The Cuban brigade greets and leaves

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And so the Cuban health brigade leaves, as in a story by Giovannino Guareschi. With people cheering, with the May sun bouncing joyfully on the spacious forehead of Councilor Gallera, with the bells of Crema cathedral ringing and preventing the Cuban ambassador from continuing the speech. He turns to the bishop and asks: “How long does it last?” And monsignor, seraphic: «One more minute»

And so ends my long return home, sharing uncertainty with my grieving city. Our mayor, Stefania Bonaldi, said: «The battles don’t win the solitary heroes, but the communities. We were a people, not a crowd moved by fear ». He is right. Our team leader was good, passionate about running and Facebook; and, like her, the mayors of Cremasco. You democratic party, they are mostly right-wing. They worked together immediately, doing what politics in Lombardy can no longer do.

Crema was strong because she remained united. Having to choose between complaint and collaboration, he had no doubts. We all knew each other, in the Venetian square, and the authorities seemed to understand it, and they stood aside. The fifty Cuban doctors and nurses, who arrived on March 22 to support our hospital in difficulty, wore a red shirt with the words “Cuba”, characters similar to those of Coca Cola. Who knows if the Samaritans who returned to the US from Cremona, remembered by the prefect, wore the words “Cuba Libre” on their chests: it would be a nice twinning.

The worst of the “pandémia de la Covìd”, as Ambassador Rodríguez Ruiz calls it, perhaps has passed. Under the blue sky, while the “Henry Reeve” brigade leaves with its medals, the cremaschi remain a little tired, the memories and relief remain. Fabio Bombelli, geriatrician, remains seated under the arcades. We have known each other since we were boys, he played basketball well. Among the medical friends who contracted the coronavirus – seven out of ten – he is the one who has seen it the ugliest. “It is important to be here to tell it,” he says smiling behind the mask. He has already returned to work. Crema is in Italy, and Italy – with exceptions – is made like this.

May 23, 2020 (change May 23, 2020 | 9:57 pm)

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