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Updates from Italy with Patrick O’Boyle
Episode 1: Italy Reopening
As Italy reopens its doors, we at The Italian American Podcast wanted to showcase just how much our Madre Patria has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, in this new bonus segment of the Podcast, our co-host—and walking encyclopedia of Italian Americana—Professor Patrick O’Boyle is taking a deeper look into how life has changed in Italy and what that means for all of us as a result.
In this inaugural segment of “Updates From Italy,” Pat talks with Paul Pontecorvo, an Italian American (and avid Italian American Podcast listener) living in Milan. Paul was one of the first people to message Pat when COVID-19 broke out and has been keeping in touch with our team as the weeks progressed. Paul shares his thoughts and experiences with our audience, as well as his impressions of what might happen in a post-pandemic Italy.
Episode 2: Italian Tourism Reopening
Giuseppe tells listeners about what he thinks the future will hold for the post-COVID-19 Italian tourism industry, including what changes hotels need to make if they wish to stay competitive and stay open. He also discusses the Italian government’s plans for helping the tourism industry after this massive blow—including help for families whose livelihoods were displaced, as well as assistance for touristic agencies trying to rebuild.
Pat and Giuseppe also discuss how Southern Italy was spared the brunt of COVID-19 due to the virus’s prevalence in northern regions, and what that could mean as the entire country reopens, including this summer as Southern Italy prepares for its traditional sagre and feasts.
Episode 3: Italian Healthcare Reopening
For many months, Italy and her healthcare system have been at the epicenter of the most significant global health crisis in modern history. But, now that the crisis is beginning to ebb, how has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of medicine in Italy?
That’s the question Prof. Patrick O’Boyle poses in this week’s episode of “Updates From Italy,” where he interviews Rome-based physician Dr. Giulia D’Arcangelo about her first-hand experiences during the crisis and how she feels it has affected Italy’s health system as a whole.
They’ll discuss the pandemic’s regional variances, including how regional differences in medical care helped the South escape the brunt of the outbreak. Dr. D’Arcangelo, a pediatrician, will also discuss how the crisis has affected how she cares for patients and how she’s had to address long term patient care as a result.
They’ll also examine how COVID-19 has affected medical practice in Italy, including the future for socialized medicine and the differences between Italian medical care and care in the rest of the European Union.
Episode 4: Italy’s Youth on Reopening
In our latest episode of “Updates from Italy,” Prof. Patrick O’Boyle sits down with Giovanni Trotta, an Italian young professional who witnessed first-hand the changing dynamics of the European workforce as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Giovanni works for Amazon’s offices in Luxembourg, but returned home to his village of Laurino, Campania, for quarantine.
Giovanni tells us how other young Italians are also returning home in the wake of Coronavirus and how this homecoming may change the dynamics of entire villages. They’ll also discuss how remote work is slowly gaining popularity in Italy, and how Italians themselves are learning how to rely on modern technology as a part of the “new normal.”
Pat and Giovanni also explore how Italians feel about the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in Italy and how a post “Italexit” EU could look. Finally, they also discuss how COVID-19 has changed the overall social fabric of Italy and talk about what its aftereffects mean for the country’s future.
Episode 5: Sardegna Reopening
Pat and Silvia discuss what it’s like to witness people coming back to the island after time in quarantine and how this is affecting post-COVID-19 life. While Sardegna wasn’t as badly hit as other regions of Italy, the residents are concerned that vacationers coming in from highly-affected regions might cause a new wave of the pandemic as they are allowed to travel unchecked. Pat and Silvia discuss what this could mean for residents of Sardegna and other popular Italian tourist areas.
They also discuss Italy’s relationship with the European Union and how Italy needs the EU’s help to recover, as well as a comparison of lockdown life in Sardegna versus that of Lombardia and how the use of public transportation played a role in the virus’s spread across Italy. Finally, they’ll also discuss varied reactions to the return to pre-COVID-19 life, including how seriously people are taking new restrictions and how people’s perspectives have changed as a result.
Episode 6: Italy Reopened!
In this final installment of “Updates from Italy,” host Patrick O’Boyle tries to find out what’s next for the Bel Paese as it continues to recover from COVID-19 for the rest of 2020 and beyond. This week, Pat is joined by Antonio Amendola of Agropoli, Campania, who has lived in four countries, including the United States. Pat and Antonio talk about the differences between European Union nations as they reopen and how the “New Normal” is yet to be defined as the countries each reopen.
They also discuss what will happen in the upcoming weeks as Italy’s restrictions continue to be lifted and how the virus restrictions changed the face of Italy’s workforce. Antonio shares his take on “the “two Italies,” northern and southern, and what reopening could look like for each section of Italy.
Finally, they celebrate the Italian spirit of survival as they discuss how Italy has and will continue to come out of this crisis stronger than ever!