Dear Covid-19….

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Dear Covid-19,

what a “surprise” you wanted to give us all! You came out of nowhere, a virus as invisible as it is aggressive, and within a few months, you completely changed the order of our lives.

We suddenly found ourselves, one person before and another person after, in every part of the world, having to lock ourselves in our homes, which have turned into bunkers for those seeking protection from an unknown enemy.

And you didn’t look anybody in the face, no distinction of race, language, culture, religion. You hit everywhere and everyone, almost to point out that all peopleare really the same.

You have undressed us, you have ripped the robes of our certainties in a very short time; you have removed from us a daily life that we believed to be our own and in which we felt safe. But no! Dear Covid-19, you have challenged us to our vulnerability, to our fragility and you have taken away what we need most and that unfortunately we have always taken for granted: the depth of human relationships.

From one day to the next I was faced with one of the biggest challenges: explaining to my 10- and 6-year-old children why, in order to greet their grandparents and uncles and aunts, they have to “protect themselves” behind a computer screen; why, from one moment to the next, a hug and even a handshake became so dangerous; why everything that until a moment before was freedom has now become privation.

It is faith that has given me strength, dear Covid, faith in a God who certainly cannot have wished all this. Which father could ever want the pain of his own children? But a father gives consolation, protects, teaches, and I let myself be consoled and protected and I learned to see my lockdown not as a prison but as a gift: the gift of being able to spend so much time with my family, the gift of being able to discover bonds that everyday life had obscured, the gift of being able to stop, look out the window and rediscover the beauty of nature that, just by magic, seems to have become mistress of its own spaces.

Certainly our lives have been transformed, certainly we still have a lot to learn, but I restart welcoming my new life in order to enrich it with all the good things I have been able to discover, because within me there is the certainty that God is inviting us to entrust ourselves to Him with deeper faith.

                                                                                               Carla Bellone

Carla Bellone