As an Italian who is experiencing a very delicate situation, I would like to send a message to those who have not (yet) experienced a situation like this which, unfortunately, must be expected, will also spread to other countries, as the first data are telling us.
Borders become walls. The red areas become real. We work smart, we worry about those who can’t.
The coronavirus emergency is reality, and the truth is that it finds us psychologically unprepared:
It touches deep roots and our most basic needs such as our need for health, safety, and protection, but also for sharing and trust. We find ourselves unprepared because we have never experienced similar scenarios, and leaves us with a sense of unreality, as if it were all strange and unreal, activating a series of denial or panic attitudes for survival.
Hence the opposite behavior: teenagers who continue to gather in the park as if nothing had happened, until the supermarket shelves are emptied. But it is time to go beyond survival attitudes and implement suitable and adequate behaviors to act also for the common good.
This story tells us how our fears rest in each of us on some fear and many resources. For some, fear is a spatial problem, that is, for those who fear being stuck in situations with no way out. For others, fear is doing something that harms others and then feeling guilty. For still others, it is the fear of not being able to see the affections of others and of being alone, or on the contrary, crushed in some situation seen as a cage from which to escape by taking a plane.
The situation we are experiencing also stresses our limits and personal fears but it must be remembered that it is a temporary and transitory condition, which will last much less the more each of us will privilege the common good and not their own selfishness.