Tag: COVID-19

China And Social Policy Cover Image

Social Policies During the Pandemic: the Chinese Approach

As the pandemic became a global threat, each country reacted to it with its own approach. I wrote about the responses enacted by Western states such as Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the first part of this article. The desire to understand the situation better brought me to search for further answers by looking at China; the Chinese government has in fact stated that their Covid-19 containment policy should be taken as a lesson by Western societies. To learn more about it, I spoke with Yue Hu, a 25-year-old Chinese woman currently living in Shanghai.

Yue Hu couldn’t recall the date of the first confirmed Covid-19 case in the country but she remembers the government’s efforts to comfort people, while, on the other hand, the government took actions to silence Li Wenliang, a Chinese ophthalmologist who was the first person who spoke out on the new type of coronavirus. “There was no data or information about Covid-19 [initially]”, Yue stated “However, the government took action promptly, imposing a lock down to the whole country”.


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Photo by Yue Hu, 2020. All Rights Reserved.


The Chinese government immediately adopted policies with regards to the compulsory use of masks, the need for permission cards for outside movement, the cancellation of public transport, the closure of all public spaces and enforced price fixing of daily necessities to keep them affordable. Chinese healthcare authorities promptly divided each medical facility into a quarantine site and a normal site. They also accomplished the feat of building a new hospital in only six days.

Regarding the impact of Chinese social policy on her daily life, Yue said that all her activities had been constrained during the lockdown. “Covid-19 makes job hunting more and more difficult, especially in the art industry,” she stated “so I have had to direct my interest to another field in order to make a living.” Despite the changes this created in her life, Yue thinks that the policies adopted were efficient in protecting people from new infections, even if they could be perceived as “merciless”. Yue doesn’t know the details of the Chinese government’s future Covid-19 agenda, but she trusts they have a plan.

It’s still hard to predict future infection trends, particularly as the virus mutates quickly as it moves from a host group to another. Because of this, Yue thinks that Chinese social policy will be improved and strengthened in the area of personal hygiene. In addition, she hopes for a change toward a society with a better work-life balance, with an increased number of public holidays and flexible working hours. This pandemic demonstrated that flexible working solutions could be used to improve the well-being of those working in office-based jobs.

Mei Banfa is the pseudonym chosen by the second person I interviewed for this article. He is a 28-year-old European man living in Beijing. Like Yue, he named the case of Li Wenliang, the Chinese ophthalmologist who worked at Wuhan Central Hospital. On 30th December 2019, Li Wenliang issued an emergency warning to local hospitals regarding a number of mysterious pneumonia cases, while the Chinese government attempted to cover up the outbreak of a “SARS-like coronavirus” in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. However, it wasn’t until the beginning of January that the local government decided to close the market to limit the spread of infections.

The policy most specific to China”, Mei stated “was to extend the Chinese New Year holidays. They are often referred to as the largest annual human migration in the world, with figures amounting to around 3 billion trips back and forth between villages and cities.” When the outbreak spread out of proportion, many were already in their holiday locations. As a result, the government managed to effectively slow down and contain the infections, avoiding a scenario in which people would be exposed to the virus in crowded train stations, airports and highways.

As a European from one of the countries worst hit by the virus, Mei often received unannounced visits by local authorities both to his home and workplace in Beijing. These were to check on his travel status, whether he was still in China, if he had been interacting with returning Europeans and so on. “As a result [of the checks], a widespread mistrust towards foreigners began to develop, ultimately targeting those already suffering discrimination, such as people of colour, and affecting the reliability of housing rentals, as well as job stability and personal safety”, Mei stated.


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Photo by Yue Hu, 2020. All Rights Reserved.


Throughout this crisis, Mei perceived the country’s leadership to be under a previously unseen level of stress and he began to worry about the “stability” of the Chinese government. Ultimately, measures such as a strict control of information, highly restrictive social measures and a heavy propaganda were successful at maintaining the status quo.

Despite Mei’s efforts to integrate into local society, he noted that “the time for full integration in China’s society is not yet mature.” On the other hand, “no man is an island” is Yue’s way of describing her own unusual situation. “We have to overcome many barriers together”, she stated “The pandemic is just an alert for the public [about the need to pay] attention to healthcare. The situation taught us an important lesson: all human beings are vulnerable when facing a virus that comes from nature.”


Cover image and Photos by Yue Hu, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Cover Image Pandemi And Westener Society

Social Policies During the Pandemic: the Western Approach

Never in my whole life would I have imagined that I could experience something like this one day”, my flatmate said to me during a chilly morning at the end of March, on what was on one of the first days of lockdown in London. I remember how relieved I felt when our Head Manager at work decided that all employees could work remotely. Remaining in the safety of my flat meant finally being able to go through my days free from the endless hand-washing and people’s scrutiny in shared spaces. My intense relief might seem an overreaction to some, but I am from Bergamo, the Northern Italian city notorious for being the epicentre of the European Covid-19 pandemic.

After the first few Covid-19 cases were confirmed in mid-February, the Italian government announced the lockdown of the whole country on 9th March. Bergamo, which quickly became the country’s worst hit city, was not immediately declared part of the so-called red zone. Alzano Lombardo, a town in Bergamo’s province, failed to separate the first Covid-19 patients from others in its hospital. Instead, relatives and other people in need were allowed to come and go without the hospital taking the necessary precautions. The local healthcare authorities were also responsible for the lack of prompt intervention into the administration of retirement homes. Patients and medical staff were not provided with the equipment needed to mitigate the spread of the virus, ultimately contributing to a huge death toll. In Bergamo, everybody knows someone who lost a loved one. It will be difficult for residents to forget the images of military trucks lined up on the city’s streets, to take the bodies of the deceased from Bergamo to nearby towns, a measure made necessary by the lack of space in cremation facilities in the city. My parents, who live there, would describe to me the deafening silence that surrounded them at the time, interrupted only by the bell tolling for the dead.


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Photo by Yue Hu, 2020. All Rights Reserved.


What happened in my home city greatly affected the way I have been approaching the lockdown in the United Kingdom. It made me question the society I live in. Before this pandemic, I used to work around 40 hours per week and dedicated an average of 10 more hours to my passion for journalism and photography. I would spend 50 hours each week working, my contribution to society. On a recent morning, while observing the neighbours’ garden – a luxury I cannot afford – from my window, I found myself wondering: what is this society contributing back to us and our personal well-being?

It is fair to say that this pandemic does not place us all in the same boat. Western societies are built on multiple social layers, with inequalities perpetuated through our backgrounds. Personal history and ethnicity, social class and gender identity significantly affect what tools (material or otherwise) a person has at their disposal to react to an emergency such as several weeks of lockdown. It is this specific area of social inequality and injustice that social policies should work to even out in a democratic country.

They didn’t take it seriously early enough”, said Sally, a 66-year-old Musician who lives in London. Sally and her husband agree about the inadequacy of the response from the Boris Johnson’s government to the pandemic. They feel lucky to have a garden and plenty of outside space near their house, and for living in a small, friendly and supportive community. However, Sally was quick to point out that BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities are being disproportionally affected by the virus, due to being over-represented in key frontline jobs and low-income households. Her husband Patrick, a 70-year-old painter, reflected on how the current Conservative government is likely to try to keep the status quo as much as possible. “For instance,” said Patrick, “[by implementing] a market-driven agenda with reduced social services. However, I’m hopeful [that] in the longer term we will get a socially responsible Labour government that will try to share the economic burdens resulting from both Covid-19 and Brexit more fairly.”

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Photo by Yue Hu, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Isabella works in the hospitality industry Germany and is currently unemployed due to the pandemic. She explained
the country’s effort to collaborate with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German Federal Government Agency and Research Institute responsible for disease control and prevention. At the same time, the German government also called upon its citizens to act responsibly during the pandemic rather than forcing people into a compulsory lockdown. “The Social Protection System is the government’s response to the economic issues faced by the country’s population. The System helps by providing us with an income through a quick and simple application process.”

On the other side of the Atlantic, Ilaria, an Italian worker based in New York, shared with me her experience of the pandemic under Trump’s Presidency. After the first confirmed case of Covid-19 on 1st March, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted the “PAUSE” program. “Bars, gyms, theatres and large venues were closed on 16th March. Governor Cuomo was hesitant to close schools as more than 1.5 million children attend public schools in NYC alone. 75% of them are from low income households and rely on free school meals; not to mention the children of the large homeless population that rely on schools for counselling and/or first aid”. The pre-existing lack of protection for workers’ rights and the large unemployment exacerbated by the state-wide lockdown will affect lives in the country for years to come. In addition, Ilaria pointed out that social isolation has been a new challenge for many. This is especially true for urban environments, where close cohabitation as well as social relationships have been significantly impacted by the virus.

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Photo by Yue Hu, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Ilaria hopes that abolishing unjust immigration laws and establishing a nationalised healthcare system will be taken into consideration as ways of helping US citizens and residents in times of both crisis and stability. On the other hand – and on the other side of the
globe – Lucia’s move in October 2019 to New Zealand (NZ) was made straightforward by the ease with which she obtained a Working Holidays Visa. NZ’s government’s reaction to the pandemic was immediate. The day the country confirmed 102 cases, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern closed its borders, announcing the lockdown a week later. “With a population of 5 million people (and almost 30 million sheep)” said Lucia, “NZ is a small and very isolated country. This surely helped the fight against the virus. However, I think it’s also relevant that this is a pretty safe and quiet place that doesn’t face many big emergencies. As a consequence, they had to get well organized in order to face a pandemic”. Thanks to a zero-tolerance policy, NZ achieved zero cases after five weeks of lockdown, during which only essential activities such as hospitals, pharmacies and banks were allowed to remain open for business. Afterward, NZ’s citizens who had been trapped abroad had the opportunity to return home. Lucia thinks that NZ’s government needs now to invest in a long-term project of protection of its natural habitat, by building houses that can last longer than fifty years (which isn’t the case for many current residential buildings), using more thermal insulation materials and encouraging the use of public transport as opposed to private cars, which are currently the main means of travel in the country.

Cover Image and Photos by Yue Hu. Shanghai, May 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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Quarantine With My Parents

It’s been nearly eight weeks since I started quarantining now, my social distancing endeavour having begun slightly earlier than the official lockdown.

I have had extra time on my hands during these weeks, enjoying what has felt like some sort of early retirement experiment. I have taken great pleasure in how the days have stretched in front me almost worry-free, and in the feeling of safety I’ve had in these weeks. Yes: my experience of the lockdown has been very different from that of so many others.

While the world has been turned upside down, and outside in, by the pandemic, I have enjoyed stability and calm for the very first time. Growing up a migrant child, as I did, can in fact instil a peculiar and long-lasting sense of un-safety, both outside and inside the family home. It certainly did for me.


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Rainbow near our house, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved
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Swans in Syon Park, 2020, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved
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A row of houses on one of our walks, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved


Outside, because many things in the world are unknown or feel different from what you know, you are misunderstood and misunderstand often, and there is so much that is or feels hostile in your surroundings. Inside, because the solitude of migration creates tight bonds among those that live through it together, but can also engender deep resentments and wounds.

The psychological and emotional effects of migration outlive the actual experience, and often undermine the feelings of safety you might be able to build later in life. Life in the outside world is hard, and the place where you find comfort is also at times where you might find anxiety, anger and profound sadness.

Money tends to run low in migrant households, and there is often nobody external to lean on for support. You have to be a parent without the help and knowledge of previous generations, without the comfort of your life-long habits and friendships. You have to be a child without the presence of your larger family and as much as adults try to shield you from family struggles, without ever really being carefree.


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Food we’ve cooked during quarantine, 2020, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved
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My mum’s pizza, 2020, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved
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My mum’s apple cake, 2020, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved


I was caught by the pandemic in what started as a temporary living arrangement at my parents’ place. Our household has migrated twice, most recently to the UK. Our family’s situation is different now from what it was in the past: money doesn’t run as low anymore, we have reunited with some of the larger family, and we now have good networks of support.

By some funny trick of life, at the age of thirty the lockdown has given me what feels like a second chance at childhood. It has provided me with the opportunity to spend generous amounts of unstructured, unexpected and relatively carefree time with my parents: a rarity in adult life.

Countless days over the last few weeks have felt like childhood weekends, minus the frustration of adults at having to take on all the chores, and the resentment of children at being bossed around. As we planned activities and meals together, we have deeply missed my sister, who lives abroad. But I have had the precious and new experience of spending quality time with the people whom I owe my life, in a situation of physical, economical and emotional safety.


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A basil plant we’ve revived during quarantine, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved
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Basil blossoms, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved
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Basil flowers, 2020, Sara Gvero, All rights reserves


It does feel unfair that I should have had such a positive experience of quarantine when so many people have fallen ill, have lost loved ones, and are struggling with the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic.

I hold these contrasting feelings in the palm of my hand and I observe them. I am not trying to resolve the contradiction, as such attempts have always failed me in the past. What I can say, is that I am aware every day of the combination of privilege and sheer luck that we have had: so much of the former has been acquired so recently that I have not yet learnt to take it for granted.

Family can mean many things: mine is made up of my blood relatives, but also of the people I have invited in it along the way. What it has never meant is easy, and I would be lying if I said that’s the case now. But the opportunity to spend quality time with my parents as an adult who is able to take care of her own needs, as well as of theirs on occasions, has been priceless.


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Travelling to work with gloves on pre-lockdown, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved
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Syon Park, 2020, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved
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Family shopping, 2020, Sara Gvero, All rights reserved


I have been able to have conversations with my parents that are free of the need that they meet my expectations of them as their now adult child, which had been the case in my early, and sometimes also late twenties. I have been able to put down boundaries that I wouldn’t have dared to attempt when I was younger.

And, among the difficulties this situation has engendered, I have had the opportunity to get to know them much better, outside of the grief, longing, loneliness and practical worries that overshadow our past.

Many people, maybe most, don’t get second chances at building a positive relationship with their families, and the pandemic might take forever away this possibility for some. For the time I have been able to spend with my parents, and the strengthened bond I now have with them, I will be forever grateful.


Cover image: Mum smelling flowers on one of our lockdown walks, Sara Gvero, All Rights reserved

Copertina Abbraccio

BOF: il disegno come visione

Disegni, animazioni e parole di Emma Tramontana, in arte BOF.


Ho scoperto il disegno pochissimi anni fa. Non sono un’illustratrice. Disegnare non è la mia principale attività. In realtà lavoro nel mondo del teatro, mi occupo di corpo e parola. Potrei dire che il disegno si è aggiunto alla mia elaborazione creativa come parte altrettanto motoria. Corrisponde ad un movimento interiore, che in alcuni momenti posso tradurre solo come visione.


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GIF Autore autoritario: riflesso arcobaleno di tempi scuri, 2020, BOF, tutti i diritti sono riservati


Nel tempo mi sono accorta che la necessità di disegnare arriva sempre in particolari stati, spesso connessi a fasi di transizione importanti, metamorfosi in atto: insomma, è come se il disegno arrivasse laddove si aprono altre finestre sui sensi.

Quindi succede che le tracce che lascio sono spesso molto incisive, sebbene io non possieda alcuna
tecnica e in altri momenti davvero non sappia disegnare. Ecco, potrei dire che il segno diventa
potente quanto più è forte l’emozione e l’urgenza da cui nasce.

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Il disegno intitolato “Non ancora/Non più/Per tutti/Di nessuno” è nato da un sogno bellissimo. Mi sono svegliata e l’ho gettato sul foglio, letteralmente. È una zona di libertà assoluta per me, perché riesco a trovare una sintesi immediata senza filtri. Questa è la potenza delle immagini. È come se mi spostassi. Quello che in teatro si chiama straniamento.



Non ancora | Non più | Per tutti | Di nessuno, 2020, BOF, tutti i diritti sono riservati


Anche quando disegno, mi sposto da me, vado da un’altra parte, gioco, nel senso che mi diverto: cambio direzione. Nella densità dell’esperienza che fisicamente, spiritualmente e psicologicamente, siamo costretti a vivere adesso, è riemersa molto la necessità di dissiparne le ombre.

È la mia personale, intima risposta all’inaridimento umano che stiamo vivendo, alla paura e alla violenza di questo triste periodo. Quello che ho collezionato sono piccole tracce guidate da una ricerca di vicinanza e bellezza, una tensione verso una cura per gli occhi e l’anima.


Pagina facebook: @emmatra.bof

Pagina instagram: @emmaboftramontana


Immagine di copertina: Segreti, 2020, BOF, tutti i diritti sono riservati


ATTENZIONE: La redazione di Pequod Rivista si mette a disposizione di chi vuole raccontare la propria quarantena creativa: inviate la vostra proposta a info.pequodrivista@gmail.com

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#EasyRead Migrazione e COVID-19: cronache da Ventimiglia

L’egoismo dell’Occidente copre con un silenzio assordante la questione migratoria. Mentre noi affrontiamo la difficile questione pandemica, le persone migranti continuano ad approdare sulle coste continentali, a muoversi e a fuggire da situazioni dolorose ed esasperate dall’emergenza sanitaria che sta colpendo la nostra Europa.

Progetto 20K, realtà impegnata nel sostegno alle popolazioni migranti dal 2016, ha potuto osservare l’evolversi della situazione a Ventimiglia negli ultimi mesi. Qui continuano i respingimenti dei migranti verso l’Italia, inclusi i minori non accompagnati arrivanti da Malta e Lampedusa.

Da Marzo pochissime persone sono arrivate in città, così come al campo della Croce Rossa, che ad Aprile contava 250 persone, mentre si lavorava sul trasferimento di famiglie e richiedenti asilo presso alcuni centri di accoglienza. Le attività di assistenza spontanee locali hanno subito una battuta d’arresto dall’inizio della pandemia, mentre alcune ONG continuano a operare sul territorio.

L’emergenza sanitaria rende ancora più difficili gli spostamenti delle persone migranti, e a causa dei controlli intensificati diminuiscono le possibilità di muoversi liberamente. A livello nazionale si è mossa una campagna di regolarizzazione per tutti i migranti residenti in Italia chiamata Siamo qui: Sanatoria subito. Ora più che mai è imperativo che tutti possano accedere al servizio sanitario nazionale.

Un altro effetto della pandemia è che tutti i migranti che sbarcano sulle coste europee sono obbligati a passare per l’Italia. Che si possa parlare di una doppia discriminazione? Allo status di migranti e alla sospensione di Schengen, si aggiunge infatti la complicazione dell’aver transitato in Italia, primo paese europeo a essere colpito dal virus in maniera significativa.

Nel frattempo le autorità francesi hanno rinnovato i controlli ai propri confini per altri sei mesi, dal 1 maggio al 31 ottobre 2020.

Immagine di copertina: foto del mare a Ventimiglia, di Hans Braxmeier (dal sito Pixabay).


IOCONME dipinto Martina Giavazzi 8

IOCONME. Storia di una quarantena dipinta

Testo e dipinti di Martina Giavazzi.

Tutti i diritti sono riservati.


Eccomi qui dopo molte settimane di isolamento totale. Vivo da sola, e nonostante sia una selvatica di natura, questo distacco totale dal mondo e dalla comunità comincia inevitabilmente a pesare.

Avrei potuto approfittare di questo tempo per pulire casa, sistemare gli armadi, cucinare e molto altro ancora…

In realtà niente di tutto ciò è avvenuto. La mia indole mi spinge inevitabilmente a tirar fuori la vera me, la stessa di sempre. L’isolamento non fa che amplificare il mio essere: mi riscopro. E riscoprendomi ritrovo le peculiarità del mio carattere amplificate da questa inattività obbligata.

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Sono una ragazza pigra, malinconica e introspettiva. La profondità è il mio rifugio.

Tra letto, divano, musica, film e pensieri l’unico risultato concreto prodotto in questi giorni sono i miei disegni. Sono una sorta di diario di bordo da sempre, e spero per sempre.

Ogni disegno è un’emozione che segna un istante. Fatti di getto. Pennellate veloci ricche della mia emotività.

Mi chiamo Martina Giavazzi.

Vivo a Bergamo. Via Quarenghi. Classe 1989.

Ho deciso ormai da tempo (almeno 4 anni) di intitolare ogni mio disegno IOCONME.

Questo per esprimere la mia aspirazione, cioè disegnare per me stessa, mostrando chi sono. Per raccontare che la destinazione finale sono io.

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Un modo per capirmi meglio.

Riguardando i lavori posso facilmente ricordare il periodo e le emozioni che provavo in quel preciso momento. Cambia il tratto cambia la tecnica senza che neanche me ne accorga proprio in base a quello che la vita mi riserva.

Ci butto dentro tutto. Tutto quello che vivo. In questo periodo di quarantena ho collezionato in circa quattro settimane più di 50 lavori. Di seguito, potete trovare i miei lavori in ordine cronologico. Partono dal 9 marzo, inizio del mio autoisolamento.

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Mi sono dedicata a volti femminili che sono la mia grande passione da sempre.

Per i miei lavori uso supporti semplici, a volte di recupero, data anche la scarsa possibilità economica (ho molte idee nella testa spesso però difficili da realizzare). I principali sono carta ruvida di piccolo formato o tavole di compensato utilizzando acquarello, china, pastelli, pastelli a olio, acrilici, bic nera, pennarello indelebile nero.

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Su Instagram mi trovate come @martina.giazz


ATTENZIONE: La redazione di Pequod Rivista si mette a disposizione di chi vuole raccontare la propria quarantena creativa: inviate la vostra proposta a info.pequodrivista@gmail.com

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Exploring creativity in quarantine

Text and digital drawings by Georgi Taroni. All rights reserved.


We started off joking about productivity under a possible lockdown – did Shakespeare really write King Lear during the plague quarantine? – but then the pressure came. Every influencer, celebrity, vague acquaintance and friend on social media began using their new-found time at home to enhance their skills.

I’ve been messaged about joining art classes, learning a language, getting fit and even earning money all from the comfort of my sofa. On the surface, it all sounds appealing, but the stress of having to achieve as you would at school, university or work is not something I want to experience when snuggled under my comfort blanket and week-old pyjamas.


Us On The Sofa

Us On The Sofa, 2020, Georgi Taroni, All Rights Reserved


Then I picked up a pencil.

I found a colouring book and began to scribble. I graduated to an iPad pencil and a subscription to an online drawing software and found myself creating digital art. The dust was blown off my long-lost creative soul. For about five years I have felt a distance from my creativity. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, I haven’t written so much as a stanza.

During a sleepy Sunday evening, I put my pencil to digital paper and felt the flood of creative optimism return. The privacy of the app and the ability to immediately erase mistakes without having wasted a single piece of paper, cleared away the boundaries and concern I would usually feel in the unfamiliar territory of creating art.


The Snake

The Snake, 2020, Georgi Taroni, All rights reserved.


What I have found most liberating in the process of drawing is how solitary it is. Although I haven’t seen any friends of family for over a month now, I haven’t truly been alone either. Through my time looking, seeing, digesting and creating, I have been given the chance to invert my gaze. When I draw, I am in a bubble, the solitude of the bubble allows me to see creatively clearer but also appreciate the comforting chaos that socialising and community brings, when I return to it.

I have never considered myself an artist, nor felt particularly expertly skilled in drawing, however I’ve found comfort in a medium that has betrayed me in the past. Whether digital or actual pencil and paper, drawing creates something new that no one else can feel or create. We can scribble, we can erase but something was made, something was done during a time when time pushes hurriedly past us.


The Bulb
         The Bulb, 2020, Georgi Taroni, All Rights Reserved.


I feel as if now, I have some control over what I can present to others about my time in lockdown – I can share photographs of a cake I baked, I can retweet uplifting news stories or I can share a piece of my artwork. I can share some of my inner soul through texture, colour and shape.

I can show that being alone doesn’t mean to you can’t travel further than any vehicle could and the smallest step on your creative journey can reveal the glory of a life lived temporarily indoors.


Cover Image: The Bulb, 2020, Georgi Taroni, All rights reserved


HELLO READER! Pequod Rivista wants to hear about your creative quarantine: send us your text and drawings at info.pequodrivista@gmail.com and we’ll discuss publishing

Festa della Liberazione 25 aprile 2020

#EasyRead 25 Aprile 2020: una Liberazione virtuale

Questo 25 aprile a casa sarà senz’altro particolare. Data l’emergenza pandemica in atto, non potremo dirigerci in piazza, partecipare a cortei, e brindare assieme cantando. Il divieto di assembramenti per tutelare la salute pubblica non ha però fermato la necessità di ricordare la Resistenza italiana e la Liberazione dalle oppressioni nazifasciste.

Abbiamo raccolto per voi una serie di iniziative, tra letture, documentari e musiche, per celebrare il 75° Anniversario della Liberazione d’Italia. L’augurio è che siano di ispirazione per immaginare e costruire un futuro sempre più libero ed equo:


  • L’iniziativa Io Resto Libero ha creato una piazza virtuale per festeggiare il 25 Aprile insieme, seppure a distanza, con la partecipazione di ANPI – Associazione Nazionale Partigiani d’Italia. Alle 14:30 di oggi inizierà la diretta che può essere seguita su Facebook oppure su uno dei canali elencati sul sito dell’evento. Sarà possibile fare una donazione al fine di fornire aiuto a quanti non hanno abitazione o cibo.
  • Radio Popolare ha organizzato tre cortei virtuali partiti alle 11 di questa mattina da Varzi, Domodossola e Dongo, luoghi segnati dalla Resistenza. I cortei convergeranno infine su Milano, unendosi alla celebrazione “Io Resto Libero”.
  • “Non sono io” è un omaggio video al 25 Aprile realizzato da COSPE e dall’Associazione Carta di Roma. Quest’ultimo raccoglie le voci delle lavoratrici e lavoratori di origine straniera schierati in prima linea nell’emergenza sanitaria, invitandoci ad immaginare un futuro in grado di includere tutte e tutti.
  • Il 25 Aprile è anche musica! Vi invitiamo ad ascoltare l’interpretazione corale di “Bella Ciao” realizzata dai Giovani Cantori di Torino e quella ispirata al folclore bergamasco de Gli Zanni di Ranica (BG). L’associazione Nonna Roma ha condiviso invece questo video dei suoi volontari impegnati a preparare aiuti per i meno abbienti e cantare (a distanza di sicurezza) questa mattina.
  • Se siete in vena di letture, vi consigliamo “L’Agnese va a morire” di Renata Viganò, ispirata dall’esperienza autobiografica come partigiana dell’autrice. “I ventitré giorni della città di Alba” di Beppe Fenoglio, raccoglie invece 12 racconti sulla resistenza partigiana e la vita quotidiana dell’Italia rurale durante e dopo la seconda guerra mondiale.
  • Il sito Open DDB ha reso disponibile gratuitamente “Bandite”, un documentario sull’esperienza delle donne che hanno partecipato alla resistenza tra il 1943 e 1945.
  • Infine, vi ricordiamo che Pequod ha sempre prestato attenzione alla Festa della Liberazione e alla Resistenza. Rileggete i nostri articoli sullo staffettista partigiano Giovanni Marzona, lo spettacolo teatrale “1943: come un cammello in una grondaia” e la nostra intervista con Elisabetta Ruffini dell’ISREC di Bergamo.


Articolo scritto da Francesca Gabbiadini e Sara Gvero.

Immagine di Copertina. Fotografia di Tino Petrelli scattata agli studenti di Brera durante la Liberazione di Milano. Autore: Publifoto/Olycom.

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#EasyRead Your mental wellbeing during COVID-19

The spread of the virus has thrown off our routines, separated us from friends and family and forced us to stay at home. It has heightened our anxieties, increased our awareness of death and made many of us feel lonely.

Whether you are ill, worried about others, or simply bored of being at home, it is normal to feel out of sorts. Fortunately there are effective ways for you to take care of your mental wellbeing during the quarantine.

Private and voluntary organisations have created beneficial resources to help us stay well, here we have collected some of the main ones available in English:

  • The mental health charity Mind has produced resources on coronavirus and your wellbeing available to everyone;
  • The Headspace meditation platform is offering free meditation recordings to everyone, and has made Headspace plus available for free to healthcare professionals;
  • Mental Health at Work has information on supporting yourself and others at work;
  • The Anna Freud Centre has resources on supporting children, while NSPCC has produced advice for parents and carers;
  • Rethink Mental Health has a wide range of information for those experiencing severe mental health problems and for those looking after someone else;
  • Mencap provides a free online support community for people with learning disabilities, autism and Down Syndrome called Health Unlocked.


Cover Image: 3D Animation Production Company 

Content Providers(s) Cdc Dr. Fred Murphy

Riflessioni sul COVID-19 al tempo della Democrazia

Se la democrazia è una questione di gradi, possiamo immaginarla come una scala che tende a infinito, ossia il modello ideale di democrazia pura. Quello dove nessuno resta escluso, dove il dissenso trova libertà di espressione e il partecipare alla vita politica è un diritto, dovere e piacere di tutti. Quello che non esiste.

Una lezione di democrazia (quasi) pura ci viene data dall’emergenza in atto: il dilagare del COVID-19 ci mette tutti sulla stessa grande barca.

Comunemente detto Coronavirus, il COVID-19 continua a espandersi a macchia d’olio. Che l’uomo sia un animale errante è appunto dimostrato dalla celerità della diffusione, che secondo i dati in continuo aggiornamento riportati dall’Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità (OMS) ha raggiunto rapidamente 203 tra stati e territori su un totale di 206 in tutto il mondo.

Dalle ultime indagini dell’OMS, emerge che ogni persona può generare un numero medio di contagi (o numero di riproduzione detto “R0” o “R naught”) tra 2 e 2,5. Significa che una persona che ha contratto il virus può contagiarne almeno altre due. Un numero soggetto a variazioni, ma relativamente più alto di una normale influenza il cui grado di contagio si assesta intorno all’1,3.

Si potrebbe essere tentati di dire che le ineguaglianze strutturali della società non giochino alcun ruolo nella diffusione del virus. Ma lo scenario cambia radicalmente se si tiene conto di alcuni fattori, tra i quali:

  • La possibilità o meno di osservare le misure di distanziamento sociale: come non accade ad esempio all’interno delle carceri, dove il sovraffollamento cozza con i provvedimenti presi dal governo;
  • La sussistenza o meno delle condizioni per l’isolamento e per il rispetto delle norme preventive: il caso dei senza tetto (circa 55.000 in Italia), impossibilitati non solo a rispettare i provvedimenti che impongono di restare a casa, ma spesso anche a seguire misure di prevenzione basilari come lavare spesso le mani;
  • La gravità della manifestazione del virus che ha decimato le generazioni più anziane, insieme alle persone affette da altre patologie o con un sistema immunitario già indebolito;
  • La presenza di uno stato sociale e l’accesso alle cure necessarie che non è scontato laddove la sanità non gratuita e il welfare risulta iniquamente distribuito. Ne sono un esempio gli Stati Uniti dove l’8,5% della popolazione non possiede alcuna assicurazione sanitaria.

Il panorama variegato di disuguaglianze sociali di cui soffre la democrazia moderna è ben visibile quando si tiene conto dei fattori che vanno oltre al semplice, bio-democratico, meccanismo di contagio. Quest’ultimo non è infatti influenzato se non marginalmente da fattori come l’età, il sesso o l’estrazione sociale. Dall’Upper East Side ai paesi in via di sviluppo, dal vicino di casa al calciatore, dal Principe Carlo a Boris Johnson, il virus colpisce tutti: anziani, giovani e persino neonati. Nessuno escluso, come dovrebbe accadere in democrazia.

Non è follia dunque voler trarre una lezione politica dall’emergenza sanitaria in corso. Il diffondersi del COVID-19 offre degli spunti riflessivi e anche il tempo necessario per rifletterci su. Mostrandoci cosa democratico sia per davvero, ci obbliga ad aprire gli occhi sui nostri sistemi democratici rivelandoli in tutta la loro fragilità e ci offre un’occasione per chiederci su quali basi vogliamo costruire la società del domani.

Mostrandoci cosa democratico sia, il dilagare del virus ci spinge a riflettere su cosa sia diventata e se il risultato corrisponde ancora all’idea iniziale. Ci interroga sulla solidità delle fondamenta del nostro vivere, e ci trova impreparati. Mostrandoci cosa democratico sia, ci chiede se i sistemi democratici ci piacciono ancora.

Il crescere dei consensi per l’adozione di misure sempre più restrittive e di punizioni sempre più severe verso i trasgressori nelle democrazie europee è un atteggiamento incontrovertibile. Significa che l’emergenza sanitaria ci spinge ad apprezzare quello che fino a ieri respingevamo e ci fa dubitare di cose di cui eravamo certi. Fino a rafforzare ulteriormente il dualismo tra le democrazie liberali e il colosso cinese che la crisi economica e i problemi in seno ai sistemi democratici hanno accentuato negli ultimi anni, a scapito di trasparenza e libertà.

Il rischio è quello di una deriva antidemocratica che vada oltre la fine dell’emergenza. Un esempio da tenere d’occhio è l’Ungheria, dove il primo ministro Viktor Orbán ha assunto i pieni poteri senza restrizioni temporali. Mentre il sogno europeo vacilla, l’apprezzamento verso il governo Conte schizza alle stelle toccando il 56% dal suo secondo insediamento. Allo stesso tempo, i sistemi autoritari iper-controllati come quello cinese non sembrano più così male. Cosa sta accadendo?

Dopotutto, la Cina sembra aver vinto la battaglia contro il virus, tanto da avviare un cordone solidale con altri paesi in piena emergenza. Negli anni il modello cinese sembra aver funzionato, soprattutto in termini di crescita economica. Eppure, non basta. Proteggere trasparenza e libertà avrà sempre un senso.


Immagine di copertina: Content Provider, CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy.

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La solidarietà a Bergamo è S.U.P.E.R.

Siamo a Bergamo, a un mese di effettiva quarantena COVID-19.  Il brusco rallentamento delle nostre vite non ha fermato la solidarietà, ha fatto invece nascere una rete di supporto pratico alla città che agisce senza scopo di lucro.

S.U.P.E.R. Bergamo è un’iniziativa del circolo MAITE – Bergamo Social Club, che vede 110 volontari (un numero in costante aumento), impegnati a fare commissioni per chi ha problemi a uscire dalle proprie case.

Con il complicarsi della situazione, il loro raggio di azione si è ampliato, garantendo servizi ad una fetta sempre più consistente della cittadinanza.

L’iniziativa si svolge col supporto di varie realtà territoriali: Ink Club, Barrio Campagnola, Club Ricreativo di Pignolo,  Upperlab,  c.s.a. Pacì Paciana, Arci Bergamo e con il sostegno del Comune di Bergamo.



Reg. Tribunale di Bergamo n. 2 del 8-03-2016 - privacy - cookies
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