Dearest Activists,

As the world faces the Covid-19 pandemic, we are thinking about our activists, artists, survivors, youth, and supporters around the world and how the virus will impact our communities, our work, our future.

The pandemic has spotlighted and amplified the inequities in our existing systems. Our movement is global, with activists in every country. This moment calls for our global solidarity now more than ever, to help and protect the most vulnerable – in the face of an unprecedented health crisis because we can only get through this together.

While many are staying at home to help flatten the curve, elderly and marginalized communities are without food, medicine, access to clean water, and other critical resources needed to protect from exposure. For so many survivors, home is not a safe place. Advocates worldwide are providing shelter as well as posting information and resources online to provide them with support.

Workers and health care professionals in every country are on the front lines of the crisis, risking their lives to take care of other people, to keep food on the shelves, to deliver necessary services, and to heal those who are sick. They have our deepest gratitude for their service each and every day. We are calling for safe conditions, paid sick leave and more. Our partners are working to create funds, share information, and forge new pathways to help and support these brave workers.

We are hearing from activists worldwide as our movement meets this moment. We will be posting their stories frequently, as we draw inspiration, ideas, hope and love from one another.

Luisa Rizzitelli is the One Billion Rising global coordinator for ITALY (alongside Nicoletta Billi and Silvia Palermo). She is based in Ancona, and she wrote this to our One Billion Rising Europe team. Today, we share it with all of you:

My dear Sisters,

Stuck at home I have plenty of time to read, meditate and reflect and I think it may be useful to give you a picture of what is going on here in Italy and how our beautiful Country is coping with the Coronavirus Pandemic.

I personally believe that across Europe there is a general (maybe driven?…🙄) misunderstanding of the implications of Covid-19.

Governments in most European Countries are underestimating the spreading speed of the Virus and they didn’t raise concerns about the consequent impact on their National Health System.

The more it spreads, the more hospitals will be overwhelmed by unexpected extra-flows of people in need of assistance: those affected by the COVID-19 – most of which need special machines for the lung ventilation- but also those affected by other types of disease, sometimes even worse.

The risk is the collapse. That’s the point to focus on.

Please do not consider Italians as “excessively concerned”. The only way to stop the spreading of the virus is to interrupt – as much as possible – all the physical interactions between humans. We are not happy to stay “in-da-house” all day long.

We like to go out in the sunshine, to have a drink with friends, to go to the cinema…in a few words we like to BE FREE of course. But now It’s time to stop and stay at home, that’s the cure.

We are experiencing a complete LOCKDOWN of all activities…with great economic losses for the Country but above all for the single citizen.

Luckily technology is strongly supporting us these days: most of us live alone, most of us can work from home, most of us have kids to “entertain” (since schools are closed), so we can use smart devices and socials to keep in touch with our beloved ones, we are 24h connected to the outside world, we can watch a movie from our sofa, or just have a Gym session without being at the gym… We are experiencing a new way of doing things. It will last just for a couple of weeks (I hope!) but it is the only way to stop the virus in Italy, for our safety but also for Europe’s safety, for the safety of all of us, that’s why I think that all Governments across Europe should adopt similar and significant actions as soon as possible!

Borders are not barriers to Coronavirus! Borders do not prevent us from being affected, but GOOD BEHAVIOURS and AWARENESS WILL!

So please act accordingly as far as you can and take care of yourself.

Love you and you’ll be sure: we’ll rise again,