The end of school, the choice of perfecting English in Malta, the rediscovered joy of traveling in Europe and, above all, getting to know 60 other peers from all over Italy: live and without video calls to act as a barrier. “It was all a return to normality but then, less than 24 hours after returning to Italy, the cold shower of being forced to live a quarantine within four walls of a hotel, albeit a four-star hotel, far from the family arrived,” explains high school student Daniele, sixteen years old from Molfetta, in the Bari area. «I felt like I was on a roller coaster of emotions – he says on the phone – because the holiday was over and we had to return on July 7th. Who did not have the green pass like me, the 6 made a swab. Unfortunately, 21 have tested positive for the coronavirus and the Maltese authorities have transferred us to this hotel in St Julian where we will remain isolated until at least 22 July ».
«Once here, I was placed in a room with Samuele, 17, from Turin, whom I had met on the desks of the English school. This has heartened me a bit because many others are in single rooms. I didn’t want to call home because I know my mom would be scared but the agency that organized the study holiday contacted them. Shortly after entering the room, I got your call. I reassured them because I am an optimist and have already passed two quarantines. Of course, at home with my parents everything was different: I had my games, books and parental affection. Here, honestly, there is nothing to do and our days are monotonous. The room, if you were on vacation, wouldn’t even be bad: there are two desks, comfortable beds and overlooks the sea. We, however, were used to partying all together all day. Nothing forbidden, of course, but put yourself in our shoes. We are teenagers forced to be alone for months by the pandemic.
The rites of the morning
“To keep my nerve, I chose to keep my pre-isolation rites. I wake up at 6.30 and prepare my coffee, being careful not to disturb Samuele who gets up later. So, I go out on the balcony, I scan the sea and dream of diving. Then I take a look at the messages received, the social networks, the newspapers until I hear a knock for breakfast. They leave it in front of the door and we can only take it after a few minutes: contact with the staff must be avoided. When we finish, with my companion in misfortune we start video-calling others to find out how they are. Some are down in the dumps and I try to make them laugh ».
Lunch and cleaning
“Then comes lunch which, like dinner, we cannot choose. But I’m not complaining about the quality. In the end I prepare the coffee because Samuele’s is a ciofeca and we joke about it. The afternoon is long to deal with. We clean the room ourselves because the employees cannot enter. We have divided the tasks, depending on what each one does best. We cannot use the external laundry but they explained the procedure for washing our clothes and changing the sheets. I don’t give up and see the glass half full: I had never done it before and it will be an experience that will serve me. At 5 pm I train: push-ups, squats and abs. I invent different circuits every day so as not to get bored. I continue until I’m so tired that I only have the strength to throw myself in the shower and rest ».
Movies, music and rest
«When the evening comes, homesickness and anger assail me: it is not fair for those who have the green pass having to be isolated without a positive swab. For this I thank you journalists for raising our case: it is not fair. Sure the embassy, the agency and our parents are doing all they can but, in the end, we are here within four walls. When I think too much, I take my smartphone and get distracted by watching movies, TV series or listening to music. However, everything seems the same to me and I asked my parents to send me some books including The alchemist by Paulo Coelho because I had never found time to read it. What better occasion than this sort of detention?».