Northern Italy’s painful lessons. What can we learn?

We understand if you need to say goodbye to Good Grief! for a while, to protect your emotional well-being and mental health. No offence will be taken if you disconnect. It’s important to experience the positive and the beautiful in the light of what is happening throughout the world and in our own communities right now.

However, in line with our mission, which is to improve our understanding of mortality related subjects so as to make death better in our culture, we will continue to publish.

Sadly, as the Covid-19 situation becomes more dire, good science, accurate journalism and reliable information will be needed more than ever, simply to maintain existing standards – to hold the line against deterioration in services and supports for the dying. This in turn plays an important part in our recovery to a good life when we experience the death of others, loss and grief.

The following photo essay by the New York Times is on the experience of Covid-19 in Northern Italy.

It should not be read if you are finding it difficult to cope with Covid-19 news. However, if you are one of those who work in an area such as a hospital, funeral parlour, pastoral care, palliative care, religious ministry, there may be insights to be gained that can help you prepare for the work that could come your way soon.

Australian readers may be lucky enough that due to stringent social distancing we have slowed the rate of community to community infection. We still have a major problem with infection from those arriving overseas, now the biggest source. Hopefully, stringent new quarantining laws announced by our Prime Minister on Friday, 28 March, will slow this down.

For American readers, new outbreaks reported in the latest hotspots show the same lesson – the need to stay home. The current surges are now being attributed to Mardi Gras festivities held in cities such as New Orleans in the two week before Shrove Tuesday, 25 February.

Please note the following: “The New York Times is providing free access to much of our coronavirus coverage, and Coronavirus Briefing newsletter — like all of our newsletters — is free. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.”

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