They say that Italy’s greatest strength is family. It has also become its most destructive element as multi-generational families living together are struggling with ‘the virus’. I can understand the need to keep close and here, in Australia, we are having to find different ways to do that given extended groups don’t reside together as a rule.
I have never known so many WhatsApp messages flying around on my family and other chats. Text messages flick backwards and forwards for the most tenuous of reasons. Wonderfully silly memes, photos and ridiculous comments are populating the satellite-waves, not just amongst those near and dear to me but across the whole community. I have used FaceTime and video conferencing for the first time in my life. It’s hard to imagine keeping in touch to such an extent without the technology that we have at our disposal. I wonder if the inventors or developers of these platforms ever envisaged they would become such vital survival tools.
We are mentally and emotionally and virtually gathering the clan, calling in those who are familiar and make us feel secure. The dings and bongs and dit-dits of the phone promise contact which, for those both strictly in isolation and those in stay-at-home mode, is connection with the world that we so desperately need at the moment. Hugs and shaking hands, even standing next to someone, are out but phone-calls, emails and messages are the heroes of the hour.
And blogs. Who would have thought?