Nobody would have wanted to be in the middle of a pandemic of this sort, but now we are in the middle of it. So, we might as well make the best possible use of the situation in which we find ourselves – even from the perspective of a grandfather or grandmother.
In these circumstances, grandparents typically remain home alone, justly away from their children and grandchildren. They have to resign themselves to the fact that grandchildren, especially if they are quite young, are not thinking much about them because they are content with having Mom and Dad at home with them all day long. They are no longer catapulted out of their beds early in the morning – usually still half-asleep – into the classroom of a kindergarten or a primary school, where they then wait at the end of the day for their grandpa to pick them up.
The dog becomes a very precious friend - an excuse to take a walk throughout the day, even if these sweet companions of ours do not understand why they have to go to the park so many times when their needs have already been satisfied.
The grandparents, however, also have a pleasant surprise in store for them: their children call much more often, even every day! I can testify that, thanks to modern technology, we grandparents were able to videoconference with our four children and eight grandchildren at the same time. These are magnificent gatherings that before the pandemic sharpened our wits, happened only at Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, during this time, we have lovely phone calls not only with friends and close relatives, but we take the opportunity to chat, without haste, with those we have not spoken to in a long time. Even moments with grandchildren can be made up with video calls: every morning, at 10a.m., we grandparents have a fixed connection with our grandchildren. We go over the history of ancient Rome in episodes (obviously not only with words but also with photos and videos).
Even being alone with just one other person in the house can be an opportunity to remember good times spent together and take extra good care of each other. Now that there is no longer the anxiety of watching the clock in order to go pick up the grandkids, grandparents are able to dedicate more time to one another.
We are a little ashamed to say this, but when we attend the Pope's Mass transmitted from Santa Marta, as the Holy Father is closed in his room, we end up being more attentive and concentrated than when we find ourselves in a church, perhaps sitting in a front pew. This is also due to the essential and also beautiful homilies of the Holy Father. It is precisely Pope Francis who is guiding us these days, almost like a parish priest of all Italians. In addition to the daily masses, it was nice to participate in the rosary on March 19 and then in the recitation of Our Father on March 25.
There is also time to read books deeper than the ones we usually read because there is time to stop and reflect. Those who, on the other hand, are more oriented towards doing something rather than thinking, it is very likely that they will remember that there are repairs to do at home that have been waiting to be taken care of for a long time.
When it comes to entertainment, there's a wide range of possibilities to watch movies and TV series streaming on your computer or cell phone. There are many paid platforms like Netflix, PrimeVideo, TimVision, , Disney+, Sky Go but also great opportunities offered by RaiPlay, which is free.
We suggest The telephone concession based on the novel by Andrea Camilleri, recently broadcast and now available on RaiPlay, which is of high quality even if not suitable for children.
If you are finally looking for ideas and advice, visit specialized family websites such as www.familycinematv.it , www.familyandmedia.eu , or http://www.sentieridelcinema.it which all suggest movies and TV series available on the Internet or in Homevideo.
For those who are cinephiles, there is also a wonderful opportunity: the Cineteca di Milano offers free viewings of classic movies.