Elisabetta, 29, Italian, currently in Lodi (Italy) – Live: From The Pandemic

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you the most?

COVID-19 totally changed my way of life. I’m a teacher in Lodi, very close to first Coronavirus outbreak here in Italy. Since the beginning (February 21st) my school has been closed and my job suddenly became a different job. I used to spend half a day with students, and now I see them on screen. It’s nice, but it’s not the same feeling. Moreover, I can’t see my grandpa, who’s 95 years old and lives with his 90 years old sister in a different town. It’s hard, but I discovered unexpected strength in me, so I fight sadness and I hope to see my beloved ones soon.

What is your wish for the future? 

My wish is to hug grandpa and a dear friend who lost a relative. I’d also like to go outside again. I’d like to see my students and say “good luck for your future guys” because next year they start high school and I‘m not sure I will see them again to say goodbye.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

If I could do anything, probably I’d go to my grandpa’s home and spend some time with him and his sister, my great aunt.

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.

Hind, 23, Moroccan/Italian, currently working in Cremona (Italy) – Live: From The Pandemic

Hind lives in Mantova but works at the hospital in Cremona.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you the most?

When it all started, I was preparing my last exam before the graduation: it was the most important exam in three years because it would have enabled us to work as nurses, so I was really really focused on it, spending all the time studying and staying at home. I knew about this virus in China, but I never thought that it would also arrive in Italy. When it took over, it was a real shock for everyone: the entire world started to struggle against it. Hospitals were the strong point because only there people can get rid of this virus and be treated, but at the same time, they were also very fragile because of the need for healthcare personnel.
Our final exam would have been at the end of March and the graduation at the end of April: our university decided to anticipate it and do it all in one single day. It was Friday the 13th of March (so lucky!): I was really anxious and really sad because I always dreamt of my graduation as the best day of my life and to be able to celebrate with all my friends and family but, because of this, I had to settle for an online degree without any celebration or party. At the same time, I was also happy to do my exam and go and help the other nurses that were really struggling.
On the 18th March, I put on my uniform, my mask, my gloves, my gown and I started working and trying to help, even if the situation was really emotionally heavy: I had to cure people that were alone in their bed, without a familiar face near them holding their hand. We had to also be as close as possible to the patients and to their concerned families, which always called to have news. The first days I found it really difficult to feel like a part of the entire system: I felt useless, I had crying crisis, I also wanted to throw in the towel but fortunately, I had a fantastic team that gave and still gives me the strength to go on and do my best, supporting me. Because it’s normal to feel like this, they also feel like this: powerless in front of a big monster. Only with our strength and power, we can ally against COVID-19 and we hope to win soon.

What is your wish for the future? 

I wish that we will be able to hug each other again, go to the beach, be happy and feel free. I hope that, even if it wouldn’t be the same, we will soon come back to normality, people will come back to work, go out for ice cream, listen to children screaming in the park, smell the scent of coffee in the cafe… I hope these simple things come back because in this period these little things are the ones I miss the most.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

I would like to have a magical cure for everyone, a magic wand to fix everything… I would like to wake up from this terrible nightmare but unfortunately, is not the case… We have to fight this, rely on destiny and medicine and hope this will end soon.

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.

Lara, 30, Italian, currently in Venice (Italy) – Live: From The Pandemic

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you the most?

I was living in London when it all started, I was by myself and I got ill for more than 2 weeks. I was very scared since I couldn’t get any real help from doctors due to the Covid emergency being underestimated in the UK at the beginning. Even after I recovered I was very stressed and anxious all the time since I was living stuck in my room because my flatmates didn’t care about the whole situation. I decided to go back to my hometown, Venice (Italy) and it was a nightmare organizing everything since the borders were closed. My flights were canceled all the time and it was impossible to call the Italian embassy. Luckily, they improved the flights’ system and I got home safe. It’s still hard because I am self isolating alone and I feel lonely and anxious sometimes, I miss my family and friends.

What is your wish for the future? 

I wish everyone would be happy and healthy. I will spend more time with family and friends and I will keep traveling and enjoying life to the fullest.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

Hugging my dog Django.

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.