“They considered themselves free and no one will ever be free as long as there is plague, pestilence and famine”
― Albert Camus, The Plague
Covid-19 in Italy – I admit I was wrong
Such strong words and so true right now here in Italy.
I have no shame in admitting that what I wrote, a few weeks ago, about not panicking over the virus, was totally wrong, see article. I was wrong and so were many others like me.
So, please, do listen to what I have to say now, because this could make a huge difference to your life. I am not selling you anything, don’t worry, I swear!
I have re-written this post over and over for the past 8 days. Every time I finish it, some more bad news comes in and I have to scratch it and start all over again.
But let’s start from the beginning
The Lockdown in Italy
On 12th March 2020 Italy was put on a lockdown, caused by the COVID-19 Corona. Just a few hours and life totally changed for all of us.
With a very strict set of rules and regulations, us Italians, famously known for being so gregarious and sociable, have been told to stop being that! Yes, because the only way to stop the virus from spreading is to stop socializing, to stop human contact: simple as that!
And the problem is not just you getting infected; it is YOU infecting others.
You might catch this virus and be ok, but at the same time you will be going around spreading to the world. This might seem not so important to you now, but when it starts to infect your family, your friends, your colleagues at work, your doctor, your local hospital, the people who run businesses all over town. You get the picture right? Now, that is why you have to listen and take action.
I am pretty sure you all have been watching, one way or another, those science fictions film where the world is infected with a deadly virus. Well, this is it. It has happened. But it is worse: cause the virus is not deadly to everyone. It is a Russian Roulette!
My question is:
Do you want to be the star of the film, who makes it till the end of the film and saves the world or do you just want to be one of the extras in the movie, those who die one minute into the film, simply because when the hero shouts: “do not open that door!”, the idiot extra decides to do it anyway, cause he thinks he is smarter?
Well, on my part I want to be the hero and if that means having to stay home for 2 months, I will.
If this is the only way to stop a disease which is starting to show is far more dangerous than what we were told it would be, my family and I are more than happy to oblige. For my parents and all the other people who might get infected and probably die from it. Even if it means at the end of all of this I will not have a job to go to, like pretty much everyone I know.
I am just stating the facts for those reading, who most probably will find their country is infected too, even if they have been told it is not, and that drastic measures will be required. Just as it is happening in Italy now! So any talk of freedom rights etc., for once, will have to be exchanged for a good dose of civic sense.
Lockdown in practical terms
Anyway, in practical terms what have we been asked to do?
To limit as much as possible any social contact.
First of all, schools and public places like museums, churches, cinemas, pubs, restaurants, bars, shopping centres, and any non-essential shop have been closed.
Why? To stop people gathering together therefore allowing the virus to spread on all kind of surfaces.
Essential shops, like groceries, pharmacies and some others are allowed to be open with some restrictions: they must ensure their clients can stay at 1 metre (3feet) apart and only allow people in the shops if they can ensure this.
Also all public and private events have been cancelled.
Why? Again, just in case you did not understand: to stop people gathering together.
People are allowed to go out only if they need to go to work (but most people have been requested to work from home); if they need to go and get some food shopping, asking people to limit as much as possible the visits to the food stores: if they need to go to the pharmacy or for emergencies. As of today in Veneto we are only allowed to go out for a brief refreshing walk with a maximum of 0.1 mile distance from our home.
Sounds like house arrest? Of course it is and it should be! Get over it!
Put together 1 infected person with 50 people and ….you get the idea, right?
We are allowed out only with a signed permission from the ministry of health and can be stopped by police at any time verifying why we are out.
This has been a bit hard to organize, since a lot of people have taking the indication of real necessity or food essentials with a very broad meaning. But, hey, we are Italians, had to be expected. Give us a few days and we will, hopefully, get the hang of it – and in the meantime more people will get infected. So you understand why I am telling you: follow the rules!
Why all of this?
Simple, the disease in itself, if it is caught by someone who is general healthy, could just pass over as another flu. But that same person can carry the virus for 14 days while being asymptomatic and give it to others.
The problem is that it is highly contagious, fast and had proven seriously dangerous for, not just old people as original we thought, but also for people with serious pathologies like immune deficiencies diseases, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure etc.
So this is the time to put aside our ego or better to actually use it in a good way.
What can you do to help others?
The magic word: NOTHING, simply nothing. Close yourself indoors until you are told to and just do nothing!
Seems quite simple to me! You stay home: watch TV, chat on the phone, discover you can cook, go on the net watching all of those idiotic videos you always tried to watch at work but could not fearing your boss will find out, read some books!
Come on, surely you can all do that?
If everyone followed this simple rule and only people who have to go out for work ventured out, the virus will soon die down, cause it will not find anywhere to live on.
So come on – be smart – BE THE HERO, DO NOTHING!