MIRIAM 4 – 12th of March 2020. I know that in Torino you are now, unfortunately, used to it, but I am still shaking. I just spoke with a friend who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus. She was crying, and is rightfully worried for her children, diagnosed with the virus as well. I tried to reassure her, then I asked her how she was feeling, what symptoms did she have… and I realized that I was asking questions more and more specific, because I don’t’ completely trust what I hear on TV, it seems as there’s always something the media are not telling us.
She has a fever, a cough, breathing difficulties. But most of all, she is scared. Fabrizietto had a long videocall with her son, who also happens to be his best friend and that for now is feeling well, despite being sick with the virus. At one point I heard him saying “I wonder if tonight the coronavirus will let me sleep..”, so I stepped into their sweet conversation and I said: “Do you realize how cool it’s gonna be to tell your kids, one day, when they are reading of these crazy times on their books, that not only you were there but you fought the virus yourself and you survived it!”. He smiled and he said “you’re right, I hadn’t thought about it..”.
Till now, I hadn’t either.
ANDREA 4 – First, it was Rugani, then Tom Hanks and his wife, then members of the Parliament, finally, your voice message this afternoon. I was on the other side of the red line when I felt the fear taking over you: “Miriam come on, we have to write about day 4”. “Wait, I had physical contacts with a person who tested positive, right now I can’t think about anything else”. Then the reassurance: the contact was from 14 days ago.
The smile comes back for a moment, and with it the desire to write.
We have all become statisticians: we lose ourselves in fractions, curve trends and diagrams that until five days ago were confined in Power Point presentations at the office, while they are now regularly on the news. We count the number of sick, of cured, and we take comfort in the fact that the dead are on average twenty years older than us. Cynicism or survival instinct?
Now I understand that the red line does not divide us, it connects us. At the end of the day, the concept of a pandemic (and if I had been in my usual role of marketer I would have said “the insight behind it”) is the same behind the famous poetry “A Livella”, by prince De Curtis, that was taught in school here in Naples.
The marquis and the dustman then, football players and the homeless now.
Coronavirus is a level.