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A New Phase of the Coronavirus in Italy

Last Saturday morning, I woke up to the shouts and shrieks of children playing in the park below our apartment. Confused and a little annoyed, I shuffled sleepy-eyed to the window to see what the commotion was about.

kid on swing

By Andrew Griffin

Photo by Olivia Bauso on Unsplash

Four fathers sat next to each other on benches while eight children ran around the small patch of grass we call a park without gloves or face masks! It’s been eight weeks since we have heard the joyful yelps of kids come through our windows. Last Saturday was Italy’s Liberation Day. Social distancing has forced Italians to stay indoors and isolated for multiple holidays that revolve around family and friends.  From what I witnessed on Liberation Day, it seems many people have reached their limit of missing celebrations and loved ones. Not to mention, the weather in Rome has been gorgeous and it taunts each of us to take an afternoon stroll anywhere we may or may not be allowed to go. 

 

Phase Two of lockdown started on May 4th, and while it may not seem like much is changing, it feels like freedom is at our fingertips. Parks opened their gates, and we will no longer be required to carry a form with us stating our intentions for being out of the house. It feels a little bit like a breath of fresh air, both metaphorically and physically.

 

Throughout the lockdown, our ministry has gone completely digital. An endless amount of Zoom calls, Netflix parties, Instagram livestreams, and messaging apps have kept us in touch with students and others we love. The Gospel has been shared in new ways. New followers on social media watched from their phones as a recently graduated nurse who works on the frontlines shared her story and others got to pray for her in real time. Digital communities based around shared interests have been formed where participants can share their art or ask questions about other’s favourite recipes. Our social profiles have increased in followers and reach. Some of our posts have been seen by nearly 10,000 different people. 

 

The Gospel is being shared on phones and computers now more than ever.  Freedom really is at our fingertips, and it’s time to start embracing it.

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