Shocking experience: how Italy learned the lessons of COVID-19

Shocking experience: how Italy learned the lessons of COVID-19

Shocking experience: how Italy learned the lessons of COVID-19

Investing.com – Italians, scared to the brim by the deadly coronavirus outbreak this spring, are more cautious than other Europeans now that COVID-19 is gaining traction in Europe, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Many residents of the peninsula, accustomed to disinfecting everything in their homes, diligently wearing masks and gloves, limiting contact with elderly family members, have not given up this habit even after the summer months, despite the fact that quarantine has long been lifted.

The shocking experience that fell to the lot of Italy, which became the first largest victim of the pandemic from European countries, still keeps it busy with overcrowded hospitals in some regions of the north. Perhaps, Italy had not experienced this sad and difficult experience – “if she had not been burned in milk, she did not blow on water,” that is, she would not have achieved such success in containing the second wave of the epidemic. What we are seeing today in Europe, whose millions of residents are simply tired of observing quarantine rules, largely determines the rapid growth of the second wave of the virus. People strive to return to normal life, tired of prohibitions, while the government is faced with another problem – preparing for the coming winter and the infectious diseases that it will bring with it.

It turns out that in many European countries such measures as wearing masks and gloves outside the home have become a “bone of contention”: in contrast to the same South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, where society and the state together pursue a single goal – to contain the wave of the virus as much as possible … At the same time, in politically polarized countries such as Germany or Britain, they “add fuel to the fire” of anger and protests, causing unsanitary conditions, writes WSJ.

In contrast, Italy can be called a commendable example of social cohesion: both the predominantly left-wing national government and the right-wing forces governing the northern provinces, which were heavily affected by the infection, collaborated at the worst moment of the epidemic. Therefore, it is not surprising that masks are still – when this is no longer necessary – an indispensable attribute of people in public places, both indoors and in public transport and outdoors.

The number of COVID-19 infections in Italy has been on the decline since August, with an average of less than 1,500 cases per day reported over the past week, compared to around 3,700 in the UK, 10,400 in France and 10,500 in Spain.

With the goal of “never living in this nightmare again”, every Italian takes a responsible approach to preventive measures. For example, according to a study by Imperial London College and the British company YouGov, about 85% of the inhabitants of this Mediterranean country now wear masks in public – this is more than anywhere else in Europe, with the exception of Spain, which is struggling with the continent's largest outbreak of the virus.

In addition to the already ingrained habit among the population of avoiding crowded places and observing voluntary isolation, Italy has the best testing and tracking regime for COVID-19 infections in Europe, extending not only to those who have all the signs of infection, but also to those who may not be symptoms at all.

One of the “headaches” of the country's authorities is the increase in the number of infections as a result of the resumption of classes in schools from September 14 / Italy was the first to close schools in Europe and the last to reopen them. The way to solve this problem is the already habitual social distancing and the relocation of a number of classrooms to other buildings, as well as the reduction of contacts between the younger generation and the elders – the elderly who are most vulnerable to the virus.

– In the preparation materials from The Wall Street Journal were used.

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