Communication, fear and collective trauma in first wave COVID-19 "double epidemic" in Italy: traces and clues

Guido Nicolosi
2021 Studia Humanitatis Journal  
The Coronavirus epidemic has demonstrated just how unprepared our societies were for an occurrence of this kind. On March 2020, the Italian government was in fact the first in Europe to implement a strategy of lockdown on the whole national territory, not just in the areas where outbreaks occurred. The coronavirus crisis was concentrated in a specific area: in particular, the region of Lombardy and some isolated provinces in the north of Italy. So Italy has suffered a "double" epidemic, but the
more » ... strategy adopted was uniform and radical. This contribution does not focus on the effectiveness of the Italian strategy per sè. The aim is rather to analyse the Italian Case from the point of view of media and institutional communications with the intention of bringing to light some critical issues. In particular, here it is posited that emergency communication produced during the "first wave" of pandemic has significantly contributed to fostering a climate of anxiety and collective fear with possible traumatogenic consequences. Within an emergency context, communication can be the thin boundary line between collective trauma and resilience and covid 19 pandemic was also a public communication crisis. This essay tries to analyse some traumatogenetic issues of institutional and media communication during the coronavirus crisis in Italy. Below a non-exhaustive list of these issues: A dramatic center-periphery coordination deficit; Wavering institutional communication; The "numerological" hegemony"; The absence of an "exit strategy".
doi:10.53701/shj.v1i1.9 fatcat:h3bg2jojdrghtlefuldz43jhea