The objective of these meetings is to share experiences on a global topic. We are all concerned by the virus, how to promote global solidarity?
Italy, Hong Kong and USA
Hong Kong had the experience of SARS in 2003, which already came from China. Civil society knows better how to protect itself and the development of the virus is slower than in other countries. There is more trust in each other than in the government. Recent protests have strengthened this cooperation in civil society. Now Hong Kong is living in a context of profound change and there is no possible turning back. This uncertainty is reinforced by the virus and its economic consequences. This is time to think about which direction to take. My concern is about the issue of spiritual health and how to create a better environment for the development of young people, giving them hope, learning to care for each other. We could develop an international synergy on these issues.
In Italy we feel like in prison. Everything is forbidden. Everything is closed, including the churches. The development of the virus has been very rapid and it is producing a very profound change, and will lead to financial disasters. But we are seeing changes in attitude: at the political level the opposition parties have understood that it is better to work together than to harm the government; at the social level where people are more aware and responsible, faced with the difficulties in the hospitals. I believe that breaking habits is not only negative, it can liberate something new and bring hope. I now do my courses online, and I see that students need to be together and there are more students in the online courses than before.
These events are changing the relationship between religion and science, there is a new alliance to be found. We are rediscovering the importance of a public health system, caring for the poor is not only a moral requirement, but a condition for public health. The need for international cooperation is becoming more evident, contrary to populist or sovereignist tendencies.
We have to pay attention to the poor students who will lose income, a job that allowed them to go to university. They are among the vulnerable who will be most affected.