On March 28, Albania flew a team of doctors and nurses to Italy to help it deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged Italy (it has spread to Albania but not yet stretched its resources as Italy’s have been). This came after Italy appealed to its fellow European Union members for help with the virus and got virtually no response.
A team of 30 medical workers from Albania – which is an EU candidate country – volunteered for the mission to the area of Bergamo, which had been hardest hit by the disease. Representatives of the Albanian government in Tirana said its contribution was meager but it could not pass up a chance to repay Italy, which it called “our precious neighbor.” Reading that nearly brought a tear to our eye.
There are good people in the world acting from pure motives, unencumbered even by history and all the grievances that could accumulate from the 20th century. We wish we could tell you the 21st will be a better one, for friendship, for Europe and the world, but that would be premature. Still, it is a fine time to be able to hail Albania, which feels so very good for a change, and to recognize the ways we can be bound together even as this horrible disease drives us apart.