Italy

The Mindfulness of Survivors

Chronicles of 20 near-death experiences

They’ve experienced the frightening symptoms of Covid-19 on their skin. They have been in intensive care, where they have either been intubated or else put under a high-pressure oxygen helmet where the feeling is that you are going to suffocate. Indeed, they have been one step away from death and fully aware that they were, in a situation of excruciating isolation from their loved ones. Not only that, they were often obliged to watch the patients in the next bed die. Some remember almost nothing as they were under sedation. Others have very vivid memories, but sometimes they sound more like surreal hallucinations. Most coronavirus survivors describe the experience of the disease as a descent into hell. A traumatic journey from which, like Dante, you come out exhausted, but also more self-aware and, perhaps, a better person. Some wrote their wills on the pages of a book. Others promised themselves they would radically change their existence, others found faith in a different god, and one person, at the age of 102, understood that she still wanted to live. Many feel they have returned to a new life, but there are those who are convinced that, once the emergency is over, they will be obliged to live exactly as they did before.

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