02 April 2021

Helena – ITALY

I live in Bolzano, Italy, and spent my first 3 month quarantine in Milano. During the ‘second wave’ my stepdaughter had a persistent nosebleed and some other flu-like symptoms. She eventually took a Covid PCR test which turned out to be positive. Her nightmare then began. Unfortunately she was not with us but with her mother in Milano; by the health authorities she was forced to stay locked in her room and her mother was advised to leave her meals outside the door and come into contact with her only wearing a mask and gloves. She had an oxygen meter clamped to her finger and was forced to receive daily injections of epinepherine to her stomach administered by her mother. These injections left livid bruises all over her stomach which I saw a week after she was released from a nearly 3-week quarantine from hell. She was not allowed to leave the room to take a shower and when she used the toilet she had to disinfect it. Additionally, the health services took her phone number and would phone her every day, sometimes grilling her for 40 minutes demanding to know where she was at Christmas, where she was before Christmas, if she had seen her friends and any amount of personal information. They also sent people to arrive at the house and force entry to her room to ‘check that she was obeying quarantine’, people who insisted on being admitted and ogling a young girl lying in her bed. She had to have a covid PCR test every week where apparently the nurse screamed at her to ‘stop being such a baby’ when she insisted on having her mother with her and winced when a cotton bud was rammed up the nostril that a few hours beforehand had been bleeding so freely that she had vomited the blood that had pooled in her stomach. She related all this to me a week later, it was the first thing she told me about when she arrived with us. She had gone through such an emotional regression she insisted on sleeping in the bed with us (she’s 18) because she could not bear being alone for longer than an hour after having been locked up all alone for weeks on end. She related this to me white and shaking and covered in bruises and I honestly cried to see the psychological trauma and violation forced onto this beautiful young person just entering their independence and womanhood. What was done to this girl was violating and cruel and had the dangerous effect of teaching a young woman that other people have more rights over her body than she has. I cannot forget this and the consequences to her will last years into the future. Harm that was so easy to inflict will take years to undo.

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