These days, in some countries such as Italy, the virus seems to have brought back to the surface all the anxieties and inconsistencies which were dragging along into the daily chaos, until a month ago. People stuck at home, glued to the TV or spying on those transgressing the quarantine, screaming at them to stay at home from a balcony — “‘cause everyone else can die that way, at their hands!” — and supporting the officers who start to beat those who don’t respect the rules to the letter. Most of the time, they are the same ones who rushed to empty the nearest supermarket, elbowing for a roll of toilet paper. There is terror on the streets, a rediscovered patriotism has led “the people” to wave flags and to look suspiciously at those who dare to leave their houses or to lift their masks for a breath of fresh air. Or even a kiss. They call it sense of responsibility, something unexpected from “a people” always a bit intolerant of some civic duties and different action.
In fact, the Middle Ages has never been so close. So an ordinary act like the kiss of two lovers at the station acquires a great symbolic meaning, in a place where all the fragile feelings definitively gave way to fear.
Photo: Antonio Liberatore (Florence, Italy)