My red zone story

A contribution by Danila Zuffetti

Before the coronavirus outbreak, I lived in Lodi, a quiet bourgeois and provincial city, rich in history and culture, animated by many young people who want to bring innovation where others are still attached to tradition. I led a normal life and was daily struggling with school, work, study and social life. I was attending Codogno because my uncles live there, my gynaecologist also and my manager comes from that town.

Then, one day came the news of a possible patient infected by this strange virus called coronavirus, who was admitted to Codogno hospital. An unknown virus, for who had not listened to was happening in China. From that moment on, chaos ensued. The safe world we lived in was no longer the same. Within a few days, all the certainties we had vanished and our community became the subject of international media attention. Little more than a normal influence, they said. Yet, the situation was not as described. The number of infected people was increasing day by day, and we were growing in fear and concern. Closed schools, ten quarantined countries, closed gyms and restrictions of all kinds, perhaps too late. The virus had spread like wildfire. I live in daily uncertainty, as a mother, as a citizen and as a healthcare professional. I ask myself questions, answer other questions and try to reassure others in attempting to reassure myself too.

I feel shocked and upset. I am trying to move forward, hoping that everything will pass. Suddenly what seemed so far away has become part of us. I live by implementing the precautionary measures that have been recommended; yet, all is challenging and scary. Seeing my desert city makes me sad in a way difficult to describe. I work every day in contact with fragile people who cannot see their loved ones except for a few minutes, and at the same time, I wonder if the measures implemented by our structure are enough. But even in this situation, some think there is scaremongering, some think the condition is severe.

I want this emergency to pass, and to have honest and transparent information. I want to go back to living my city as I have always done, with walks in the historical centre where I live, with aperitifs in bars and open libraries where I can take my son. I’m trying to create a network of solidarity through friends, bookstores and social networks so that people don’t feel lonely and listened to.

I feel close to those who for years have been discriminated because of their origin. Maybe, at the end of these chaotic days, we will realize the need to return to the sacred, to the body, to nature and to words connecting us back to the other, never so alien as now.

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