During the two lockdowns, my family closed itself in a protective bubble for many months, living together in the same house to cope with the situation, losing the real knowledge of the outside world to such an extent that our disorientation generated the most varied behaviors. Nicolò, who turned 4 years old in April, suffered the greatest burden of this situation and found himself in the complex situation of having to relate only with adults, losing the reference of his peers. A situation that has severely stressed him. Being a rather emotional child, he was unable to manage some emotions and alternated states of euphoria with states of strong irritability.
For his birthday his mum and I gave him a puppet of his best superhero, Mr. Incredible. Nicolò completely identified with the character to the point of becoming his alter ego. They are inseparable, they are the same person. This has helped him to overcome many difficult moments. Mr. Incredible is not afraid of anything. He’s not afraid of the dark or of this virus. He is not afraid of infection because he is so careful and always washes his hands. He is able to defeat this evil and bring the whole world back to the reality of some time ago.
The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families in Italy is described by a survey promoted by the Giannina Gaslini Paediatric Institute in Genoa, which chose to collect during the lockdown the valuable contribution of thousands of families in Italy describing the effects on their health. Analysis of the data showed that in 71% of children under the age of 6, behavioral problems and symptoms of regression occurred, and that the most frequent complaints were increased irritability, sleep disturbances and anxiety disorders. The study found that the level of severity of the children’s dysfunctional behaviur was statistically associated with an increase in stress symptoms caused by COVID-19 in the parents.
How we found ourselves in the middle of a pandemic I no longer remember. A long and vague time has passed that has clouded the memory of the days gone by. What I know is that each of us fought a difficult personal battle to survive a terrible event that changed our reality forever.