Through Good and Bad
In recent years, we have had the opportunity to realise that we live in a highly globalised world and that interactions among people from different countries have been becoming increasingly easy. People are now politically, socially, economically and culturally linked, which means that issues that affect one country and its population will inevitably have consequences on others, depending on its geopolitical position. Globalisation is essentially connected to the movement of people and information: nowadays, it is impossible to completely separate one country and the people living within it from the rest, and this is why pure isolationism does not work anymore. Tourism, migration, and economic exchanges cannot be stopped all of a sudden, the result being that the only viable direction that countries can undertake is the one that leads towards more globalisation and interdependency. We have all seen evidence of this with the current outbreak of Covid-19.
In all this, technological and scientific developments have been playing an important role, by facilitating the exchange and movement of information throughout the globe. States are each day more connected and interdependent than the day before. Individuals are aware of this as well, and they are conscious of the fact that personal actions in their daily life will have consequences on someone else in close or remote proximity, in the short or in the long run. We have had proof of this with the development of international protests, those organised by international non-governmental (non-profit) organisations fighting for human rights, like Amnesty International. Or, more informal ones, with little or no organisation, like the “El violador eres tú” demonstrations, which originated in Chile but now spread throughout the world during feminist rallies, or the Fridays For Future. International interdependencies have also developed with petitions and newspapers, which have ensured an increase in the acknowledgement of belonging to an international network among people.
We quite regarded this happening in Italy because of the measures taken by the government to tackle the spread of Covid-19. People have started putting their liberties and self-interests aside to follow governmental norms, which aimed at ensuring the safety and health of the salutarily-speaking disadvantaged ones. The lockdown has pushed people to stay home and meditate about the reasons and purposes of these measures. Because they have not been through any event that questioned their whole system of ideas and thought, no massive wars nor natural catastrophes, the generation of baby boomers and the generation X have been identified with being egoist, self-centred, conservative, concerned with their own well-being and not interested in the climate crisis. These factors, together with a high degree of functional illiteracy and school drop-out rate, have accounted for the rise of sympathies towards Lega Nord’s racist and nationalistic propaganda in the last years. Yet, with the outbreak of Covid-19, former generations have been pushed to make more responsible use of technology, to inform themselves through reliable sources before speaking and to demonstrate that they are respecting governmental precautions. It quite seems as if, for the first time in years, Italians liked sticking to the rules. People now acknowledge the fact that many others are in the same situation as them and feel sorry for the healthcare and civil protection servants who have been dealing with the virus day and night. This means that people not only acknowledge but also demonstrate that they are more connected, through laptops and balconies. The outbreak of the pandemic and the consequent national lockdown have eventually contributed to restoring a sense of belonging to a something greater, not in an aggressive way, which had been forgotten for all these years.
The hope is that, after all this is gone, the sense of being part of something greater, namely, a community, will stay. A community that can be that small neighbourhood in the historic centre of Naples, where the elderly talk to each other shouting from their balconies, or that can be something bigger, more complicated. A community in which the ordinary person can feel safe and knows that there will be someone ready to help them if they need so. A community in which we can rely on one another without the fear of being hurt, both psychologically and physically, be it for a sexist insult or for a virus. The hope is that, even in such a bad situation, we can (re-)discover those affections and emotions - spending time with your beloved ones or going downtown - that we had taken for granted and forgotten, and keep this in mind when the dust settles.