What is Covid-19 teaching us? What lessons can we learn (and implement!)?

By March 26, 2020 No Comments

The effectiveness of smart-working, the beauty of slowed time, the huge importance of technology, the essential importance of an adequate (public) health system, the high value of research, the urgency for a renewal of education, the deep need for a Europe of people (and not of banks), the issue of merit and capabilities among Government members, the sustainability to save our planet, the primacy of the human being and the right to life.

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The coronavirus, the pandemic and the total isolation of all the world are giving us a completely different picture of life. The forced quarantine has induced each of us to question a lifestyle as consolidated as questionable. We had to question positive and negative things, and on closer inspection, if we are able to grasp all the nuances and look beyond the contingency, we will only be able to see unimaginable horizons until two months ago and (hopefully) to review our approach to life and things.

Sustainability. One of the first images back from the lock-down policies were Northern Italy and China without pollution. Given the difference between before and after, it is probably not so hard to give up the car or switch to the electric car. If we have to move, the time has finally come for governments and car makers to move without further delay to e-mobility.

Smartworking. Working from home is no longer a stuff for losers or suckers! You can work from home and even increase productivity because you conquer your own space and time. And many managers and entrepreneurs (with absolutely no vision) who claim total control over workers’ space-time (a category fortunately towards extinction) are realizing that with remote work, the office is decongested, high operating costs are saved (need of smaller spaces, reduced expenses, and so on), we benefit from more positive, more productive and more motivated collaborators. At the end of this emergency, smartworking could hopefully become a condition of normal work, with weekly meetings and then organizing the office from home. With increased happiness!

Technology and education. The pandemic has detonated many inadequacies both in terms of infrastructure (i.e., network overloads) and in terms of platforms (how many issues in setting up distance learning for the Italian school) and in terms of culture. I have figured out that there is no single technological platform for the public education system, and each school adopts its own choice. While fully respecting autonomy, it would be fantastic if a unique technological protocol was created at ministerial level in order to allow everyone to speak the same language, to avoid dispersion of resources and to concentrate investments to make them more productive. The end of the pandemic must lead to an expansion of the massive use of technology in education and the spread of a strong digital culture that does not mean coding, but going towards the concept of singularity between technology and education. Education systems must be object of a deep renovation.

Healthcare Systems. The most striking aspect of the pandemic was the need to invest heavily in health systems, too often object of crazy and cuts over the years, which have undermined the same right to health. The chilling images of hospitals will be etched forever in our minds. Discrimination against the health systems of other countries (such as the USA) also highlighted the extraordinary importance of our public health system, because health is and must be a right for everyone.

Research. The massive use of technology and the innovation of education systems must necessarily make a square with a large and constant investment in research and development. In the midst of an emergency, the talented Italian creativity succeeded in converting a Decathlon diving mask into a respirator and to duplicate the output of a lung ventilator to double the places at intensive cares. Guess what the Italian genius would do if it had structures, infrastructures and resources for a systemic research and development activity to improve the quality of life and make the fundamental right to life an absolute and mandatory right.

United States of Europe. I still strongly believe in Europe, but this pandemic has highlighted all the limits of a bad-done Europe. It is unthinkable to receive aid from China, Russia and Cuba, while Germany is limited to hosting 7 sick people. Exactly as it is now absurd that Europe continues to be the ATM of Germany and France. We must go, and very fast, towards the United States of Europe and the people of Europe, to preserve the autonomy, history and tradition of the Old Continent autonomous from the American and Asian blocs (because the aids from China and Russia are not only humanitarian, but the attempt to launch a credit to be collected later!).

Policy and merit. The pandemic has also given us back the image of a politics not always being measuring up. I found it chilling to hear anything from the Minister of Health or that of the Interior, apart from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to mention the most directly involved. My hope is that each Italian will remember well in the next elections, because both for the management of the health emergency and the economic one (which will be serious and long) solid and robust skills and competences are needed.

Slowed down time. Each was forced to take back a space and a time that had become sadly unknown. The moments within the home, which then became days and weeks, during which it was possible to read, listen to music, watch TV series, spend time with the children inventing games and activities for everyone. The end of the emergency must leave this dimension by reminding each of us of the importance of those things.

My hope is that this pandemic will leave us gratitude as the mantra of every human being! Gratitude makes life and people better in many different ways. A sunrise, the sea, a mountain, the scent of flowers, the birds, a walk, playing with our children are all gifts to be grateful for! One of the most important ways in which gratitude improves life is through cooperation that requires people to share resources to achieve something that would have been impossible or very difficult to achieve on their own. Everyone should learn to be more tolerant and open to cooperation and help for others and others. Somehow, the pandemic is highlighting the fragility but also the greatness of the human being for a new Renaissance, the sunrise of a new era!

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