Living in Northern Italy during the Coronavirus “Plague”

mythbusters-33I jest when I say “The Plague” because the Coronavirus is nothing like the plague. That is an important distinction. It is NOT a death curse, but it can be for some.

Many people are concerned about me and the situation here. Why does Italy have sooo many cases? Is it safe to travel there? Do I have it?

I cannot be certain as to why Italy has more cases, but I can say that Italians have no concept personal space. Buses and trains allow as many people to cram on as physical space (not safety) can allow. Unlike U.S. Americans, Italians aren’t bothered about being near others. In fact, I think they prefer it. Case and point (and slightly off topic, but you’ll see my point), going to lunch in a near-empty restaurant, an Italian will choose to sit right next to the other person(s) in the restaurant instead of a quiet, sole table elsewhere in the restaurant. It happened again yesterday while having lunch with a friend in a larger than typical sized restaurant. The place was empty and this family chose the table right next to us. Why?? I don’t know; it’s a mystery.

Yesterday, during this meet-up, I realised it was first time I didn’t see the hugs and kisses typical of greetings here. Obviously refraining from the traditional greeting is a little late in coming. And it was strange not to hug my friend. I can see how this will have a greater effect than just the fear of illness. There is a closeness that the kiss on each cheek and hug offers. It was a little sad not being able to give and receive this greeting. I did notice the younger people (15-25) were still engaging in the physical greeting . . .

It’s safe to conclude that this could very much be the main cause of the larger contagium spread. Now that the government is asking people not to hug or shake hands, and the buses and trains are near empty, I hope we will see a decrease in new cases. 

As for me, I may have had it, who knows. I did get sick and it did develop into a lung infection. I’m still recovering. Thinking back, there was too many opportunities for me to get it. I was in Rome mid-January, then in Verona. The the first weekend of Feb I was in Florence. The following weekend I was in Verona again. A week later I was having trouble breathing, and the week after that I was feverish and feeling like hell. 

The thing is, a month and a half ago it wasn’t our (the rest of the world) issue. It was China’s problem and we were watching it like those apocalyptic movies where people stand at the window watching with morbid curiosity as the tsunami/Godzilla/asteroid came at them; as if the window would protect them. Now we are running for the exits as Godzilla shoots fire from his face.

Regarding the question about is it safe to travel to Italy? yes, and no. I think traveling in a plane right now is best avoided for the time being. But I honestly believe things will be much better – globally – in a couple of months. By summer, traveling with 5 forms for disinfectant will be the new normal.

Bottomline – 1st, don’t panic. this is NOT the plague. 

2. Be informed, and not by the media. Go directly to the WHO.int for the latest updates. There are many very informational videos and situation reports daily. 

3. Be prepared. have hand sanitiser, wipes, or something that will help you disinfect surfaces. 4. Wash you hands, 30 seconds, with soap. Dry with paper towels (not your pants). 

5. Rest and beef-up your immune system; a low immune system means you are less likely to fight it off. 

We will get through this. The media is really making this out to be much worse than it is. The WHO has said that the flu is spread easier than the Covid-19. The difference is that people have built up immunities against the Flu. This is new so our systems haven’t had to deal with it before. 

Here are a few links to valuable and factual information:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.statista.com/statistics/790014/share-of-the-population-in-italy-by-age-group/

 

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