One year ago San Patrignano was going to host the third edition of the Sustainable Economy Forum, when the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown forced the whole of Italy to stop. And our annual event with it.
The Coronavirus emergency has also forced San Patrignano community to change habits, to redefine activities and relationships, both internally and externally. Even before the first restrictions were imposed by decree, with foresight San Patrignano decided to make some difficult choices, and throughout the lockdown the doors of the community remained closed.
With a great sense of responsibility, the young women and men in the community interpreted the new concept of distance, which was physical but not social, with a true civic sense, as attention to others and mutual respect; with the hearts and thoughts of all constantly participating in the suffering and pain of those who were, and unfortunately still today are, facing the disease within families and hospitals.
The long isolation, although spent in a peaceful and safe environment, did not leave San Patrignano completely unscathed. Production and many work activities, not essential for daily life, have been suspended. The events have been canceled, the catering and retail activities closed, even though they are fundamental for the economic sustainability of San Patrignano, which is now significantly affected by the loss of revenue from the commercial sectors and from the activity linked to events and prevention projects.
While the pandemic forced us to suspend visits to schools, students, families and educators, the lockdown and the various restrictions exacerbated the discomfort and the problems of addiction, which has not reduced. San Patrignano has continued to receive requests for help, and as evidenced by the data of the Higher Institute of Health and other researches, the isolation favored the consumption of substances taken in solitude: tranquilizers already available at home, heroin and other opiates, new synthetic opioids or new benzodiazepines.
After months in which certainties and habits that were believed to be consolidated have been questioned, making all of us to find new forms of everyday life and new way of thinking, the priority of the community is to continue its mission: the recovery of people in need; the reception of new young people who ask for help every day and whose age is alarmingly lower and lower; addiction prevention activities to support younger people and their families, now rearranged with online activities to ensure their continuity.
In this difficult context, the new edition of the Sustainable Economy Forum takes on even more significance.
After the inevitable interruption of last year, San Patrignano and Confindustria have strongly wanted to renew it as a web conference, in the awareness that sustainability and social responsibility remain at the very heart of the common good and the well-being of the next generations, especially in an uncertain time such as the current one. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that respect for the environment is also a safeguard of human life, that social justice is also health security, and that it is more urgent than ever to change the models of development and relationship between individuals, putting the person at the center of public action and the economy at the service of society.