#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!
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.
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!