18/3 2020, Gärdesta, Sörmland, Sweden
I have heated two fireplaces in my house to get some warmth for the last few days. 18° C is what the thermometer of my mother in law, from the Seventies, considers to be the ideal room temperature – but I think in Sweden, this energy-inextinguishable country, we usually have around 22° average in our houses. I reached the original warmth today, after 5 days here. Something to celebrate.
What the hell am I doing here? Alone in the Swedish countryside, for days after days because I have been in Italy. But now? The virus is everywhere, and I am afraid that I will be sick when I get back to home, to Stockholm, to other people. I have seen birds, elks and hinds but no man for the past weeks. I have not been speaking to anyone. I am isolated. And it is a little wired this way. And scary to need to get back soon.
I got some help listening to my dear friend Fedrico's project presentation in his latest webinar, talking about how people with extra weight can lose it with the help of a very interesting program. Overweight with all the health consequences of it, is affecting 50% of all Italians, more than any Covid 19 have done yet. And this weight loss you can have, also making some money as promoter of this program to friends and companions.
Another big help these days is nature’s incommensurable perfection.
And then there is Italian Radio 3: the culture channel of the national broadcast. The depth and breadth of the programs in this channel are healing for my mind. History, but the history written by small people, the languages used by the small people. Old traditions that no one knows more than the ones who still use them. The poverty of the past with the great compassion and solidarity of today. And then the analysis of music, literature and art of the highest level, explained so that all can understand.
So I remember myself, my classical Italian education, and my roots.
The radio in Italy is also making a great job to help students who are stranded at home since more than two weeks, with educational Podcasts about literature, philosophy, history and arts. No commercial goals.
And the people working at Radio stations today are also working from home, as many other Italians. So all of this with an unusual effort, and a moving technological simplicity.
When I listen to Swedish radio during these improbable Covid 19 days, I react to the superiority and criticism journalists often have towards institutions and politicians. I also react to the negativity and loss of constructive solutions that the journalists show, even if they sometimes make a sort of sarcastic analysis of what is happening. Some of them anyway, especially in the cultural programs.
I think that we in Italy, when we really need to help each other and show solidarity to each other, really try to put our own diva to the side.
And then in Italy there are museums, theaters and musicians that find ways to make interactive representations, without trying to gain anything, especially for kids who cannot go outside in our strange but loyal country. I have not seen anything like this in Sweden yet.
I am critical, I know. But I really realise that our culture and knowledge of history, with all the bad and tragic episodes in all centuries before us, have made us Italians a very resilient people.
WE DO WHAT WE NEED WHEN IT IS NEEDED, WITH SOLIDARITY AND LOVE.
I would be so happy to be able to do anything to help, to give some perspective, to learn together with other people, like the guests we have at Thealps during our beloved trips. Passion, real interest and dedication are the only things that really matter when it is needed. Fear, isolation and conflicts are the only things that we must avoid in Covid 19 times.
Today I have been making my laundry in a very primitive way, not having a washing machine and no hot water. But I am happy that I tomorrow can probably dress with fresh clothes, dried by the fireplace of my mother in law's cozy cabin in the middle of nowhere.
Thank you for reading! It feels a little less lonely out here.