This is the story of a community with a determination much bigger than the Covid-19 issue; that with courage and dedication is finding the necessary dignity to still believe in a brighter future; in a normality status which, since the 8th of March, here in Bergamo, ceased existing and left room to a surreal situation.
The quarantine required by the government had some negative appeal within one of the epicenters worstly striken by the pandemic. Attention has been mostly focused on the number of deaths and on controversies due to the delayed closing of the “red zones”; much less has been talked about the negative – economic – repercussion that Bergamo’s citizens are facing now. Most of all, about the power of solidarity and unity: it is the only authentic “fire-power” that the volunteering authorities and citizens are using to react against Coronavirus outbreak, without abandoning anyone. One example is Caritas institution, the protagonist of this reportage with its amazing team of Heroes in incognito.
It turns out impossible to say who is more worthy within this system, that aims at protecting the integrity, and not to leave anyone in hardships.
From the groceries donations by small and large companies, to ordinary citizens working day by day for other citizens; to the policemen (all directed by Don Trussardi, director of Caritas Bergamo.) who, twice a week, help to distribute those goods and services the Covid-19 emergency swept off from many citizens.
Homeless people are offered daily showers; sanitary protection devices are distributed, as well as computers and tablets to children and teenagers that couldn’t follow online classes otherwise; groceries packages are offered trying to suit people’s alimentary habits; they’re all care and support practices influencing the sense of civic and supportive duty that the community proves to have.
On the chance that the goods were more or less than what is actually needed, an exchange of resources is activated between the several entities of local volunteers; the surplus of fruits and vegetables is distributed to farmers for their animals. It’s a cycle of solidarity and an eco-sustainable system in which no useless discard is allowed.
We moved then to the Galgario, a dormitory for homeless people which is open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m; following the Covid-19 emergency, it had to reinvent resources, goods and services to face the challenging times.
The additional canteen service – daily operative for lunch and dinner – altered its own opening times, extending them all day long, in order to offer shelter and sanitary assistance by Italian Red Cross, which operates in the emergency room within the structure twice a week.
Every morning, the homeless registered on the list (edited by social assistants) show up at the Galgario; their body temperature is measured before entering; if it is above 38°C, the person is isolated inside the building.
Text and Photos by: Elisabetta Sofia, SHOWbit.com