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Ideas

I Don't Want Children Because I Don't Want Children

Italy's low fertility rate and lack of support for young people have become a hot topic. But economic and social conditions are not what's stopping all Italian women from having children. Some simply want to do other things with their lives. Does that make them selfish, asks Italian writer Simonetta Sciandivasci.

I Don't Want Children Because I Don't Want Children

Two women traveling in the province of Salerno, Italy

Simonetta Sciandivasci

In an essay for La Stampa, Simonetta Sciandivasci explains why she has no desire to become a mother. Her letter is addressed to ISTAT, Italy’s official statistics office, which explained Italy's low fertility rates as a reaction to economic or social conditions and the lack of support for young people and new parents. But Sciandivasci says the numbers don't tell her story. This article has been edited for length.

-Essay-

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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