Today I’m leaving my italian usual newspaper’s readers to speak to my friends on the other side of the Pond. As the spreading of the COVID19 is moving West from China, to Europe, to the USA. We, in Italy have just learned that the whole Country has become since today, March the 10th a RED ZONE. What does it really means to be a RED ZONE?
I live just half an hour drive from Venice, to the North East. My town is small, 5300 souls. We are well located in the very middle of the VENETO REGION, on of the most industrial, and industrious regions of Italy, known as the “Locomotive” for the economic system in Italy. In two hours I could drive to the DOLOMITES to ski in the Winter, or to hike or climb in the Summer. In one hour I can be sitting on the sandy beaches of the Adriatic Sea, or visiting a FLOATING MUSEUM called VENICE in about half an hour, either by train or by car. Today, as my hometown of CODOGNE’ in the province of TREVISO becomes as any other city, town or village in the Country, a RED ZONE, I can only move by car inside my town and its city limits. If the place where I work is situated outside these limits, I must fill out a self certification paper stating that I live here but I work there. Failing to have such a piece of paper could result into a 200 Euros fine and up to three months in prison.
STOP TO PUBLIC GATHERINGS
The virus’threath has been with us in Italy now for three weeks. If one thing we have learned for sure is that : THE COVID19 spreads by the “spray” that we do not see but we produce when talking with someone. This spray is effective within one meter. FIRST RULE: Stay away from the person you are talking with at least ONE METER. Two meters (six feet) is even better. To calculate the distance aproximately, extend your arm in front of you. The person you are talking to, or sitting at your table, should be past your finger tips.
HOW TO AVOID BEING INFECTED
The VIRUS that is now killing 3 out of one hundred patients who are infected, loves to jump from one person to the other via these TWO WAYS: Your mouth, your nose, and there is a third one, less effective, YOUR EYES. It has been asserted that a person, without even thinking about it, touches her/his mouth up to four times an hour. That is the main reason why they keep telling us :WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN AND VERY WELL (for at least 20 seconds). We shake hands, we touch food and goods at the supermarket, handrails everywhere, from train stations to buses can host the VIRUS easily up to TWELVE HOURS. So, if you move around in a large or small town, you should wash your hands as often as you can. (I use very hot water, but that is my personal choice).
That is the reason why a ZONE becomes RED. We must not give the VIRUS a place to jump to. SCHOOLS at all levels are closed (we have just entered the third week), so are public gatherings of all kinds, including sports events, discoteques and pubs, religious ceremonies,weddings, funerals, libraries, gym, swimming pools, restaurants and bar have limited openings (up to 6 PM. After that only TAKE OUT FOOD is allowed). The NAME OF THE GAME is (#IoRestoACasa) “I’m staying home”.
LESSONS FROM CHINA
Italy’s HEALTH SYSTEM provides FREE MEDICAL CARE TO ALL. In VENETO we have developed thanks to our Governor LUCA ZAIA one of the best systems in Europe. Today, we are facing one of our greatest challanges ever the COVID-19. What we know from the chinese experience is that the VIRUS has a PEAK and then it starts going down, and eventually disappear