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MustRead: A letter to the UK from Italy: this is what we know about your future

My ALF colleague David L Hirschberg shared this letter written by acclaimed Italian novelist Francesca Melandri to fellow Europeans ‘from your future’. She has been under lockdown in Rome for almost three weeks due to the Covid-19 outbreak and lays out the range of emotions people are likely to go through over the coming weeks.

“I am writing to you from Italy, which means I am writing from your future. We are now where you will be in a few days. The epidemic’s charts show us all entwined in a parallel dance.

“We are but a few steps ahead of you in the path of time, just like Wuhan was a few weeks ahead of us. We watch you as you behave just as we did. You hold the same arguments we did until a short time ago, between those who still say ‘it’s only a flu, why all the fuss?’ and those who have already understood.

“As we watch you from here, from your future, we know that many of you, as you were told to lock yourselves up into your homes, quoted Orwell, some even Hobbes. But soon you’ll be too busy for that.”

Click to read it all!