A letter from Italy: Our insecurity in COVID-19 times

stay home italy

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was written for The European Sting by one of our passionate readers, Mr. Tommaso Merlo. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not necessarily The European Sting’s position on the issue.


Billions of people are locked up at home all over the world. Afraid, insecure. There are no vaccines or medicines to stop this silent wave of death. Nothing. We are unsafe after a lifetime spent chasing security.

The supreme good. We pursue security by working all our life. For a house, for a pension, for some money to make us feel safe at last. A life of sacrifices, mortgages, insurances, struggles. To be able to lower our guard tomorrow. Always tomorrow. A security that we pursue with things but also with people.

With a family and with relationships that allow us to always be able to count on someone when needed. And feel so safer. All the time. In the name of security, we arm ourselves in the house with locks, railings, alarms. In the name of security, national elections are won or lost. With citizens always afraid of something and ready to vote for the first charlatan who promises to protect them.

In the name of security, walls and barbed wires have been erected all over the world and vast public resources are invested in increasingly sophisticated and destructive weapons. In the name of security, devastating and even preventive wars have broken out. All aimed at eliminating enemies that put our most precious asset at risk, safety. Security for ourselves, for our loved ones, for our country.

Then a microscopic virus arrives and billions of people are forced to lock themselves in their house without even being able to escape somewhere. Stuck, afraid, insecure. Money and stuff are totally useless. Alarms and armored doors are totally useless. Borders and walls and tanks and even political charlatans are totally useless.

That silent wave of death advances by disintegrating illusions and false certainties one after the other. Including the security sought out there instead of within ourselves. We have never been really safe and we will never be.

We are at the mercy of forces superior to us and we always will be. We can only learn to manage insecurity and even to appreciate it. In our fragility and vulnerability that we try to avoid so hard, there is the healthy essence of life.

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