to stay home? This means that you can go out for just a very short list of commitments related to food, medicine or something urgent or that cannot be postponed. This means that you cannot even go to pay a visit to your elderly parents and that you can enjoy the coming spring only from your balcony if you are lucky enough to have it!

Photo by Ansa

We are passionate people and we love to shake hands, embrace, kiss and touch our friends. What a sacrifice to stay apart! But we are also creative people and inventors, someone could say. We know l’arte di arrangiarci, the art of creating marvelous things with nothingness. But, how can we create something with nothingness? That sounds like magic! Then, try to imagine our world, with no work, no right to go down the street to take a walk, no friends to gather with, no Sunday lunch, no parties, no events, no masses, no weddings, nothing at all! And here the magic comes! People want to create a community when it’s prohibited to touch or embrace, want to create happiness when all around is falling apart, want to create a concert using pots and lids when they don’t have musical instruments, want to share homemade funny videos with no direction or a script.  And like a miracle, the nothingness turns to concerts from the balconies, movies screened on facades of buildings, dancing lights in the dark from mobiles that wave from the windows, and isolation in the community, turns fear into happiness and despair into hope.  

Photo by a child from Lamezia Terme

And then, another motto arrives #ANDRATUTTOBENE (It will be fine). Children start drawing rainbows and create their little paper artworks to show them from the windows. Italian flags everywhere and our hymn that becomes the soundtrack of our days while our Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte shows on Facebook to be proud of Italians.

The entire world is watching us, enjoying the Italian people show, and no need to pay a ticket! But, what does it mean to be Italian these days? What is the message that is spreading all around the world through our creative reactions to exorcize the increasing infections and to support our healthcare system on its knees?

People, don’t ever think we are fighting this war against the virus, fantasizing on the couch a new way to cheer us up, we are not on holiday! We are assisting day by day to this slow decline. Doctors and nurses are heroes, who are saving thousands of people in the hope to escape themselves from the virus. But many other heroes are staring at the ceiling because there is nothing else they can do.  They shut down their little shops, bars, restaurants, firms, hotels, agencies and so on, while their employees will need to get payed, and many families will depend on them. They cannot do anything! They are immobile heroes! And others must work because people need food, medicine, water, energy to survive and they leave their safe home every morning to run Italy. They are heroes, too!

People all around the world, enjoy the show of our giant flag carried by parachutist in the sky, enjoy the show of our resistance, enjoy the chants of people that challenge the silence left by many people who died because of the virus, but don’t forget about us, don’t leave us alone. Don’t ever think we are invincible!

Please, keep painting your monuments, walls, and buildings with the colors of our flag.  We cannot help but cry anytime we see green, white and red to illuminate Toronto, New York, Sarajevo, Jerusalem, Mostar, Tirana, Tel Aviv, Dubai… Your empathy is our strength!

We are all Italians, Americans, Canadians, Chinese…  We are fighting all together against this alien.  We stand with each other to win our battle. No more boundaries, nations, races on this earth. We are all citizens of this planet, a planet that is begging us to be stick together. And we can stand together only if we rely on the power of Human Connections!

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  1. Dear Giulia, your reflections about the present Italian situation is absolutely clear, true and motioning. We feel the danger and we want to stay closer, but it is impossible at the moment, so we try to find out many ways to keep in touch and we have to say that technology in this moment gives us a big help! Moreover the way people sing from the window and share such a difficult moment is something incredible.
    This time is very important for everyone of us. We can appreciate every moment of our day and think about the need we have to stop the daily run to … we don’t even know well to what…let’s live the present time in a special way and hope that everything will be all right

    1. Thank you Doriana. You mentioned technology and yes, at this time its role is more important than ever because it gives us the chance to be more connected just when we are required to stay apart.
      Our lives are completely changed and we should treasure the teaching we are receiving from this difficult moment. Hopefully, we will become in the future more grateful for every little thing in our lives, more respectful of others, more connected with other humans been and even happier.

  2. What a beautiful article, Giulia. It is obvious your words come from the heart of a proud – but suffering – Italian woman, bravely facing each new day with hope. Thanks for sharing this hope with us Canadians that are in the early stages of our own battle. It is my wish that Italy would feel the compassion of the world as they confront this crisis.
    Virtual Hugs, Laurie G

    1. Laurie, your touching comment reaches me as a gift when I need it most. We are all part of this fragile planet and we have to stand together to win this battle against this invisible enemy. It’s my wish that all the countries around the world will take fast restrictions to protect their citizens and keep them safe before the virus will conquer new spaces. It’s time to act, and act now!
      Stay safe my friend.

  3. We are with you in spirit. All of us are family now. We need to care of each other. Even if it is a smile, a kind word, a reassuring glance. We will get through this together. Humans helping humans. Standing together. Stay safe. Keep singing. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Lisa, thank you so much for your beautiful and touching words. Yes, we need to care of each other because we cannot survive in this world by ourselves. We cannot live by believing that any person, people or even nation can survive relying only on their own strength. We should treasure this difficult moment because it is teaching us that we are all citizens of this planet. And, as your wonderful words teach, “Humans helping humans”, it’s time to show that we need more humanity and less nationality if we want to stand together and win our battle. Let’s sing all together…

  4. Congratulations Giulia, your words best summarize our Italy in this difficult moment. It will be tough, but …. everything will be fine
    Francesca Russo

    1. Francesca, thank you very much for your wonderful comment. We are experiencing a very difficult time but we must not miss the opportunity to treasure it. Difficult times are great teachers and one of the things we have already learned is that we cannot survive without Human Connections.
      And if we are all united “Everything will be fine”.

  5. The Spirit of Italy 🇮🇹 Will see you through. And you are so right! we are all in this together Much Love Keep sharing your thoughts and Awareness. Bella

    1. Debra, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. Yes, now we are all in this together and that’s the most beautiful “side effect” of this such a difficult moment. Much of Love!

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