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[coronavirus] We need a response from Europe (March 18, 2020)

, France, signed as, thru March 13, 2020

Even if the World Health Organization (WHO) hesitated for a long time before defining a Covid-19 pandemic, it cannot be delayed economically.
Between the collapse of the oil price, the steep stock exchanges, the crisis of world trade and the disappearance of demand in entire economic sectors, we must prepare for what the Anglo-Saxons call the "perfect storm", the perfect storm capable of destroying everything. < br> Italy, the third largest economy in the eurozone, is already in great difficulty. Germany has been on the verge of recession for several quarters, and now it could take the decisive step. Europe must not repeat the mistakes of the past. On the occasion of the 2008 financial crisis and the 2011 debt crisis, the eurozone paid dearly for the inability to intervene decisively and promptly to put out the fire. " This time the old continent must reflect on the phrase of General MacArthur: "The lost battles can be summed up in two words: too late". The current storm has nothing to do with that of 2008, which hit the financial system in the heart.
This time it is necessary to have the necessary means to overcome a serious but temporary problem. The important thing is that the states of the Union work together and remain united. Aid that has so far been granted in a disorderly way is only a homeopathic cure.
Europe needs shock therapy. This means softening the state aid rules, excluding measures related to the new coronavirus from the calculation of national deficits and taking important measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises. The essential is to protect companies and jobs, while waiting for the health situation to improve. Judging by the panic of the financial markets, the political response has so far not been up to par.
If Europe fails to show more courage and coordination, the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic are likely to be profound and painful. as

Diary of an online teacher (march 17th, 2020)

by Anna Stefi, on
on blog5

I teach.

Work, when it can, if it can, continues. Somehow.

The lessons are online. Platforms are multiplying. On Argo it is necessary to check the release of new circulars, tutorials for classrooms, for google meet, tutorials as well to start the institutional email. And then every class council an email. Try to organize ourselves, an excel file to mark the lessons online.

“Guys maybe let's start with Skype, what do you say? And maybe it would be better if we had a whatsapp chat, so I communicate the access codes for the classroom material rather quickly ".

In short, these are days of hyper-connection, where some banks no longer hold: "I am sending you a vowel otherwise I cannot keep up with the rhythm of communications".

The chair: I laugh, to think about it.

Other than chair: here they see my whatsapp profile photo. And I go into their bedrooms, among their posters. I see the furniture, I sense the rest of the house. Their life moves me. Look at them as soon as they are awake, sitting at a table that is not the counter and with a face that I can no longer associate in such an unmediated manner in their place on the register list.

- Lesson finished, will you tell me how you are?
- Well prof. I mean, it's weird.

And all this happens while in a round skype Silvia lights a cigarette - and I can't say "hey, it's forbidden", at most I say "Ma santocielo! it's ten o'clock in the morning ”- and in another round, Carlotta starts putting nail polish on her nails.

We all have extra time. And we are there. Now they write to me that they would like to take lessons to talk about general things: "Prof., do you want?". I also have aperitifs on Skype with friends, in the evening, they are asking me something very similar - okay, maybe I won't open a beer in front of them - and I believe that at this moment my job may be this too. I do not know. We all work in uncertainty and we all move in different ways. There is no better than the other, they are attempts: it is a matter of seizing the unexpected.

There is also one aspect, in addition.

Not everything "works": in the meantime we are not sure that everyone will have a device, an adequate connection. But it is not only this: it is precisely that even in the unfolding of the lesson we are on video for a moment, then someone disappears, the conversation becomes hiccups, the guy enters, the guy exits, the guy succeeds again. What is all this telling us? If we want to pass only information there are probably better, more effective means. And therefore, teaching is not a passage of information. But it is not even a matter of skills, it is not the well-made and not just full image of the well-made head that we are talking about here.

On the pitch, in this difficult time, it seems to me to be the theme of the relationship.

Some of us teachers are in difficulty with technologies, others are in difficulty with emotional experiences. Some choose the lesson online, others build precious maps, which they place side by side with materials loaded on the classroom. Almost everyone around me is in some contact; it changes little whether it is by mail or by phone or by screen. It is, I believe, not to sit down, not to remain in isolation, to use what we have available to find something of the bodies, in a new way. Someone is more afraid of others, someone is more difficult than others. The video is not so simple, it is not so simple, on video, to hold that position that entering the classroom, so tested, makes it easier. I find that our task now is to testify to our presence and the presence of the school in this time of stumbling. Mark the day with lessons and keep some aspects of the institutional framework: the lesson, the contents, what remains of a program. We will question? Let's see. Something is flaking and not realizing it or trying to pretend that it is not so I have the idea that it would make us miss a great opportunity. I find it important to send my written notes to Francesca, whom I follow as a support teacher, photographing them in real time on whatsapp, while the math teacher tries to frame the sheet with the pen and in the meantime speaks, even if the image becomes blurred.

Work of Ole Marius Joergensen.

Call Francesca on Skype, wait for mom to position the camera and then do a Latin version with her. This is not my job as a support teacher, but at this moment I have the idea that this extra hour can tell Francesca that school is something that responds to the emergency in unprecedented ways. Inaccurate. Different for everyone. How do you reach some kids? Not everyone is Francesca, not everyone has a mother who positions the video camera. It is, I believe, trying to hold a position in a radical uncertainty, uncertainty in which, in some moments, their knowledge can come to our aid: "Prof.! Turn the tablet "; "Look, Google meet works better than Skype." Perhaps we should also remember it in class that there is their knowledge - and it is not just computer knowledge - that can come to our aid: we do not do it in the habit of operating, which is the habit of functioning.

When the usual progress of things is interrupted we see elements that were unexpected before: everyone keeps their role but learns something new. These days, elements that I believe I have learned a little by emerging in the position of the support teacher have emerged. If it were up to me, I would make it compulsory to teach support for any subject teacher: one year, you don't need much more. A year of this non-functioning, a year of unexpected events, of a more or less clinical knowledge that comes to the rescue very little, a year in which you meet one to one of the individual lives of the students. A year when your body is in the middle of the class, not in the chair. In which nothing makes a barrier, with all the positive and negative sides that this implies. Maybe we will treasure the different perspective occupied in this state of exception, and no compulsory dislocation will be needed: this time we are going through together will prove to be sufficient. It would be nice.

I believe, in short, that something is teaching us teachers the weight of the relationship in a classroom. What is our task now, now that we won't even know if and when we will return to class? What is the impact with the wave of the unexpected for the institutions? What remains of the school in the breakdown of automatisms?

I don't know if we will take the high school exam, guys. I don't even know when we're going back to school, actually. I tell you with certainty that the trip will not be there, yes. For the rest we will understand day by day. But tell me how you are, first of all.

Meanwhile, out there, in the same non-functioning, we experience a polis-planet in which we discover that everything is linked: even this we are only aware of now, and in a still too confused way. For those who are lucky enough to have a home, and to be able to stay in it right now, these are days when contact is made with a new way of space and time, or so it seems to me. Today I was looking at the blossoming buds on my balcony and I thought it almost seems like a joke that all of this happens while the spring explodes out there, as if something were telling us that it is not true that everything is stopping, but that we are simply not we the protagonists. We just have to watch and, paradoxically, the big responsibility to which we are called as a species seems to be standing still. With family members, in domestic time. With the exception, of course, for those of us who are not at home and waiting at all, but actually work without even being able to question the loss to save as many lives as possible.

We, all the others, however, seem that: we do well if we do nothing. And almost, at the same time, nobody can do without standing still than others. It seems like a message - obviously it's a bit forced reading - that makes fun of how we thought about it up to here.

And in those spaces where time can continue to flow in the same way, in the virtual spaces of information, the news, the rhythm, and the noise seem to have undergone an acceleration, or only we notice it more, by contrast . Or, again, we multiply the saying out of fear, we saturate the void. Fortunately, the school stumbles and welcomes the slowdown. Together with staying still, we could perhaps think of keeping quiet. A little bit of that silence that Chandra Livia Candiani talks about. He writes that learning to stay and taste absence is a gift. Pretending that you don't call, filling every moment with distraction, is, instead, breaking up. Do we know how to take this fragile time seriously? Candiani writes: "Please, death, do not let yourself be tamed, it continues to hurt me absolutely".

Work of Ole Marius Joergensen.

When we'll leave all this behind (march 16th 2020)

by Emilio Mola, on
on blog5

“When we have left all this behind, and they will return to defend the tax evaders by treating them - all - as poor victims because they are good voters, let us remember honest citizens that have always paid taxes. Because it is thanks to them that we have received the best care in the world, without dropping a penny. Including tax evaders.

When they come back to tell us that the country's priority is to stop a few desperate boats, let's remember these days when we were treated as plague victims.

When they come back to tell us that the priority is to dismantle the Social State because we have to leave that money in the pockets of the wealthiest with the 15% flat tax, let's remember what Public Health has done for all of us in these days.

And let's remember the extraordinary work of thousands of doctors, nurses, and others, all who are paid less in Italy than elsewhere, are more precarious than elsewhere, but who have given everything, everything, despite everything.

When they come back to tell us that Non Governative Organizations (NGO) are gangs of unscrupulous criminals dedicated to their interests, let's remember when that same party asked Lombardy for help from NGOs to deal with the emergency.

When they come back to tell us that Africans bring us diseases and that we have to throw them back into the sea, let's remember when we were rejected. And let's remember the Italian who brought the coronavirus to Africa. And in Africa he was hospitalized and treated.

When they come back to tell us that "they" are defending the homeland and the dignity of Italy, let's remember the interviews they gave in half Europe against the Italian government, to make people believe that they were not facing the emergency in the best way possible in order to make a few votes. Damaging us terribly in the eyes of the world.

And let's remember who was in the mountains eating ham and cheese and who in the institutions and hospitals to work day and night for the salvation of the country.

When they come back to tell us that funding research and education is not important and that that money is better to use it elsewhere, let's remember these days. And the results obtained in silence by our precarious researchers.

When the emergency is over and we will return to that miserable and childish climate of Italian politics every day, let's try to remember the days when we understood what is really important. How fragile life is, even socially, and how important it is to things that we take for granted and treat almost with annoyance.

For once, once at least, let's try not to forget ”.

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