Is The Pandemic Changing The Mindset Of Italians?

Italians can't think that, as soon as this time of confinement ends, everything will be just as it was before. To a certain extent, we should hope so.

Faith in science, cooking skills, digitalization and solidarity: how Italians might change after the pandemic

Have you been dreaming about roaming freely around the streets of your town among other people, just like you used to do not so long ago? Have you realized that things might not go back to normal, or at least not soon?

In fact, we can’t think that, as soon as this time of confinement ends, everything will be just as it was before. To a certain extent, we should hope so. Indeed, it would be silly not to learn two simple lessons: first, risks are always around the corner; second, change is inevitable.

Not every Italian has the possibility to live the quarantine as a holiday (however forced), but everyone has certainly had more time to think. This period has represented a revelation to the majority of us: we have changed our routines, the way we keep in touch with our loved ones, and we are discovering some of the weaknesses and strengths of our society.

Lots of personalities are trying to analyze this time of crisis.

A few days ago, Italian music icon Andrea Bocelli sang in the heart of an empty Milan and he told his interviewer that we would come out of this period with a renewed sense of meritocracy and goodwill.

In an interview to national broadcaster Rai 2, journalist and author Corrado Augias, instead, reflected on other themes, such as vaccines and the environment.

Here are, then, some of the matters towards which the mindset of Italians is likely to change ‘thanks to’ the pandemic.

Vaccines and the healthcare system

In the past few years, we have witnessed a surge of anti-vax movements: there have been discussions on whether children should be vaccinated or not, and many parents have decided to follow their fears instead of reliable scientific voices — to be clear, Wakefield’s study published on Lancet, which has spread the idea that the MMR vaccine can cause autism, has been proven to be misleading and fraudulent.

Surely, little can be done to convince those who only believe in conspiracies and pseudo-science, but the wiser will hopefully understand that the real threat is the absence of vaccines.

This should teach us that we ought to always invest in scientific research and in the healthcare system: the current pandemic is showing that there is no use in cutting down on resources when it comes to our health.

Food economy

During these last weeks of confinement, many Italians seem to have rediscovered their passion for cooking: social media are full of videos and photos of homemade dishes, especially of pizzas and bread.

Whether this is due to the amount of time in our hands or to the fact that it is almost a challenge to show off our hidden talent in the kitchen, it can’t be denied that Italians are into homemade food as never before.

Does this mean that we will avoid restaurants and bakeries in the future? Most likely not, but we will probably keep in mind that we are more self-reliant and capable than we thought we were.

Also, we are plausibly starting to reevaluate the importance of local products: we have always been proud of the quality of our produce, but the pandemic should have helped us consider what a wealth we have.

In fact, no matter what happens, we will always want and, especially, need good food and having it available locally is a great resource.

The importance of the digital world and of solidarity

From homeworking and online classes to social media where influencers campaign to raise money to help hospitals, the digital world is playing a fundamental role in this difficult moment. If a digitalization of the economy and of public services was advocated even before the pandemic, now we can see more clearly why we need to accelerate it.

Technology is even capable of telling how Italians feel at this particular moment in history: Expert System and Sociometrica, through a semantic analysis of posts published on social media, are monitoring our sentiment and emotions.

As to solidarity, fundraisings and donations are proving to be one of the primary engines in facing the current emergency: retired practitioners and nurses went back to work, volunteers haven’t stopped helping those in need, people are dispending products and food to those who need them the most.

So, although we might have to wait to give free hugs and kisses — which are something that the pandemic seems to have taken from us — we should never stop giving a helping hand.

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