Coronavirus in Italy. Why did the people in Italy behave badly?

  • Why did many Italians ignore the authorities’ recommendations in the early stages of the epidemic?
  • Italianist, prof. dr hab. Hanna Serkowska claims he is guilty of “passionate consumerism”
  • Italy’s lack of subordination may also be due to many centuries of foreign rule
  • The strong attachment to physical proximity probably didn’t help either…

Let us not forget that due to the dynamically growing number of cases in Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said more than three weeks ago that 11 municipalities in two northern regions – Lombardy and Veneto – considered “red zone” and closed† Since then, they can no longer be opened or left. Then he had to take further radical steps, not least because people did not follow the instructions.

The Italians did not take the matter seriously

Not all Italians took the government’s recommendations seriously. They were supposed to keep movement to a minimum and close the premises earlier, but did the opposite. The mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sali, who appealed in “La Repubblica” on February 27 for the reopening of the capital of Lombardy, underestimated the matter.

Initially, the Italians flocked to the supermarkets, they bought antibacterial masks and gels† thoughtlessly, they went shopping en massewithout any reflection that vectors can be present in such a crowd and that this is a simple route to contamination.

Instead of staying home and minimizing your exits as usual they met friends for coffee at the bar and for an aperitif. Many people during quarantine, went to the coast, went skiing or organized picnics.

They still greeted each other with a hug and kiss and when the Prime Minister issued a decree to first include Lombardy in the “orange zone” and then to include all Italian territory in the “red zone”, The Italians flocked to the last trains to return to their homes in different parts of the country.

Why was it so difficult for Italy to comply with the regulations?

“Probably the weirdest thing about this is that it’s the most… the richest, let me put it bluntly, the most prosperous regions of Italy have suffered† You might think that they are inhabited by people of high consciousness, well-educated, with an appropriate personal culture and perhaps even greater sensitivity. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of these regions they especially showed passionate consumerism (ski resorts, restaurants and bars in operation despite the epidemic) and selfishness (leaving the inhabitants of closed zones to summer houses by the sea in another part of the peninsula, secretly taking a taxi or traveling south by train, whether they pose a threat to the rest of the population). Living a pre-plague lifestyle despite the plight and government decrees restricting mobility, suspending the work of schools and universities, etc., may be associated with some lack of consciousness or suppression typical of the human species in general – because how else can you explain that in the Netherlands, for example, Brabant suffered the most, where the local population celebrated the end of the carnival at numerous mass events? Being unconscious and suppressing one’s own vulnerability, carnality, mortality. We’re throwing our “vulnera” from a desolate challenge… Irrational behavior toward ultimate things – explains Prof. Dr. Hab. Hanna Serkowska, Head of the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Warsaw.


Photo: Shutterstock

Woman on a scooter in Rome

The professor points out that decades of prosperity, huge revenues from tourism, fashion and design have made it possible to get used to “dolce vita”, or everyday life, at a very high level.

– Finally, the Italian lack of subordination – perhaps historically motivated by many centuries of foreign rule and fragmentation of the country, that’s why it was / is a virtue not to stick to the rules and lawsbecause they were imposed by a foreign invader – this is the main perpetrator of all “poverty”. Experience has taught me that when there is a note “not OK” on the door of an office, or information that something is not being arranged there, it is enough to knock on the door and then insist for a long time – thanks to that I am never left without doing my job. I once even managed to travel by train – in a mail car – during a general railway strike… There are exceptions. They are the rule … And this in a situation that requires great discipline can not pay off – he adds.

“They can’t help it”

– There is another problem – the Italian proxemics – they have to, otherwise they can’t – standing very close together when they talk (and conversation is one of the most important life activities), hug perfectly, lock in your arms, at least touch and kiss your interlocutor on both cheeks when you say hello and goodbye: This applies to both men and women. This physical proximity certainly did not help them now – emphasizes the professor from the University of Warsaw.


Photo: Shutterstock

A bar in Italy

“Everything can be closed, but the bar can’t”

– Visiting a corner bar – this ritual cannot be taken away from Italians – is not a stereotype, but a truth. Everything can be closed but not the bar† I’m afraid they will now be massively depressed by this forced “domestication”. And here we go beyond selfishness and consumerism; Italians are generally cordial and very sociable… – sums up Prof. Dr. Hab. Hanna Serkowska.

Coronavirus symptoms

The coronavirus causes flu-like symptoms. It appears in a sick person high fever and difficulty breathing, headache, sore throat and cough, feeling exhausted and lack of appetite.

Coronavirus in Italy. Position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends checking the latest information on the development of the coronavirus in Italy before departure. The entire territory of Italy was covered by the so-called restricted traffic zonewhich means in the first place that every movement is controlled by authorized services and is only possible in justified cases (for example, in important business matters, for health purposes, to return to the place of residence) On the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs we read about by the decree signed on March 9 this year. by the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, on the basis of which they enter into force new resources aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. The new rules apply until April 3 this year.

by decree all over Italy include the following restrictions:

  • public transport, air and train traffic have not been suspended;
  • entry, exit and movement in Italy will be controlled by the competent authorities and only possible in justified cases (e.g. important, duly documented professional matters, for health purposes, to return to place of residence in case of greater necessity). Model declaration for natural persons concerning the destination to be provided upon inspection by the Italian authorities;
  • is not paused transport of goods – carriers will be able to enter and leave Italy and move within the country without any problem, to the extent necessary for the unloading or collection of the goods;
  • all secular and religious gatherings are suspended (including funerals), cultural activities (including closed theatres, cinemas, museums), sport- (including ski areas) and entertaining
  • shopping centres, market halls and large format shops may only be open from Monday to Friday;
  • the remaining Points of sale – throughout the week (with appropriate safety measures);
  • restaurants, bars and pubs – they are only allowed to operate between 6.00 am and 6.00 pm (provided appropriate safety measures are taken).
  • nurseries, kindergartens, schools, universities and other training centers are closed and teaching from March 5 to April 3 this year; school trips and cultural exchanges are suspended;
  • it is recommended for everyone elderly, suffering from chronic diseases, with congenital or acquired pathologiesuntil have not left their place of residence, except for necessary necessitybut avoiding clusters of people or placeswhere it is not possible to keep a safe distance between people.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposes to avoid as much as possible in public places, especially avoiding larger groups of people; special attention to hygiene / disinfection of hands; asks to read the information brochure of the Instituto Superiore di Sanità and the “Ten Commandments” (below); asks o follow all recommendations from local authorities and medical services.

In case of the onset of symptoms flu-likelike fever, cough, difficulty breathing, please contact the appropriate regional hotline:

  • Lombardy: 800 89 45 45;
  • Piedmont: 800 333 444;
  • Venice: 800 46 23 40;
  • Aosta Valley: 800 121 121;
  • Umbria: 800 63 63 63;
  • Marche: 800 936 677;
  • Lazio: 800 11 88 00;
  • Campania: 800 90 96 99;
  • Tuscany: 800 55 60 60;
  • Emilia Romagna: 800 033 033;
  • Autonomous Province of Trento: 800 867 38.

To obtain ordinary information you can call the number launched by the Italian Ministry of Health: 1500, and in the province of Piacenza to the number: 05 23 31 79 79 (open: Mon-Fri: 8:00-18:00, Sat: 8:00-13:00).

GIS advises against traveling to Italy

Detailed epidemiological information can be found on the website of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate https://gis.gov.pl/. Due to the epidemiological threat, the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate advises against traveling to Italy, but also to China, South Korea, Iran, Japan and some departments in France and to North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.

Virus attack in the world

The dangerous virus resembles the SARS virus, which killed more than 800 people in 2000. The first cases of the disease recorded in China in December 2019† At the beginning of this year, the virus spread to Southeast Asia.

The source of the infection was a fish and seafood market, and more specifically the wild animals sold there. It can be transmitted from person to person through airborne droplets.

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