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Joint Bulletin on the impact of Covid-19 in Italy & Sri Lanka

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy

March 11, 2020, a date that will not be missing in the next history books, the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic status. Two days earlier, on March 9, 2020, Italy had entered the lockdown. The Italians were completely disoriented, afraid of what their future would be. Cities and towns were transformed into deserts, where the only noises were those of the voices of the Italians who sang from the balcony to give themselves strength.

A welcoming and warm people, like the Italian one, in whom a hug and a kiss are signs of good manners was forced, and still is the same today, to maintain social distancing. Today, after more than a year we can analyse what were the “side effects” of pandemic on the life of Italians. The inevitable consequences were: economic crisis, increase poverty, exacerbation of pre-existing situations of hardship, marginalisation and loneliness.

Situations of economic crisis are certainly not new for Italy, but what has distinguished this pandemic was precisely the feeling of loneliness that accompanied all Italians forced to stay indoors for more than two months. Increased cases of domestic violence, psychological disorders and eating disorders and this has led many scholars to speak of a post-lockdown trauma. Today there are fewer restrictions and the life we were used to before the pandemic does not seem like being so far away.

Despite this, the effects of this event have marked in a brutal way the daily life, economy, society, education and work of Italians. What is certain is that masks and social distancing, will remain our best trained to prevent reviving the horrors of the lockdown.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka

When the pandemic first hit the island, none of us considered its implications or the situation we would have to adapt to. Little did we know that we were in for one rough ride.

Nevertheless, the effective imposition of an island wide lockdown aided in curbing the spread of the virus within the country. Cities and villages throughout the island were turned into empty shells, all activity of living beings reduced to echoes in the wind.  With the lockdown in place, people were inevitably confined to their homes and a new routine of ‘working from home’ began for those of all ages.

Schools, companies, business and other places of work had to switch their physical activities to virtual means due to the inability to conduct daily tasks in person. Although many considered this a blessing, its consequences began appearing as the months went by. Children in rural schools found it extremely onerous to obtain a working wi-fi connection, increased cases of heart disease and eye strain were reported from those in the corporate sector. Apart from the pandemic consuming people’s lives, there were much greater dangers present during this period of isolation.

On a positive note, many estranged families were able to rekindle their relationships, while most found greater ways to improve their lives in unbelievable means both physically and spiritually. This is testament to what the human mind can achieve under great duress. All in all, this pandemic has brought the best and worst in all of us, and if we pay close heed to the stories each of us can share from this period of isolation, we could all connect and move forward in building a better and safer future for all of us.

Written by

Rtr. Corinne Serino

Vice President – Rotaract Club of Bari Agorá

Rtr. Aakil Riyaz

Editor – Rotaract Club of Colombo Mid Town

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