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After Lockdown

We’ve been in and out of lockdown here in Italy more times than I count. And though they’ve varied in severity, they all have several things in common. They’re inconvenient and unpleasant. But even worse, they have been a great theft of our personal freedom and liberty. And from my observations, they haven’t worked.

Thankfully, restrictions during our summer season here were quite light. Only time will tell what the government chooses for the colder months.

Back to normal?

Even though things were back to normal to some extent during summer, we were grateful. Many businesses reopened, people went back to work, schools should be restarting soon, and hospitals are no longer overrun.

Hubby also started back at the language school where he works. Which was strange and challenging after 7 months off! And strange for me after months of blissful 24/7 togetherness!

We’re grateful he’s working again, but in some ways it’s like starting a new job! And how much he will work depends on the fear level. Will parents even send their kids?

Perhaps we didn’t consider the after lockdown enough. How will it be? What will have changed? Will we have to adapt to something new? Or will things just go back to normal?

A new society?

I can only speak about what I see here, and I’m observing as things open up, is that often attitudes, people, and mentalities seem to have changed. It seems like a different society!

Italy has always been an extremely demonstrative culture. Very touchy-feely, abundant hugs and kisses. Hands and arms waving everywhere when they talk and always gesturing.

But no more. Instead of coming up to greet you many back away, avoiding all contact. (Sure the arms still wave around. I think you’d have to tie them up to stop Italians talking with their hands!)

But the traditional kiss on both cheeks has become a rare species. Nowadays it’s the elbow bump or the touching of closed fists. It’s sad and doesn’t feel normal. 😥 And that’s because it isn’t!

Lockdown fall-out

But I’ve seen other fallout too, besides the ongoing social distancing and masks. The economy is struggling more than ever, with many jobs and businesses lost. And people are still recovering from the emotional and mental stress of being under house arrest.

Masks and social distancing are still required in closed public places, on public transport, in schools and churches, and at many jobs. And we are continually bombarded with the possibility that another big surge could happen with colder weather.

Ever back to normal?

Will things ever get totally back to normal? I think (hope) they will. But I’m afraid we’ll continue to deal with the after-effects for a while. We’ve already seen changes in travel, personal and public relations, economics, government, and everyday life. I pray we will eventually see it end and return to normal!

Good from lockdowns?

No, I am not saying that I think lockdowns are good. First off, they don’t seem to have worked. And furthermore, they go against the constitutions of democratic nations and are a violation of our fundament right to personal freedom and liberty.

Yet I firmly believe that God can bring good out of anything, even pandemics and lockdowns. He is never limited by anything or anyone. Many people have found, through being forced to slow down that they had lost sight of what’s truly important.

If nothing else, lockdowns have reminded us to place greater value on things like:

  • Relationships and human contact
  • Solidarity with others
  • Freedom, especially freedom of movement and choice
  • Freedom of worship
  • Nature and the great outdoors
  • Good health care
  • Employment
  • Sufficient finances
  • The value of using technology with others, and not just alone

After-lockdowns here hasn’t been an immediate return to the way things were. And now they’re saying that we’ll have to accept the fact that we’ll just have to get used a new normal. That things will never go totally back to the normal we new. I pray against that, for living in fear and separated from others is not a healthy way to live. It is not God’s way.

But no matter what, it’s important to keep looking for the bright side. Because God is always at work, and always working for our good and his glory!

Image credits:  Masked pair | Back to back | Confused woman.

8 replies on “After Lockdown”

Hugs to all from here in OZ. Many Italian families here and ones who like me have Italian heritage were saddened by What happened in Italy. We have seen a return to faith in some areas here and my prayers continue to focus on the coming Kingdom Of God and that all indeed will com!
Blessings.

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We are all still masks and distancing here as well. People are tired. Many jobs have been lost as small businesses have closed. Kissing cheeks was never a practice here, but at least within Christian circles people are hungry for hugs. Isolation has been bad for depression, and suicides and domestic violence is up. Yet in some areas, people are coming to Christ. Ministries are thinking creatively about how to reach people they can’t meet together with. Families are spending more time together, and priorities are being re-examined. I’m looking forward to normal, but I pray the positive changes stick.

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Same situation here, Linda, sorry to say. And because of Italians need of touch, perhaps it’s been extra hard on them. It’s sad seeing businesses around us close and so many out of work. 😥 I’m with you and hope the positive changes will stick too! Society has needed them for a long time!! You all take care and stay safe!

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An acquaintance of our family is sincerely seeking truth about God. This time of less social interaction and fewer work hours has given him the opportunity to read (such books as Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis) and even do an exploratory Bible study with our adult son. If he chooses to follow Jesus, that will be a glorious outcome to these months of self-isolation!

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That’s marvelous, Nancy! Over here we have seen and heard many testimonies about people coming to the Lord through all this. We have new people in church. And a friend who worked in a tent hospital in the city of Cremona (which was very badly hit), has so many great testimonies to recount!! God is always faithful to bring good out of bad!

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