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LA STAMPA

The 9/11 Decade: “In Our Own Despair...” How That Day Would Change Our Lives

Essay: Italian journalist Gianni Riotta, who lived through 9/11 in Manhattan, recalls how radically everything can change, and yet how it all still manages to pass. Or almost all.

Ground Zero (Susan E. Adams)
Ground Zero (Susan E. Adams)
Gianni Riotta

We believed in a free market that could enrich poorer countries like China, India and Brazil, without impoverishing us, the wealthy Europeans and Americans of the West. We believed that technology was friendly, the Internet a sunny square for making conversation, doing business, falling in love.

President Clinton had created more than 10 million new jobs. The euro was invulnerable. Greek bonds were worth as much as German bonds. We believed that war was over. The silent and vicious Cold War had lasted for two generations, and separated Western peace from the poverty and the dictatorships of the rest of the world. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, we believed in a new international order. President George H.W. Bush had unified Italians, Germans, and Arabs under the UN flag to fight Saddam Hussein in Kuwait. We believed in this international coalition as a warning against all tyrants. For the first time, democracies were the majority at the UN General Assembly.

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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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