Italy, the economically and emotionally shattered country, tries to get back to work. Following the world’s longest nationwide lockdown, the stir-crazy Italians will be free to stroll and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks on May 4th, AFP reported.
Italy’s capital city makes the first shy moves to remember its pre-virus life. So far, the use of public transport will be discouraged and everyone will have to wear masks in indoor public spaces. While bars and even ice cream parlours will remain shut, restaurants will reopen for takeaway service.
For Italians who used to live under lockdown the easing of restrictions feels like a mix of joy and fear, in fact. Media are escalating the atmosphere, warning on the second wave of COVID-19. So, people in Italy are just perplexed and have no idea how to react in a proper way on easing restrictions. The same frightening situation was at the beginning of the lockdown, in fact.
Almost everything except for pharmacies and grocery stores was shuttered across the Mediterranean country of 60 million on March 12. The economic toll of all those shutdowns has been historic. Over almost a century, Italy’s economy wasn’t destroyed so hard, fast and mercilessly. The years of the Great Depression could be comparable to the current crisis in the European country, the experts said.
However, the psychological toll is another important issue, which couldn’t be underestimated. All those uncertainties appear to be weighing on the nation’s psyche. Being the emotional people, Italians have faced the unexpected deadly threat, a killer virus that has been taking their lives day by day.
A poll by the Piepoli Institute showed 62 percent of Italians think they will need psychological support with coming to grips with the post-lockdown world.
“The night of the virus continues,” sociologist Ilvo Diamanti wrote in La Repubblica daily. “And you can hardly see the light on the horizon. If anything, we’re getting used to moving in the dark.”