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COVID-19, Let’s Not Focus Only on the Internal “War”, Let’s Not Forget About Africa

During these long days of reclusion, as appropriate as they are sad, I have done many things. I have studied, read, pondered, was overwhelmed by anxiety I fought back with hope, I thought about today and especially tomorrow, and I watched fascinating films; truly educational for those who have to live through this.

A wonderful film I hadn’t seen is Invictus, the film about nelson Mandela. It is an apotheosis of heroism, foresight and leadership that had my wife and I literally glued to the screen and hanging from every word. In particular the unforgettable poem read out by the great African leader, “It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

An eternal and extremely current message that I would like to share with all of you, readers and friends, as we experience together this season of fear, restrictions, sacrificing freedom at times, sickness and death.

We can deal with the emergency at hand. The one that health workers, law enforcement officers and all those who have been working relentlessly and with dedication to reduce the damages of, are currently living on the front lines and preparing for a less oppressive and agonizing future.

But let’s not stop looking beyond the emergency. Let’s not get too caught up in the tyranny of the moment.

Let’s not focus only on the heinous ailment in our own home, be it Italy or Europe. Let’s look beyond.

Let’s not be short-sighted, otherwise we’ll pay a huge price afterwards.

Let’s look at what’s happening to the African continent where young people make up the majority of the population. The first confirmed cases of contagion indicate a warning light that could well ignite entire communities whose flames can flicker and overwhelm our soil and our souls.

There is an ethics of emergency and there is an ethics of foresight.

For the latter, in addition to the brave Editor in Chief of this magazine, Antonella Napoli, other important personalities such as Fiorella Mannoia, Andrea Purgatori and Father Alex Zanotelli of the Combonian missionaries who knows Africa very well, have launched an appeal.

In particular, we are expecting an initiative from the European Union that we have invoked many times and have been constantly disappointed.

We need a plan for extraordinary measures to guarantee adequate medical and paramedical personnel, adequate health care structures, and effective pharmaceuticals and protection.

As we put out our fire, we may be sitting on a bigger blaze that could spread even though it has anything to do with us.

This is why I am appealing without fear of being considered an activist against “whataboutism”.
Destiny is shared it’s not about someone else.

Let’s fight this thing together with determination and leadership, with the foresight and kindness Nelson Mandela taught us through his work and life.

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