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Covid 19, journal from the streets of Rome: How can we not hold these nights so cold?
the ROME - Antonella Torchiaro, team physician for the social health of the NGO INTERSOS in Rome, tells of his daily work in the streets and in places of social exclusion of the Capital and for the prevention of Coronavirus among the most vulnerable.


Via Torre Spaccata 157. The appointment is at two in the afternoon, as always. As we do from one week to this part. See you there, at our clinic social) of Torre Spaccata, at number 157 on that street that has the name of the district. We see it there to load the van, our mobile center – the one that we used on a daily basis in the streets of Rome, trying to bring care to those without assistance – and that now, quickly, we have “converted” at the time of the pandemic. We meet with the other operators even if the”agenda” is already defined: we already have a weekly calendar ready. Every day one or two areas of the city. The ones where you concentrated social disadvantage. We will swap two words, two comments, more or less, those who exchange all: the city is now deserted, on the expectation of the sad daily ritual of the press conference of the civil Protection, which we follow on the phone – and you.

To the Tiburtina station, but behind. But we are not going to the station which the romans are accustomed to knowing. We are not referring to that immense tangle of buildings and railroad tracks, designed by Paolo Desideri, who wants to be a bit of a station, efficient, a little boulevard. No, when we speak of Tiburtina, we are referring to the back of the station, to piazzale Spadolini for fans of place names. A “behind” that has never been “used” by the city, beyond that parking facilities in the cement there is nothing. Only the fields. Fields, the first of the old via Tiburtina, over there. And it is here, in this “b side” of the station who sleep and live hundreds of invisible. People hunted by the Sprar, after the decree Salvini, people without permission, people who have found themselves from one day to another in the middle of the road. People of all countries, all without rights. And without assistance.

What do I do? What do we do? Anyone, which we already know, has previous pathologies. And try to dab the situation. But above all we try to do prevention than the covid-19. Also, if the verb try is not the most suitable. Because many of our medical advice, they sound like empty words in this situation. Explain it, explain that it is necessary to wash hands often, very often. But here there is only one small fountain, where water comes out ice cold. I explain, we explain the need to reduce the contacts. But the curse has wanted in these days to do well the cold. And so, people are in their bags, in their blankets next to each other, attached to the balcony of the station. Under the canopy which may offer a modicum of protection in more.
they Are all there. The less that guy I don't know him very well. I know that it is the ivorian, he will have thirty years from now, maybe someone more. He is lying in the middle of the sidewalk. More exposed to the wind.

Why are you there?
“Because I prefer to die of cold that infected. I hear that death from viruses is long. Maybe if you die of cold, you suffer less.”

The listening. We speak. And I think of how it has changed my work, my profession. All the more so in these difficult weeks in which we have to especially do the “intermediaries” between these people and the institutions of the city and regional sollecitandole to find reception centres. Sollecitandole to notice these invisible people. But maybe talk about it another day.

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