In spring, during the first wave of the pandemic, we Italians discovered that we knew how to be “serious” (and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was recently reminded of this) and more “united” than we thought.
Today, after a summer in which we let the reprieve we had just achieved slip through our fingers with too much lack of foresight, the second wave is making us aware that the virus has the tendency to divide us and that we could all pay a very high price as a result. COVID, in fact, risks dividing us up by age, into those who are or aren’t exposed to the most serious risks, between social classes that suffer the economic consequences more than others, and between the very institutions that are called upon to make choices - which are often unpopular - to reduce contagion and ensure the necessary assistance to those in need. If you observe carefully, you can see the epidemic is actually pulling the country apart in a cannibalistic game between generations (with the elderly in the role of almost “expendable” victims), in a clash between those who have a more guaranteed income (for example state employees) and those who have fewer safeguards (such as the self-employed), in an ongoing power play between the central government, and the various territorial entities, such as the regional and municipal governments.
In the middle are companies like us, are forced to work even harder to ensure our survival and to continue to guarantee the salaries of our employees, often having to pay out for furlough way in advance because of delays from the central government. A perverse spiral that risks undermining social stability and even twisting the system of checks and balances provided for by our Constitution. The pluralism and the articulation of the institutions of our Republic are and must continue to be, multipliers of positive energies, but this advantage is lost if we become divided, because of the COVID emergency. As is happening right now.
Excluding the ABC of common sense, evidently not taken on board by enough people right now, the things which each of us can and must do for the common good is to follow the norms, ordinances and rules dictated and applied by our institutions. In short, we must adopt “prudent behaviour,” such as wearing masks, taking proper hygiene measures and social distancing, not because we are obliged to do so, but out of a sense of responsibility towards others and towards ourselves.