Letter to the editor from Italy
“We have tears in pictures from Germany”
Birgit and Cesare Bortoluzzi live in Bavaria, but are currently in northern Italy. The couple wrote to us with a dramatic appeal.
They are only 1070 kilometers apart, 806 kilometers as the crow flies separate Berlin and Bergamo. Only twice as many kilometers as Berlin and Munich. A “theater of war within reach”.
Perhaps you know the beautiful “Città Alta” on the hill, which is one of the last foothills in the Alps. The last battle that Bergamo had to fight was in April 1945, when the city was conquered by the Allies and Italian partisans. It’s March 19, 2020, and the overpowering invisible enemy is Covid-19.
Even the Venetian city walls of Bergamo, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2017, cannot deter this enemy. Only in one day (March 18) did 319 people fall victim to this overpowering enemy. 118 doctors are currently infected and local doctors have to decide who can survive, depending on their age and previous illnesses. A very bad and more than dramatic situation.
Bergamo has 121,639 inhabitants, which is about the size of Fürth or Würzburg. We ourselves live in beautiful Bavaria, even though we are currently still in Veneto (Veneto; editor’s note), since we have families here too and know how important it is to really observe the rules of conduct and curfews.
these are no excessive precautions, it’s really about life and death. We also follow the media in Germany very intensively from here and were very frightened how carefree many people still used the dreamy weekend weather close together, without gaps, without any protective measures, and when we got there Corona parties read, we were just shocked.
We are the ones with these pictures tears come, because Covid-19 will look for completely different locations than Bergamo. Please, please try as much as possible to follow the motto “I will stay at home”. We have a chance here to follow the Italian media very closely, and please believe me, you would only cry with the pictures and calls for help.
Yesterday evening (March 18, editor’s note), Fontanas (Lombardy) spoke to the people in a dramatic appeal. “Stay at home, soon we can no longer help those who get sick”. Perhaps you have not seen yesterday’s pictures of a long column of 70 military vehicles (!) Stopping at the Bargo Palazzo in the center of Bergamo, just a few hundred meters from the cemetery. Excuse me, but I’m crying again because they bring coffins to the crematoriums, since the Bergamo mortuary has not been able to accommodate the victims of Covid-19 for days.
Yesterday there were photos of Pope Francis with words and prayers for Bergamo. I have never seen him so sad and deeply affected. Pope Francis has delivered his comforting blessing for grace, light and strength. He was not only deeply concerned about the large number of dead, but also that all the families have NO chance to say goodbye to the dead. They are simply taken away, no one can say goodbye, neither in intensive care units nor in palliative care units.
You can no longer say the last loving words to loved ones and say “I love you”. This idea alone is terrible and gives me more than goose bumps on my back.
We ask you wholeheartedly, join in, because there will be a tomorrow, and it is up to each and every one of us to show personal responsibility in the fight against the corona virus, so that tomorrow can be colorful for all of us – and not black.
Because the spread of the virus depends on our behavior. We made a very clear decision – for the colorful: compliance with precautionary measures, solidarity with our fellow human beings, fair coexistence, compliance with strict rules of conduct in order not to bring the health system to collapse and to relieve the people who have to do enormous things there every day ( very great respect for this), absolute protection of the elderly and risk groups, look together positively into the future. And we stay at home!
We wholeheartedly wish everyone health and strength in the fight against Covid-19, the invisible and overpowering “enemy” – we firmly believe that if we all participate, we can win him. That is what matters in the now, today and here.
Please be there !!!
Birgit and Cesare Bortoluzzi
• Editor’s note: The editor’s letter was edited by the editors, but the content was not changed. The letter reflects the opinion of our readers, not that of the editors. The editorial team contacted the authors to check the letter for authenticity. The authors have family ties to Italy, including Bergamo.
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