Editor's note: Luca Ciferri, editor and associate publisher of Automotive News Europe, is living under quarantine at his Italian home in Villastellone, just south of Turin. He will be filing daily updates in this blog post.
Entering a second week of quarantine with at least 18 more days until being “liberated,” it's easy to get a bit depressed. Fortunately, I have discovered a number of ways to put things into perspective.
Under the hashtag #andratuttobene (Italian for "everything will be fine") there is a vast array of moving images and inspiring messages, as well as some great irony.
If you want to feel fortunate, the hashtag #iorestoincorsia #turestaacasa (Italian for "I'm still in the hospital, you're still at home") is a must-see.
It features pictures of doctors and nurses – who are revered here in Italy – during their seemingly endless shifts. Their handmade cards all deliver the same message, telling people to stay home to help reduce the spread of the contagion while the health-care heroes stay at their hospitals working to heal those who are infected.
One of the most moving things I have seen during this unprecedented time in Italy, however, is a video from one of my heroes, racecar driver Alex Zanardi (see video below, which is in Italian with English subtitles).
Zanardi says that changes, especially the ones that turn your life upside down, are always difficult to accept.
He knows this better than most. In 2001 he lost both his legs after a horrific high-speed crash at a race in Germany. He not only returned to racing with teams such as BMW; he has become a multiple gold medal-winning Paralympian in handcycling and an inspiration to millions.
“The spirit though which many Italians are facing this [coronavirus] challenge is engaging," Zanardi says in his message. "I want to believe that this can be an opportunity that can turn us into better people. Obviously keeping our distance, we have to stand together. Together we all have to face this challenge. Come on, we can do it!”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Zanardi on stage at our 2016 ANE Rising Stars ceremony in Munich. It was one of the most moving moments of my career.
With his new video he was able to move me and inspire me once again.