World-renowned singer Andrea Bocelli, who survived a bout with COVID-19, told the Italian Senate on Monday that the country’s lockdown measures “humiliated” him by taking away his freedom to come and go as he pleased.
“From the moment we went into full lockdown, I tried to empathize with those who had to make such important decisions at such a sensitive time,” said Bocelli, as reported by The Associated Press.
However, as time went on, Bocelli began to see that not everything he had been told made sense. His humiliation in the face of the lockdown began with his children, who would often tell him to quiet down and stay home.
“But as time went by, I realized that I know a ton of people, but thank God I didn’t know a single person who had even wound up in intensive care, and I wondered about our drastic response,” he said. “Distancing myself from any political party, I want to say that there came a time when I felt humiliated and offended by being deprived of the freedom to leave my house, despite having committed no crime. And I must confess publicly, and I do so here, that in certain cases I voluntarily disobeyed this prohibition because it seemed neither just nor healthy to stay at home.”
As reported by the BBC, Bocelli reserved his greatest concern for Italy’s children and questioned why the country shut everything down so quickly, depriving kids of school and education.
“I think it is important to underscore the matter of our schools and our children,” he said. “I have an 8-year-old daughter and I can’t imagine these kids meeting at school separated by plexiglass barriers and hiding behind face masks. I cannot understand how with such incredible speed we decided to shut down our schools and with the same speed we reopened discotheques, where kids go not to form their brains but to waste them.”
Just last week, the CDC officially sided with President Trump when it announced that children need to go back to school in the fall, noting that COVID-19 poses little risk to their health.
“The best available evidence from countries that have opened schools indicates that COVID-19 poses low risks to school-aged children, at least in areas with low community transmission, and suggests that children are unlikely to be major drivers of the spread of the virus,” the CDC said in its guidance. “Reopening schools creates opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets — our children — while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families.”
The CDC’s recommendations were then followed by billionaire Bill Gates’s, who said that the benefits of sending children back to school far outweighs the costs. “I’m a big believer that for young children, the benefits in almost every location — particularly if you can protect the teachers well — the benefits outweigh the costs,” he said in an interview that aired Tuesday on CNBC‘s “Squawk Box.”