Quarantining social Italians: A reflection on Italian defiance

Italians all over Italy had just begun to welcome in the turning of the weather with Carnevale celebrations. The days were getting longer and preparations for la festa della primavera were getting started.

And that’s when it happened, everything changed. La dolce Vita turned into something reminiscent of another time.

The sun is still out though and the days are still getting longer. But the beaches are empty, the streets are empty, the bars are closed

The notoriously social Italians have been quarantined. And nobody believed they could, or would do it!

But they have, and they do, en masse. Amazing scenes of a new social interaction have surfaced of Italians embracing the “new normal”, communicating and celebrating their successes – albeit overshadowed by spiralling statistics that hit hard everyday – from their balaconies.

Thankfully, balconies that are available to most in this densely suburban population, balconies that provide more than the obligatory one metre social distance.

The world has it wrong, Italians are not being carefree and ambivalent. They’re pleading to the world to listen to their calls and heed caution. They’re sticking to quarantine despite their social desires, because the biggest driving force in this culture is not rebellion – it is serving the bigger driver of family and community.

Disturbingly huge numbers of infection and death shake Italians to the core. They’re not merely numbers, they’re somebody’s Nonno or Nonna, Mamma or Papa. They’re not broken and hiding in fear, they’re doing what they’re best at, taking care of their family, their country, their people. Forza Italia! 

Originally on my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9y9obxIMeR/

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