smart working in hard and sad times   Leave a comment

In Italy we have just started the second month of the pandemic COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It has been really hard to go through every day of these first thirty days, but especially and unfortunately, the last two weeks have been full of sorrow for the many people who died because of the severe symptoms of this disease, which is now spread all over the country and the world. In the 21st century, it is almost unbelievable that we get to the point that we are forced to stay at home and to have lockdowns of cities, unless we live in South Korea, in order to try to contain the contagion. In modern times, it is unacceptable that medical doctors and nurses have to work without enough resources to protect themselves and to treat patients.

It has become very risky even going out for walks, which have been now limited to a radius of 200 meters around your home, or doing the grocery shopping. Italians have learned in the hardest and saddest way how to respect queues and rules. Unfortunately, some idiots (including me taking a trip to Florence on February 22, just one day after the first case) continued to live their lives as nothing had actually happened and this has led to the spread of the disease in other regions of Italy and even countries, where it could have been contained in a better way. Although this was the kind of response more or less every country adopted to deal with the pandemic, this does not make easier to process the whole situation. Instead of listening to scientists, such as virologists, or following China’s approach, which actually started producing results after three months of lockdown, our government has taken severe measures only after two weeks that the first infected patient showed up in a hospital in Lombardia.

I have started working from home since March 6 (the second picture is a view of the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri taken from the window of my office in Palazzo D’Ancona). I had the pleasure to be in a smart working situation before, but in such hard and sad times it can be very tough. However, the view from the window of the room I’m renting is very nice and I live in one of the nicest areas of Pisa (last three pictures). Anyway, I am trying to be as productive as I can, and more than ever I realize how lucky I am in doing a job that has always allowed me to work in every place with an internet connection. Ten days ago I did the grocery shopping in what it seemed like a surreal and fearful situation, which has now become the new normal for millions of Italians. After that sad and scary experience, due to my physical and mental health conditions, I have chosen to do my grocery shopping online. I have been watching on tv the daily sad report of cases, deaths and recovered, hoping that the mathematical models predicting the arrival of a contagion peak were going to be right. As of today, it seems highly unlikely that we will see that peak at the end of this month. I am trying to keep myself as informed as possible, even on the internet reading the news and keeping an eye on the coronavirus COVID-19 interactive map of the Johns Hopkins University. Moreover, I follow with heartfelt interest what it is also happening in The Netherlands, USA, Finland and UK, which are the countries I used to live and work before my return to Italy, through the news and friends.

Yesterday our prime minister concluded his speech saying that united we will make it. Putting aside any kind of political and social divisions, we will have to stay united as a nation, and a whole world, if we want to defeat this deadly pandemic. About two weeks ago I had my last walk in the beautiful park Le Piagge, which is located nearby where I live in Pisa, on a lovely sunny day. I am looking forward to going out for another long walk in a park. Everything will be alright. Andra’ tutto bene.


Posted March 22, 2020 by andrecatte in career

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