In Italy, we savor the first espresso after two months of confinement

The Italians were confined for 55 days. On Monday, life resumed with caution and discipline under a welcome sun.

“My first espresso! ” Exclaims Remo, electrician by trade, in Piazza San Cosimato in Rome, sipping on Monday, May 4 at 7:30 his first cup of creamy coffee, hot, creamy to perfection after 55 days of fasting. This Monday is therefore a blessed day. And not only for the Romans. The whole Peninsula is back on the road. By taking a breath. “Phase 2” of the pandemic has started. With undisguised gaiety and a real sigh of relief.

The comments range from “little by little we will leave, I couldn’t take it anymore”, to jokes on the masks – “in the end, we are used to the commedia dell’arte” -, passing by caricaturists and pearls of colleagues. Thus, the “Corriere della Sera” who had the brilliant idea to publish, among the long list of instructions given by the executive to guard against contagion, this funny warning intended for motorists:

“If there is only one driver in a car, he must be seated at the front, on the side of the steering wheel. “

There is also this joke of the rifleman who checks good sisters by car and checks on their certificate if they have the right to “find their spouse” (this is one of the reasons tolerated to justify a trip outside the region) and their asks: “But then if I understand you all have the same spouse? “


The specter of the crisis is not far away

But what surprised observers the most was the discipline, circumspection and prudence with which the Italians began to return to work outside the walls of their homes: 4.5 million employees returned to the factory and to the offices. No big problems in the Milanese and Roman metros: the distances between travelers are respected and the wearing of the mask controlled from the entrance. In Naples, there is a small incident of overcrowding on the Cumana railway, but that’s it. In supermarkets, people line up heroically before putting on the plastic gloves distributed by major brands. Even if the prospects are not comforting, helped by the sun and the love of the country, the peninsulars are therefore returning to normal. Love the country? He even invaded pubs: not cheese,

Nobody apparently regrets the great silence that had flooded Italian cities, the lack of traffic, the kind of suspended time that had befallen 8000 cities, small, medium or large. Historical or not. While waiting for phase 3, where we will discover the army of the “new poor” evaluated at more than 3 million people sometimes reduced to begging. Where we understand that layoffs will be inevitable, that small restaurants will never reopen again because they will not be able to meet standards (the distance between tables essentially), that many companies will go bankrupt, that the GDP will decrease by 9%, that the economic crack is perhaps worse than the coronavirus,

But in the meantime, we savor the first steaming espresso, experienced as an authentic symbol of civilization and sociality.