Italy, Scandiano: Giulia, 17, student
Hi, my name is Giulia, I’m 17 years old and, at the moment, I’m studying in France. I’m from Italy, more specifically from the northern part. As many people know, the first Italian case of COVID-19 was detected around the 29th of January. Everyone thought it was nothing, just a bad flu but it wasn’t. Schools closed the 24th of February, “just for a week” said the president, a week that became three months. Basically, all my habits have changed, everything was different: there was no school and now I can say that I miss it, …
… I couldn’t see my friends and people I love, I couldn’t do typical teenage activities (go out to eat a pizza, go dancing, go to the cinema or concerts), but the worst was not going out, even to have a walk, I was locked at home with my parents and it was really frustrating, not to touch the ground, not to see other humans.
A lot of things weren’t allowed anymore: as I said, we could not go out, except to go grocery shopping, we weren’t allowed to practice sports outdoor; bars, pubs, restaurants, theatres were closed. Italy was locked, no more activity, no more tourists or workers in the streets.
COVID-19 affected and affects still today the lives of Italian citizens.
My mum is a teacher, so she didn’t lose her job, but the way of working changed: no more direct contacts with her students, she spent hours and hours in front of her computer, doing video calls or correcting homework. She said to me, it wasn’t the same thing, she missed talking to her students in front of her, she missed the human connection.
On the other hand, my father went to work every single day, he’s a nurse, so the hospital was completely converted in an intensive care unit to receive the highest number of people with Coronavirus.
I can say that we were lucky because my parents didn’t lose their jobs, but for many families it was and it is still a complicated moment. Lots of business closed because of the lockdown, and many people didn’t know how to pay their employees. This virus affected a lot the Italian economy.
Talking about positive aspects: „thanks“ to Coronavirus pollution levels decreased considerably, especially in the North of Italy which is the most polluted area of my country and nature “took back the control”. In Venice, the ditches’ water became clear and filled with fishes, flamingos were seen in Milan, in my city streets were filled with animal-like deer and wild hogs.
I also hope people have learnt from this period that nobody is unbeatable, even with technology; that simple things are beautiful and worth enjoying and that we have to take care of people we love and we have to take care of our earth.
I believe that the Italian government made a good prevention against the COVID-19, even so at the beginning this virus could have been handled better.
Giuseppe Conte, prime minister, decided to lock Italy down, it wasn’t an easy choice, because as I said before for our economy it was really hard, but I think it was the best solution: this helped to stop the increase of contagions.
During this crisis Italy had troubles with hospitals: they didn’t have enough place to receive people with Coronavirus. In my opinion, the government should give better financial support to hospitals, to enable them to have better equipments and to prepare them for the future.
In my opinion, this period changed people, especially human relations. This era gave people time to think about their lives, current problems and it also gave them time to get informed, to learn new things, so I think this changed the way of thinking of people.
It should also be said that we spent a lot of time locked in our houses, time has passed, so necessarily people, countries and politics have changed. Personally, this time at home allowed me to learn a new language and to be more interested in what is happening in the world. I also spent a lot of time reading books.
During this time of lockdown, I started following an Italian YouTube channel, called “VENTI” that in Italian means “twenty”. This YouTube channel consists in a group of young people that generally talk about topics that interest young people (there is a lot of interviews with singers, actors, psychologists; they also talk about self-confidence, racism, love, friendship and so many other things).
Over this period “VENTI” has published contents about Coronavirus and made a lot of lives on Youtube with psychologists to help people go throughout this particular moment. I really recommend this youtube channel, the only problem is that it is in Italian.
I extremely would like to create an international project like “VENTI” with young people coming from all over the world, to bring positivity and curiosity, to stimulate the creativity of teenagers and allow to express themself freely.
During this period of lockdown, I learnt how beautiful life is and that today’s youth can make a difference, sharing another point of view with the world.
I just want to say to all the young kids reading this article, that they don’t have to settle for, they have to fight, they have to study, to inform themself, they have to do new experiences and get out of their comfort zone because young people of today are our future and we have to put faith in them and raise them to always be as human as possible and put love in the world.
Credits Pictures: 1) Street Art by Franco Rivolli https://www.mostramifactory.it/2020/05/02/murales-a-bergamo-street-art-da-non-perdere/ 2) Santiago Gassó via Twitter https://twitter.com/SanGasso?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1237