The photos of two nurses symbolise this situation: Alessia Bonari (showing the bruises and marks on her face due to the prolonged use of her face mask and protective goggles) and Elena Pagliarini (who fell asleep at her desk still dressed in her gown and mask exhausted from her long shift).
In addition to the legitimate fear of contracting the virus, another two factors have a negative effect on our mental health: self-isolation and quarantine. This mandatory isolation which is necessary to protect us means we may not be able to see family members, friends and work colleagues for long periods of time, causing us significant emotional distress (for example, people who have not been able to hug their elderly parents for months or the challenge of working on your own without being able to take a break with your colleagues).
Moreover, we have become wary of those around us as possible sources of infection: in addition to the isolation imposed by the Prime Minister’s decree, there is a risk that we self-distance ourselves to the detriment of our relationships with people outside our close circle of family members.
The next step just around the corner is alienation. However, if it is true that people are key to being successful, employees play an important role in this process and must be retained and valued as far as possible in order that companies can restart with them in the post-Covid-19 world. It is essential that companies introduce methods to safeguard their employees’ wellbeing, so that they can feel safe and secure at work and, as a result, more motivated and productive.