Italy In My Mind

Undersecretary Sandra Zampa said, “the virus does not allow normal life”, referring to the reality that the pandemic has caused Italy. Italy has shut down herself. As much as Italy and the rest of the world want to be far from this reality, this is the life that we live now. While it is very difficult to write something positive out of COVID-19, I try to bring out the child in me. Why? Amid the growing global anxiety due to COVID-19, it is nowhere except in a child’s mind where things are magical, and magic is reality.

When I was a child, I dreamed of going on a European tour. Italy was the topmost country that I longed to set my foot on. Many years passed. Up to this time, I have not been to the boot shaped land. If experts say that COVID-19 will likely be around for the next eighteen months, what will it be like for Italy being the epicenter of the pandemic?
Let me walk you through a bit of nostalgia. Who had not made paper boats as a child? I am no exception. But guess what made mine special? I thought someday I would walk down the streets of Venice carrying along my paper boats. Then I would ride a boat so I could be at the canals (which I saw from a book) where I could put my paper boats out in the water. The idea was very simple yet sincere – like a child is.

A few months ago, my friend posted her picture in Facebook. She posed with her right hand outstretched on the side where the Tower of Pisa leans. I tried to look at pictures of the tower online and found out that my friend did the famous pose done by all tourists. I thought I should have one too. It would really be fantastic. Yes… maybe when a COVID-19 vaccine is in place.

Perhaps, since most of us now are sheltering in place, it will be nice to watch some feelgood movies so we can make our time not just productive but enjoyable as well. Like they say, “for the first time, we will be saving lives by just staying home and watching TV”. I recommend Only You. It is a 1994 romantic comedy which starred Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. Here Faith (Marisa Tomei) is convinced that a man named Damon Bradley is her soul mate, owing to playing a Ouija board with her brother in their childhood. Upon learning that her fiance’s classmate, Damon Bradley, is flying to Venice, Faith flies there even though she is set to be married in ten days. When Faith arrives, she meets Peter (Robert Downey Jr.) who pretends to be Damon Bradley. And before I spoil the story, I have to say that Venice and Rome where part of the movie was filmed impacted cinematography in a tasteful way.

It is not the time to point fingers at one another. I can never fathom the pain of losing someone to COVID-19. It is hard to look back where we failed or did not practice social distancing. More so, it is not wise to be hopeless in a crisis that not only Italy has but all nations in the world, because hope is all that is left in our hands now. A respected healthcare system like Italy’s can rise to the challenge of the time. The rest of the world should learn as we meet the moment. I am looking forward to the rebirth of Italy.

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