Elderly Man Must Keep Shop Open To Help Support Family in Alife, Italy

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Elderly Man Must Keep Shop Open To Help Support Family in Alife, Italy

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I decided to share this image because it shows my grandmother’s (nonna’s) brother working in the family-owned shop that is located in Alife, Italy. This shop has been owned by my family since the early 1900s. My grandmother’s brother has worked in the shop since he was a little kid. My grandmother’s brother was forced to let his employees go because he simply could not afford to keep them as employees throughout the pandemic. To keep the shop open, he must work at the shop every day. The pandemic has been extremely difficult for him financially as this is his only means of income. I decided to upload this image because I think it will be valuable for future historians as it shows what life is like for elderly people in Italy during the pandemic. Many are unable to retire because they cannot afford to stop working. This item is an attempt to fill an archival silence and amplify the voices of a marginalized group because my grandmother’s brother is 75 years old and has decided to continue working during the pandemic because it is not financially possible to retire. He attempted to apply for the relief package but was not qualified for it and was denied. The pandemic has been extremely difficult for the elderly especially those that have underlying health conditions because they have to make the difficult decision to return to work which can be dangerous because they can be exposed to COVID. My grandmother’s brother is also a veteran and he is not technologically savvy therefore, it has been challenging for him to amplify his voice. This form of archival silence is an unintentional unacknowledged speech act.
My cousin Caterina Ginocchio took this photo and posted it on Facebook.

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This item was submitted on December 16, 2020 by Nicolina Messore using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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