Photo credits: Andrea Foiadelli, Claudio Lanfranchi and Laura Capella
lo spirito di una città
At the onset of this I worried. I worried about many things. But somethings couldn’t be fathomed….Like the daily enumeration of deaths, 500, 700…how can we understand this? Now more than ever we need each other. Insieme siamo forti (together we are strong). The people of Bergamo have proved this to the world.
The Bergamaschi banded together and in just seven days built a fully functioning hospital from what was formerly a Fair Arena. Built by the people for the people, this immense project has given Bergamo the opportunity to flatten the curve. It gives us hope in this dark time and we are so grateful for these people.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Bergamo artisans Andrea Foiadelli and Claudio Lanfranchi and they described their stories to me.
Both were contacted by the “Confartigianato,” (an association to serve artisans and small businesses) the same evening everyone was on-site, to review the plans and the work to be done. There were no questions or hesitation, “this is our home, this is our ground” they told me.
As with everyone in Bergamo they are seeing the impacts of the virus on the people. Claudio told me that “On every via (street) someone has died.” Andrea has a co-worker who contracted the virus along with their mother. Fortunately, they both recovered.
They described the intensity of the work. The start of the project to install the main separation dividers was the most stressful. It kept them there all day and into the early hours of the morning. Everyone volunteering was there to get things done. There was no complaining, this was for the people and it was needed to save lives.
When I asked them what the hardest emotional task of the project was both responded it was the last day. Seeing what they were part of was an honor. It was also sad as there is a lot more work to be done. They would have liked to stay and help more but they had done what they could. Now it is over to the hospital and engineers.
Every day we count on each other and these trying times have shown us how far people are going to help each other. There is no question, Bergamo needed this hospital so Bergamo made it.