Time to pray for Italy is the first thing that comes into my mind when I see the rapid increase of the number of cases of coronavirus in Italy.
Anyone, who loves Italy and has enjoyed the unique beauty of this country, knows about the suffering and difficult time that Italy is currently undergoing with the accelerated spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Anyone who follows the live information about the status of the COVID-19 knows that Italy has the greatest number of confirmed cases in Europe, it’s the second country in the world with more cases of coronavirus with over 50,000 cases, and the death count has already surpassed China with over 4000 people equivalent to 9% mortality as of Saturday, March 21 (according to COVID19INFO.LIVE).
The situation has become extremely critical since over 600 people died in 24 hours, reason why the government has sent the military to enforce the lockdown in Lombardy, the northern region of Italy, center of the coronavirus outbreak, now called the new Wuhan. More details about this measure can be found in the CNN article from March 20, 2020: Italy calls in military to enforce coronavirus lockdown as 627 people die in 24 hours
Italian Culture and Coronavirus
Family life in Italy is the foundation of their culture. The family solidarity focuses on extended family rather than a nuclear family. They love the family gatherings and enjoy spending time together. Whether they live in the same city or in different cities or even different countries, the family is still the center of their social structure.
Being the family life extremely important value in the Italian culture, it must be really hard for Italians being separated from their extended family, as they have to limit their social interactions with family and friends.
Another aspect of Italian culture is the physical contact as part of their daily life. Italian greeting is warmer rather than formal. Italians kiss (or air kiss) on both cheeks when they greet those who they know well and shake hands with those who they just met. They like to show affection to the ones they love, so hugs and kisses are normal among family members and close friends.
For the people of the country of hugs, kisses and shake hands, following the lockdown rules may feel unnatural like the following two articles explain.
- Politico.EU, March 6, 2020: Italy learns to love in the time of coronavirus
- BuzzFeed News, March 20, 2020: Italians Are Learning How To Love During Coronavirus Lockdown. Americans Might Have To One Day Soon
The Joyful Italians
Music is a wonderful tradition in Italy. It’s known as the home of famous Opera singers like Giuseppe Di Stefano, Enrique Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti, Cecilia Bartoli, and Andrea Bocelli among others
During the lockdown, the Italians found their way to have joy through music, as they came out of their windows and balconies to sing along, play their musical instruments, cheers to each other, and also, to show their solidarity with doctors and medical staff who are restless fighting coronavirus.
Enjoy the following articles showing the joyful Italians playing music and singing:
- Quartz, March 14, 2020: Italians are singing on their balconies to create community in the age of coronavirus
- The New York Times, March 14, 2020: Italians Find ‘a moment of Joy in this Moment of Anxiety’
How to Support Italy
It’s hard to ignore the need for help that Italy, one of the most captivated countries in the world, visited by over 60 million people each year, is currently facing.
This country has contributed enormously to the world of history, literature, opera, art, architecture, fashion, and culinary art. My love for this country deep as an ocean has led me to find a way to help Italians to win this battle.
What can we do?
- Monetary contribution to non-profit and international organizations that are helping Italy in this time of crisis. Information about how to contribute can be found in the Forbes Article from March 17, 2020: 5 Immediate Ways To Support Italy During The Coronavirus Crisis.
- Go to the Italiannonprofit.it/donazioni-coronavirus, a non-profit organization to support Italian hospitals. The website is accessible in Italian and English.
- Find one of the numerous GoFundMe accounts opened to aid hospitals in Italy. Just google for “gofundme to support Italy hospitals” or simply gofundme to support Italy” and you will find options to contribute.
- Pray. With the 80% of Italian being catholic and with Rome being the epicenter and government of the Catholic Church, home of the Pope, a prayer or good wish will show your love and/or sympathy for Italians. Please see the invitation from Pope Frances to pray in the Vatican News article from March 19, 2020 “Pope picks up Italian Bishops’ appeal to pray Rosary together”.
- Staying home. It will mean a lot for Italy if your country does not get into the situation they are now. Follow the recommendations to avoid the spread of Coronavirus. Read the guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: What you can do to prepare your family in case COVID-19 spreads in your community.
Let’s stay home
The tragedy of Italy not only calls for prayers and support but also for warning to United States and the rest of the world as the numbers of cases are growing in similar velocity.
According to the Sky News Article from March 21, 2020, “Coronavirus: Italy’s hardest-hit city wants you to see how COVID-19 is affecting its hospitals” the city of Bergamo in Italy, the hardest-hit town in the hardest-hit province of Lombardy, wants the world to see the catastrophic emergency that nobody has experience before. They want to show the war they are fighting, the overwhelming number of people succumbing to the coronavirus, the hospital staff trying to spot the patients from dying. It’s a very sad situation.
With the United States, Spain, Germany and Iran showing their number of coronavirus reaching over 20,000 cases, the world has to be conscious to abide the rules of isolation for those who feel sick, and lockdown for those who are healthy to avoid getting the virus.
Because there can be no excuse anymore that nobody knew. Italy did not. Now everyone else does.
I’m staying home and you?
Just Love Italy
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