The evil of living

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This article is published in number 10 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until March 9, 2021

In Japan they have established a ministry for Loneliness. Who knows if Draghi has thought about it here. But two cases these days make us reflect. In Rome, Antonio Catricalà committed suicide, one of the most powerful men of the last twenty years, “grand commis”, that is, aristocracy of those careers among universities, buildings, various institutions, those that make the state function. The reasons are unknown: perhaps a disease he did not want to accept, perhaps the problems of a daughter, perhaps the disappointment of not being among the latest appointments of the new government, perhaps still a scandal to come.

He shot himself in his beautiful house in Parioli. In Palermo, on the other hand, a less famous and powerful Pietro Panarello, a young diplomat stationed in Ethiopia but who had returned home, killed himself. Here, too, the reasons are not known, and will never be known. What leads to a terrible act like suicide is never understandable to others. And yet a thought comes: that even people from outside considered privileged, servants of the State in various ways, at a certain point find themselves lost. The specter of depression knows no square footage and neighborhood. It hovers over all of us, closed for a year in our homes, small or large, with the feeling of not seeing a tomorrow, of not being able to do the things we loved, to move, to meet the people we love. The ever-changing rules and uncertainty: for those who are well, an extra effort. For those who are already ill, an additional burden, in the subtle economy of our already very shaky lives.

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