89 Connect Forums Civil Society Coronavirus outbreak: facts, impacts and questions

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    • #4635
      Maria Ludovica BozzoMaria Ludovica Bozzo
      546 Points

       Piazza del Duomo – Milan, Before and after the lock down

      The Italian government announced on March 9 that all of Italy is under lockdown, as coronavirus cases were detected across the country, in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Same measure was taken two days before only for the Lombardy region plus other 14 provinces in northern Italy. The quarantine period should end on April 3, obviously if the number of new cases and deaths will decline.

      The main measures taking place with the “Stay at Home Decree” concern an absolute ban on mobility from one’s home or dwelling for people subjected to the quarantine measures or virus positive results; limiting the travels by physical persons in, out of and within their hometowns, except for journeys motivated by work, case of need and health; events in public or private places are suspended; places where people can gather are closed; organisations are encouraged to ease the smart-working and so on.

      I find all those measures necessary, of course, but also courageous. Italy is strongly endangering its economy in order to guarantee its citizens health.
      Of course, the overall situation could have been handled with more care, as for the media approach: some media outlets often enlarged or emphasized negative news, contributing to the spread of panic in and out of Italy. Repercussions will be hard to face: according to preliminary estimates, Italy could lose $8.3bn in tourism revenue due to coronavirus.  Hotels, restaurants and other associated industries are likely to see a significant fall in business due to knock-on effects. The impact on small and medium enterprises could be even worse. With the entire country locked-down, the economic impact of COVID- 19 is likely to be much deeper than initial estimates.

      In addition, panic is the most common reaction to all of this. Just think of all the people who left Milan on late Saturday evening, fighting to get on the last train after the draft of the decree on the coronavirus was leaked from the government, regardless of the impact of this flow of potentially infected people across the country bringing the virus with them.

      It is indeed a difficult situation, one that none of us could ever have imagined to live in. I think that panic is understandable, but not justifiable if it endanger all the nation. I wonder how it can be possible to be so shortsighted in a developed European country in 2020. And I wonder why other European countries are not taking strong actions to prevent a spread as the Italian one. Are they more prepared to face this kind of epidemics? Are they underestimating the risks? Are they afraid of bringing negative impacts on their own economies? How would your country react, in a situation like the Italian one?

      Let me know what you think, I am eager to read opinions.


    • #4637
      Riccardo VenturiRiccardo Venturi
      752 Points

      I definitely think that other countries are understimating the issue, but it’s also true they’re also at the same point that Italy was 7/10 days ago. This is not an Italian problem, for sure.

      Also, are the apocalyptic figures that Angela Merkel prospected (60/70% of population infected) actually possible? And what could its effect? This worst-case scenario means that our lives and economies are going to change FOR YEARS, but also the political structures on which our society is based.

    • #4639
      Fabio SeferiFabio Seferi
      1264 Points

      Maybe other EU Member States are relatively more prepared than Italy when facing healthcare emergencies and crises. Even more so considering the fact that healthcare has not been a centerpiece of Italian policies in recent years. However, I believe that the stress – be it in healthcare, economic, social, and political terms – the whole system could face may be unbearable even for the most advanced countries. I have some friends in Belgium and they are telling me that local authorities are hugely underestimating the situation. Same goes for some parts of Spain (other info coming from people abroad).

      I read somewhere* that an Harvard epidemiologist suggested a projection of infected that ranged from 40% to 70% of the whole world population. Truly frightening I think.

      * Sorry, I did a quick search for the news but did not find it anywhere. If anyone has more info to this regard it would be nice to read it 🙂

    • #4641
      Jakub ZientalaAnonymous
      0 Points

      I would like to suggest launching a viral campaign to show solidarity with Italy. I suggest using #standwithitaly or #europestandswithitaly

    • #4654
      Maria Ludovica BozzoMaria Ludovica Bozzo
      546 Points

      Hi guys, thank you for your contribution to the discussion, and Jakub thank you for your kind thought. However, it is undoubted that it a worldwide problem by now and, to be honest, I feel safer in Italy than I would in any other country at the moment.

      Things are changing fast, indeed. As the cases rise, any government is taking action, in a way or another. Cultural differences, diverse priorities, everything is coming out to the surface. Some countries could be more prepared than others, of course, but no-one is ready to face a pandemia of these proportions (if the numbers are right), and especially not alone.

      I wished a stronger guidance at EU level, but once again nationalisms have overcome the Union. And these are times of trouble, meaning that people will remember long how scary it was, how abandoned they felt, and how many times they wondered “What is the EU doing?”. I am disappointed, can you change my mind?

      However, I just find out that EURACTIV is giving daily updates on measures to contain the outbreak at regional and global levels.
      Here is the link: https://www.euractiv.com/section/coronavirus/linksdossier/coronavirus-whats-happening-in-europe/

    • #4678
      Ivan MikovićIvan Miković
      330 Points

      Hello everyone. As this global epidemic/pandemic crisis progresses, we can see that every country has a lot of issues. Also, we can see that EU doesn’t have a unique stance and every country acts on its own. Personally, I kinda understand EU at this point, because present (or any) leadership has never dealt with that kind of a problem. Yesterday the EU decided to close external borders. I don’t fully understand why, but I guess we’re going to see the consequences of that move. Furthermore, every country wants to protect itself first, which is also a rational choice from the perspective of the individual.

      One of the problems with Italy was that that COVID-19 entered the healthcare system, which is probably the worst thing that can happen. I’m from Croatia and obviously, we are also dealing with the crisis, and what I can say is – so far, so good. Since we’re near Italy, we took some precocious measures. For now, we are counting 87 infected and 5 fully cured. But the fact that my data will probably be wrong and outdated as you will read this shows how fast COVID-19 is spreading and how urgent the whole situation is. But that’s not what I want to say.

      What I want to tackle is a response from every individual in any country. We are witnessing a massive march to the shops and purchases of essential food and disinfectants. Unfortunately, we can see many people buying much more than they personally need, leaving others with nothing. In this situation, something similar to the collective action problem is opening. If a person buys 10 disinfectants, he may be super safe, but 9 other individuals would be at risk and at some point, no matter how that one person is safe and healthy, he will get infected by others because others can not defend themselves because of the lack of resources (disinfectants and other resources). I saw a nice analogy on Facebook so I will just present it in a sentence or two. If there is an army of 100 soldiers and one soldier decides to take 50 guns, what will happen? Firstly, that individual can’t hold and use 50 guns at one time. Secondly, other soldiers don’t have a gun. In the case of a war, what is going to happen with that army? Well, obviously they will be defeated by an enemy. So what is our task now is to make sure people recognize that buying many essentials and creating big supplies is not a solution. So at this point, we should share all resources for the better of everyone.

      But not everything is black. There are many individuals and organizations in basically every infected country that are helping others, especially the older generations who are not able and are not allowed to leave their homes because of a weaker immunity system. I would like to give a big shout-out to those people, to our hardworking medical staff, pharmaceutical staff, suppliers and truck drivers, scientists who are working on a cure and everyone else involved in this crisis. If we all act responsibly and with care, this situation would be much easier to deal with. So stay safe, stay positive and listen to your epidemiological services!

    • #4729
      Elisa PerezElisa Perez
      309 Points

      Hi Maria, thanks for starting this topic, I think this is something that matters to everyone nowadays.

      Fun fact is that not very much changed since you started the discussion, meaning what other countries are doing regarding the pandemia. Of course, fortunately, now things are slowly getting better for both of our countries, after Italy and Spain have been at the centre of the storm in late March. But Governments imposed strict lockdowns, and results are starting to be visible.

      But what about UK? What about Germany? The infection is spreading slower in those and other countries, but that does not mean that things are normal. And I think that acting as they are normal is a risk for all of us, that has the potential to frustrate the efforts that countries like ours are making to get over it.
      The fact that some governments value economy more than (certain) human lives makes me feel bad. And the EU? Thank God it’s starting to do something, but it took too long! Not to mention the attitude some Member States have towards the others, simply shameful.
      That’s a shame, I am afraid we will see the rise of Euroscepticism in the future.

      However, please forgive me if I was severe, lockdown is a friend of disillusion. I hope you are all safe and that we will get out of this situation more unite than before!

    • #4740
      Robert CrestRobert Crest
      832 Points

      I would stress out a point on which I can totally agree with you: the reactions governments have to the Covid-19 pandemic are simply the intensification of the dynamic that pushes other crises, be they ecological, political or social, that is the prioritisation of a specific of value over others.

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