Italy – Livia, past pupil and nurse: "In moments of dejection, I hear my teachers again and what they transmitted to me"

23 March 2020

(ANS - Turin) - Livia Borello is a young mother and a nurse at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus, a past pupil of the Salesian Classics Lyceum "Valsalice" in Turin. Family, work and education are three dimensions intertwined in her life, which she talks about in the following interview.

You wrote that in this pandemic the ones who lose the most are the "Filippo" of this situation. What behaviors need you have with people close to you?

Before having contact with my son, Filippo, I always put on a surgical mask, and this implies no touches, kisses or hugs. Then I have a visceral love towards my grandfather, but now I have to pay much more attention. I also know very well that, unfortunately, if you get to the point of having to choose, you opt to choose who is more likely to live, and therefore giving up coffee or cigarettes with him, however burdensome, is actually the right thing.

What is the situation in the hospital?

There are really many patients in the hospital who die alone from COVID-19. All the procedures are very long: for example, "pronation", a maneuver that helps respiratory exchanges, however easy, takes about 30 minutes per person, counting that special attention must be paid to all the IVs to which the patient is attached. Obviously we try to do everything we can, but when there are 10 patients who need you, it is really difficult.

How can an ordinary citizen help?

If only people were to stay at home that would already be a great help: too many go out, shop two times a week, use the dog as an excuse, jog when they have never done so ... It must be remembered that the incubation period is 14 days and there are asymptomatic cases, which can still infect people.

What did Valsalice leave you that helped you face the situation?

My teachers left me a lot: in moments of despair I hear my teachers again and what they transmitted to me gives me strength to go on; perhaps rereading a passage from [Manzoni's novel] The Betrothed, but, above all, from the Divine Comedy I thus feel what is out there a little less heavily; in short, it gives me that breath that is sometimes missing. In particular, I remember that during a Memorial Day, Professor Bove had read a piece of, if I'm not mistaken, If this is a man, where Primo Levi felt like me now: the only thing that kept him alive was a passage of the Divine Comedy, and in remembering it, he felt less beast and a little more man.

Source: Il Salice


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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