ROME – Just a few months ago, Italy was seen as an example of how NOT to handle the coronavirus. Now Italians are enjoying their summer and learning to live with the virus even though a few hundred new cases are still being reported every day and more young people are being infected. The country’s recovery is underway even though the virus remains a threat.
Italians would like to forget March 29 of this year, when the country recorded its highest number of deaths from coronavirus in a single day: 969. That is no easy matter as people recall how Italys authorities had to deploy the army to help remove dead bodies.
No one in this country believes the virus has been defeated. In fact, most people are only too aware of just how present it continues to be. The daily bulletin of new infections, a few hundred, is a reminder that Covid-19 is still circulating on Italian territory.
Gianni Rezza, Director General of Prevention at Italys Ministry of Health, says the number of cases in Italy is on the rise, with more young people being infected.
Various clusters are present on Italian territory, he said, and many of them are caused by imported cases. Even though the Italian situation is better than that of other European countries, Rezza added, Italys epidemiological situation merits careful attention. He warned that Italians must continue to be cautious in their behavior adding that efforts to contain the virus must focus on quickly identifying new outbreaks.
Young Italians are the ones finding it most difficult not to return to their previous lives of gathering with their many friends and going to summer parties and discos.
Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by coronavirus and the harsh lockdown experience has led to an understanding now that the only way forward is to live together with the virus until a vaccine is available for the whole population.
Since the country gradually re-opened, Italians have been doing their best to limit the spread of the virus with the only known defenses: social distancing, wearing protective masks and avoiding large gatherings.
At the height of the Italian summer, people are now enjoying themselves at the beach. Bars and restaurants have managed to re-open and are making money again. Italys economy is slowly picking up after having been severely affected by a two-month lockdown.