Postcard from Milano, Easter 2020

Hello all,

Greetings from Milan where I was woken this morning — Easter Monday — by police shouting through a megaphone at someone walking their dog on the square below my house that they should stay at home. Dogs are allowed out, kids not.

On Thursday, I went to my local supermarket to do some shopping. I left my house at 9.10, it’s 5 minutes’ walk. I was home, with everything unpacked at 13.03. We’re allowed to go shopping, nowhere else. The supermarket, where our temperature is taken, was almost as full as pre-lockdown.

We have to wear (Chinese) masks and gloves to do our errands now. We still can’t receive packages from abroad and it hasn’t been possible to get Vitamin C, Vitamin D or propolis from our local pharmacy. These are good natural barriers for what is “in the air”.

We received the fiscal measures for small businesses from the Italian government just before Easter. We are entitled to:

1) payments of 600 and 800 euros for earnings in March and April 2020 if they are more than 33% lower than the same period in 2019

2) a guaranteed loan from May 2020 from the government to compensate for up to 10% of lost earnings in 2020, to a maximum of 25,000 euros, to be paid back over the next 6 years at a favourable interest rate.

There is also talk of using our private savings to help pay back what the BCE are lending the country to provide the measures above. That will mean a law passed overnight to take a percentage of our savings directly from our bank accounts.

All these things have been passed by a PM who has never been elected.

Apart from the obvious personal concerns, we are also worried that we will need to be vaccinated and certified so in order to work and travel in future, whether we agree or not. That our movements will be tracked without our consent through our phones, as they already are in Israel.

Many of us who are not endlessly watching Netflix are wondering in despair if this is not a stark warning, even an experiment on, a wealthy, liberal, democratic European city from totalitarian regimes that the current Italian government support, in the name of progress and growth.

No one seems to be seriously contemplating that globalisation, especially with China, took this pandemic around the world.

No one seems to be seriously reflecting that good health is not about feeding the world through industrialised agriculture and prolonging life through the hugely powerful and lucrative pharma industry.

Are people even seriously realising that good public healthcare cannot be “optimised” towards efficiency and an average-low demand?

Thank God we have dual nationalities so we can leave as soon as we can. We’ll choose to live as far away from any 5G coverage as possible, have a single IPS at home for online viewing when absolutely necessary and we’ll grow some of our own food. We’d like to be part of a networked community who share resources and challenges.

At least some human kindness has come out of all this. Hope things are easier and more positive where you are.

Un abbraccio grande

#covid-19 #learningthroughdoing #preparethefuture

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Asha Singh

Asha Singh

I work with senior leaders to expand their sense-making, leverage collective intelligence and creativity to respond successfully to rapidly changing conditions