Semi-serious post on the Corona Virus situation in Venice!

Warning: this post might contain very sarcastic opinions of the actual situation in Venice. Please make sure to wear your Irony Thinking Cap while reading, so the post can have its fully intended effect. If you do not own an Irony Thinking Cap, please, go immediately out to buy one, together with tons of Amuchina Gel Hand Sanitizer and some bottles of Common Sense, which you might still find available in some stores!

Please note: Coronavirus from Hereinafter will be referred to as Mr C – I do not want to be accused of using the keyword as a SEO trick to get traffic to my site!

Venice and Mr C

Hi, my name is Monica, I live in Mira, one of the towns where Mr C infected some people and I am…..suspense….OK!!

Yep, totally fine, alive and kicking, apart from having to deal with:

a-   the various zombies walking around the town and crossing over the long bridge, Ponte della Libertà, to Venice, scaring all tourists away;

corona virus
Photo by Italy Magazine

b-   the army soldiers in their anti contamination suits, stopping people from killing each other while they assault the various supermarkets to get the last packages of pasta – apart from the penne lisce, no, the penne lisce are safe – Italians do not really like them, so even on the brink of the end of the world, they will be left on the shelves for the tourists;

corona virus

c-   the shortage of sanitizer and masks (all sorts, even the Carnival ones, you never know, those might work too)

corona virus
Photo by la Nuova Venezia

Yeah, I am joking, just in case you took your Irony Thinking Cap off for a moment.

I am trying to downplay, a bit, all the hysteria and panic which has been going around in the last few days, spread mainly by the media (yes, the same ones who should, by definition, be the people who inform and educate us on how things really are) and by social media (yep, we wanted freedom of speech? Well, that is what you get when you give it to everyone, everyone can speak, and I mean everyone! 😉 – including me!)

First let’s take a look at some numbers – we all love numbers, don’t we? Can’t make heads or tails of them, but we do like them, above all if they are big, real big, and given to us by TV reporters, journalists and newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, milk bottles back labels and our Grandmas – yes, Nonnas are always right, we know that!

So far as of today 27th February 2020

Number of people living in the world was estimated to have reached 7.7 billion people as of April 2019, million more, million less.

Hang on, how many zeros is that?  7,700,000,000

Number of people worldwide infected by Mr C:

82,585

Number of people who died:

2,814

Death percentage 3 %

(I admit I had to go on the net to work it out!)

Number of people living in Italy (officially)

60,491,704

Number of people infected:

528

Number of people who died:

14

Death percentage 2 %

People who suffer the most are old people and people with immunodeficiencies pathologies. Everyone else are most likely to just get over it in a few days, without any major issues. (I said it  in very easy terms, but go and check on the official websites, they say the same thing with much better and fancier words)

The numbers are not convincing you, yet? Not sure if the media are dramatising a bit? Ok, let’s look into it a bit more.

I visited the World Health Organization website – yes, there is one and it is so bloody informative – look, I am even giving you a direct link to it  https://www.who.int/ – you can find all interesting things about Mr C and all of the other viruses which killed a lot more people in the world in 2019.

By the way, did you know that the average EVD case fatality rate for Ebola is around 50% and case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks?

Mmmm, Mr C was what? Oh yes: Death percentage 3%.

Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the FLU kills 290,000 to 650,000 people per year.

I am no mathematician, but even I can see a big gap with this new virus.

The situation in Venice

Anyway, what is the situation in Venice now?

The weather is beautiful: sunny, warmer than it should be for February (must be that global warming thing Greta and so many people talk about).

The streets are totally empty, I mean totally: not even a dog or a cat in sight!

😂😂😂😂 Yeah right, you fools! You hoped! 😂😂😂

Nahhh, the streets are quiet, more than usual I give you that, but they are not empty at all (watch the video below) – thank you my Friend Marta from Quanto Basta for filming it – by the way best hot chocolate in town and now they are finally back at doing their gorgeous ice-cream, after the huge damages of Acqua Alta (sorry, a lit of bit of sponsoring for a damaged business of Venice).

I know you will find it hard to believe, but Venice is actually a city with local residents! Much less than there used to be I admit – even though we can now count two more! Hurray!

BIG SCOOP: Did you know Emma Thompson and Greg Wise (the 2 time Oscar winner British Actress and her gorgeous British husband and actor) have officially taken up home here in Venice? I crossed them already a couple of times while they were out shopping, next time I swear I am going to invite them to a Cicchetti tour or a cooking lesson (ooops, another little bit of sponsoring – times are hard).

But I’m digressing. Right, back to the empty, not so empty, streets of Venice!

People are going about as usual, all the shop are open, the museums, churches and schools should reopen on Monday 2nd March – well, actually only the school and the churches, because the museums are always closed on Mondays, we do not want to change that for the virus, do we?

We are on holiday, we will be back when you come back to your senses – ph by Eredi Jovon

Oh yes, by the way, while the above were closed, all the big shopping malls in the area were all open. Not sure what to make out of that! Or maybe we got a radical chic virus! You know, only attacking people who go to museums and churches, but avoiding any contact with people while shopping! No idea, feel free to give me your opinion.

I wonder why, though, the man at the supermarket, the other day, had to buy 5 kilos of tripe? What do you do with 5 kilos of tripe? I do not think there are enough recipes in the world to cook tripe in so many different ways to get rid of 5 kilos of tripe! His wife was telling him it was way too much, the kids did not even like it, but all he could say was: you never know! Worse comes to worst, we give it to the dog!

And the tripe was not even on special offer! 😱

All I am worried about is what I would do if shops ran out of toilet paper – the thought came to me the other day, as I was looking at my garden, which only counts some cactuses and a large Palm tree. It would be a pretty prickly situation, right? 😜

On a serious note: I totally understand the measures that the Italian government is taking in trying to marginalize the virus and to avoid the fast spread of it. But I think who is in charge should also explain clearly why they are doing it: it is not because it is fatal to everyone who catches it, because it is the plague and it is the end of the world!

It is a much simpler explanation: it is a fast spreading virus. If we all get sick at the same time, the country will go in tilt. Above all our hospitals, which would not cope with the huge amount of people who would go to the emergency rooms, instead of calling their doctors (which you should do normally if you have the beginning of a flu etc.).

If this was clearly explained, maybe people would also start to calm down and start to follow all the instruction officially given – fairly basic instructions which we should follow normally, not just because of the virus. 

Anyway, if you are still reading this post and somehow I managed to put some doubts about cancelling your upcoming visit to Venice and Italy, please read some instructions kindly supplied by the World Health Organization on how to cope with the Corona V…ehmm…I mean ..Mr C! (supplied of course with my comments!)

Protection measures for everyone

(a part those visiting shopping malls, according to Italians, those people are immune)

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.(Really?? 😰 You did not do that already? Glad I never met you then!)

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing 🤧. (Hard to do when you are on a bus or a vaporetto at rush hour, must admit – and I would like to add: if you are the one sneezing and coughing, see you turn away your head away from people!)

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

-Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.(Tell me you were doing this before, I beg you! 🙏)

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. (If you did not do this before reading it here, then you definitely are not equipped to travel worldwide and should stay home!)

Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? (Cause they bloody know more than you do, you silly 🤦‍♀️) National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Mr C will keep spreading, it is already most definitely in your country, no matter where you live in – the only reason why you do not know is because probably nobody who has it has been tested yet. I bet you that if all the 7.7 billions people were tested we would find out that so many more are infected but also already recovering and they did not even know they had been infected.

Should you cancel or post pone your trip to Venice?

Sincerely? I do not know.

I know what will happen for sure if you do, because it is already happening: the businesses which were hit hard by the Acqua Alta on November 12th 2019 (oh yes, Venice is not flooded anymore, old news!) and which were struggling to pick up the pieces, will close for sure for good. Artisans, shops, restaurants, hotels, tour guides – this is a city, which, unfortunately, lives from tourism – if the tourists do not come, nobody will be able to pay staff and bills. The economy will stop! Simple as that!

I am not saying we need to get back to the crazy numbers of over tourism, but we cannot stop welcoming tourists altogether.

So, all I am saying: swap the Irony Thinking cap with a Common Sense one and decide what to do, using your brain, not those of the medias!

I hope to see you all here in Venice soon, even though, I do not think it will be soon enough!

All your comments are welcome (apart those of trolls or negative ones – I will deal with you in a separate context – I am off to buy my toilet paper now).

#venice #veniceblog #veniceblogger

About The Author

Food & Travel Blogger, Culinary & Food Tour Guide, Cooking Consultant & Instructor - this is me....as well as an event organiser and overall talker - always in Venice! #aphotoofveniceaday Offering cooking lessons at http://www.cookinvenice.com As a friend once said: A Fire Cracker full of energy, writing a book on Cicchetti!

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