Letter to Francesca, Marche-Italy

Credits: A Place for Youth in Mediterranean EEA: Resilient and Sharing Economies for NEETs

Dear Francesca,

Thanks for sending your compelling photo. We were already aware of what you and many other Italian nurses have gone through since early March 2020. Yet, seeing you looking us straight in the eyes right after finishing a 12-hour shift in the intensive care unit of San Salvatore Hospital, Pesaro, is, if I may say, a speaking silence. Looking at us with an ice-cold stare… nothing to be afraid of when doing what you are afraid to do. Your photographer sought to focus upon the wrinkled lines below your eyes, left imprinted by the mask. Alas, he tried in vain – it is your eyes that captivate those looking at the photo. There’s a story in those eyes, a story that you wouldn’t like to tell us in the near future.

Anyway, a quick check shows that Pesaro is located on the east coast of the Italian peninsula, somewhere between Rimini and Ancona. Your region, Marche, is one of the 21 Italian regions hard-hit by the pandemic. Grief and heartbreak have sunk deep with the care workers and people of the area, as 7,400 cases and almost 1,000 deaths have been recorded so far – numbers that are not easily forgotten. Whilst this is far from relieving for you, with 483 cases and 65 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants so far, Marche is in a slightly better position than many of its neighbouring regions. We hope our words have not upset you – that was not our intention. We are just comparing cruel numbers in a very geographical way… making relational rankings, if that makes you feel better.

On a bittersweet note, Marche’s famous specialised industrial areas, a typical example of the so-called Third-Italy highly praised during the 1980s for its export activity, has partly recovered since the lockdown was lifted. Unfortunately, we are pretty aware that thousands of those employed in the footwear and leather factories of Macerata and Fermo, Pesaro’s furniture workers, or others employed in the textile and chemical plants of Ancona, not to mention the famous craftworkers producing accordions in Castelfidardo, are now feeling more insecure. More than 250,000 of these workers were on temporary redundancy by late April 2020!!!

I have to go now, let us close with some music from your beloved Nino Rota (isn’t that right?). After all, Borgo San Giuliano and Rimini are very close to Pesaro. Amarcord Francesca….

Credits: A Place for Youth in Mediterranean EEA: Resilient and Sharing Economies for NEETs


The Covid-19 Regional Labour Dashboard team




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