Friday, March 27, 2020

COVID19 lessons

March 25th was the deadline of the Italian lock down: everyone homebound, except for the super essential businesses such as pharmacies, food and other few essential shops. Then, the full factory shut down came: all but 80 vital industrial productions were shut down to keep the workers safe at home, in Piedmont this means 1 out 3 factories is closed.
Now Italy is surfing the COVID19 waves as they come and is deciding according to the immediate needs.

Many balconies all around Italy have the Italian flag, this one has the Chinese one too

After China sent her team of specialists and many packages of ppe, Cuba sent us 52 doctors who fought the Ebola virus in Africa; Russia sent us help too as well as the USA. 
As the Italian national numbers of new cases are slowly going down and those of the recovered patients are steadily going up, we can't help wondering how Corona Virus 19 has affected our lives and what changes we wish to see implemented to make the most out of this terrible experience.

Like for everyone living in isolation, time has taken a new dimension: everyday feels like the same. Our homes have turned into golden cages and we are starting to sympathize with the zoo animals.
In Italy, like in New York City and many other big cities around the world, people live in small apartments and sharing the living space has become a big challenge. Cohabitation can strengthen couples but also break them up.

pre COVID 19 carefree life, Stratta in Piazza San Carlo 

Covid19 has been a big reality check in many different ways, for all the countries, and in Italy, people are finding out how the Italian government hasn't been investing in good internet infrastructures and how our educational system is unprepared for the long distance pedagogy.
Access to healthcare is one of the signs of good economy, governmental stability and certainly of a community that isn't centered on the individual, yet it's a paradox how many Italian families have only one computer and people fight over it!
As the internet connections are  getting busier than during the Holidays, the Italian teachers are stranded on unknown islands where they seem to be incapable of fully taking advantage of the endless possibilities of the current online technology and materials.
Naturally, all the Italian school books are still very much paper based, with no online ancillary materials and self-correcting exercises.

The need is indeed the mother of all inventions and Italians renown for their creativity, however, the teachers' frustration (for their low salaries) is coming up in their resistance to the change and passive aggressive unwillingness to adapt their teaching style to the long distance conditions. Literally, nothing much has changed in the Italian schools in the past 60 years...

Full moon over Piazza Castello

The mother of the experiential and intuitive pedagogical approach, Maria Montessori would feel ashamed to see her fellow Italian colleagues struggling so much with their own egos and lack of motivation in making even the tinier effort to shift from the traditional teaching method their grew up with, to a more student-based intellectually challenging and efficient one.
Considering virtually all the Italian K-12 students today own a smartphone and are online, just imagine the multidisciplinary projects they could do! In a country like Italy, Dante and Boccaccio could introduce how vaccins were invented, how the social history was different and how art represented the past pandemics.
Nobody would be fighting to use that single house desktop anymore!
On today's newspaper (March 27th)๐Ÿ˜ณ you can read an article about how the Turin municipality is organizing webinars to train the teachers to integrate the online resources. Our  students have been home since February 23 ๐Ÿ˜ฐ it took 8 weeks to move the whole educational organization at multiple levels... and still, as many of you will agree: our kids are smart and could easily create amazing mixed media projects teaching their teachers all the new materials...

After all though, the healthcare system seems to be fighting a similar battle: as the Italian Covid19  wards are getting more and more crowded in all our Turin's hospitals (not sure why in the West we couldn't have covid19 only hospitals like China), and the hospitalized patients can't see their families, the Italian government is buying thousands of tablets to allow families and patients to be in touch.
And unfortunately... call it the 'old world legal vision' or simply the Western mentality, for privacy reasons, and infrastructure problems, Italian patients aren't uploaded online, and there is no national patient database all doctors around the boot can access to.

The queen in incognito, reading the newspaper at the cafรฉ

This is our European style, here, standardization is still seen as a limitation of the human creative freedom. At the same time, as each culture has its own priorities, and nobody can deny how caring Italy is and how strong her strong family values are: over the recent year in fact, the Italian healthcare system wasn't cut as badly as in other European Union countries. From a mere medical point of view, today, Italy is by far closer to the South Korea than to the USA.

Yet, the covid19 pandemic has taught many of us the importance of the internal production of ppe and test test reagents, how vital our nationalized healthcare system is and how swiftly we can shift from the traditional in-classroom teaching method to the online one.
Our students being young are the most flexible ones, our Italian teachers though, still need to learn to empathize with their students and come out of the social preconceptions that age defines us, our actions and use of technology. Rejecting the use of social media, videocall platforms and class management software doesn't make you radical chic ๐Ÿ˜ฑ only obsolete ๐Ÿ˜–

Stratta in Piazza San Carlo where you can buy great chocolates and jelly beans ๐Ÿ˜‹

Keeping up with the new technologies, the body will feel younger and the 30% of the Italians who are 65 and older will realize that age is a mere number. This is the legacy we wish this Corona virus pandemic leave Italy: a good system update to turn our boot into the ultimate basketball sneaker or at least a better engineered design boot ๐Ÿ˜œ

More than ever before, 2020 has shown the world how our preparation to respond to such an unprecedented emergency reflects our national organization and values. Hopefully, Italy will feel the need to synchronize her cultural heritage with her present resources to propel herself into a more efficient future.

Nonnis are our memory and roots, yet our branches must keep growing up towards the sky: ultimately we are what we make of our lives!

Tutto andrร  bene - everything will be alright

Keep visualizing your post COVID19 travel over to Turin, amici, we'll be waiting for you with our private tours, classes and tastings.

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