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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 S plendidly decorated trees light up in the middle of empty squares. Traditional Christmas markets are for- b i d d e n . H a l f e m p t y streets, closed stores, no lights in their windows: what a sadness. No cinema, theatre, concerts. Health checks on trains and Covid-19 tests at the airport. Skiing holidays and tra- vels abroad among restrictions and contraindications. No cruises to for- get about work responsibilities and to leave behind a true annus horribilis. In Italy, a curfew tells us up to when we can do window shopping in town. We won't have Christmas dinners nor New Year's Eve parties; we'll be able to celebrate only with the people we live with and, in any case, always following a myriad of rules. We'll keep wearing face masks that hide smiles we really need, and not only this time of the year. The situation isn't getting any better on the other side of the ocean: limited and controlled accesses to malls, queues everywhere, longer waiting times for delive- ries and take outs. Even Santa meets kids inside anti-infec- tion windows. Christmas will be different this year, just like Thanksgiving has been. Between health precautions, social distancing, recom- mendations to spend the festivities only with relatives, calls to be responsible and avoid meetings with family and friends, parties and gatherings — which is very much all we do this time of the year — everything seems incredibly stran- ge. These restrictions to our personal freedom seem heavier; not being able to go where we want more unbearable; the continuous scrutiny of the way we meet our loved ones more Let this be a Christmas of hope. Auguri, dear readers, from L'Italo-Americano From the director intolerable. But the aim of it all is sacrosanct: containing infec- tions — still diminishing too slowly, — while we wait for the mighty machine of mass vaccinations, which is just now beginning to get in gear, to do its job. Unfortunately the road to recovery is still long and difficult, and trying too keep alive the cheerful spirit of the holidays it's hard for us all, as immersed as we are in fears of infection and actual risks. For obvious reasons, Christmas and New Year's Eve this year won't be the same. We know we need to hug each other and share time, to meet and find one another again, to be together, especially with those we love the most, but taking a break from anti-covid behaviors is not an option, if we don't want to succumb once more to this horrible enemy. It's true, dealing with the pandemic keeps being hard: it's almost like it took the magic of Christmas and our family traditions, the same we've known and loved since we were born, away. The house filled with relatives, the cheerful con- fusion of the 24th; the rush to get the last presents, with the shops crowded and busy; hugs and toasts with friends and workmates; returning home after months away, a moment to meet and also to recharge and find strength in one another. Instead, we witness powerlessly this pandemic stealing from us precious chunks of our life. Certainly, we're losing something, but certainly we can "work" —because it will definitely be hard— on our attitude and spend this last part of 2020 the best way possible. Beside resilience, adaptability and flexibility, we should keep in mind these last weeks of December will be harder for those who lost a lot to Covid-19, for those who're suffering and have a loved one in the hospital. Loneliness, we know it, gets harsher around the holidays. The most fragile, those for whom this time of the year is a moment to meet their loved ones, are going to suffer even more. Those, on the other hand, who are always surrounded by love and people will understand it's an emergency, and will find the courage to go on: in other words, those who do have the means to handle and endure distance and the temporary loss of what we usually do at Christmas, won't be scared by a different Christmas, even if it'll be low key. If the first lockdown helped us reset our priorities and find a new meaning to the time we spent at home, this Christmas we should focus on the people we love. The fact video calls increased exponentially all over the world is a sign of how much we need one another. We must seek and, above all, find a way to feel human warmth and to give it to others, to feel love and pass it on, to understand solidarity and spread it around us, even if we won't be able to do all this in person. The 25th of December is a token date, because it should be Christmas every day. And , if it's true that Christmas should be lived, first and foremost, in our heart, Christmas will be Christmas even without all that corollary of acts and habits we are used to. Christmas, in the end, is a birth day and perhaps this should be our starting point. We should open up to something new, just like when a child arrives and changes us or revolutionizes our lives. If we can't exchange presents all together, if we can't sit at the same table with the people we love, we can at least reinvent the festivities, tur- ning restrictions into a new beginning for ourselves, a moment to start rebuilding. Let's trust our ability to resist and react. Let's think that what we miss is what we will be soon. With this thought full of hope, L'Italo-Americano wishes you all, dear readers, happy holidays. Simone Schiavinato, Director NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italiana all'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 PLEASE SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which represents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale DIRECTOR/EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Giudici SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Accardi Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Joel Mack, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, GenerosoD'Agnese, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Alfonso Guerriero Jr., Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003 Mail form and check to L'Italo-Americano, P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003

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