Italy’s ‘Darkest Clock’: How Covid-19 Become A Political Problem

The Italian government’s decision to enlarge its own lockdown from two small regions of the north to encircle the whole nation is a indication of its increasing desperation to restrain the spread of novel coronavirus. The amount of favorable cases by the day of March 9 stood at least 7,000 with over 400 individuals having lost their own lives.

The quarantine was originally expanded to Lombardy and 14 states in neighbour areas, impacting about quarter of the populace of Italy, (16 million individuals), and also the successful engine of the country’s economy. However, it is now clear that that is not sufficient, and the entire country is being brought below the steps. Movement is prohibited unless for essential work-related motives, crises or health reasons.

Faculties and schools (or all teaching actions) around Italy were closed and a ban was imposed on all actions where crowding makes it impossible to sustain a distance of a metre involving individuals. Cinemas and theaters are from action. All sports events are postponed until April, unless they may be kept behind closed doors or with no public presence. Trainers and swimming pools need to apply hand washing and one metre’s space between individuals.

There are practical difficulties in implementing such widespread limitations — and there’s been a veritable exodus of individuals from the north into the south east. This reflects the issues for any democratic government in needing to handle a public health catastrophe of such magnitude. There are limitations to just how far science could ascertain decisions that are, finally, political in character.

Italy, since the European nation in the forefront of this catastrophe, has had little to draw except the response from China. There, a hardline government policy seems to be functioning but it will become another thing when a non-authoritarian nation should do it. Nations such as Italy have significantly less compliant political staples so any large scale steps will inevitably perform differently.

The Italian administration’s strategy was modelled on the Oriental, requiring a hardline response made to include the virus throughout the institution of “no-go” regions, restrictions on motion together with enormous testing to the virus.

It’s been providing comprehensive details concerning the spread of this virus in provincial and regional levels so as to instruct and inform people of their crucial nature of the crisis. The media has replicated this information in the kind of daily interactive “contagion maps”, permitting the reader to drill down to determine exactly where the documented cases are.

Redrawing The Map

This strategy — hardline but translucent — is creating observable societal divisions. All of northern Italy, from the start of the outbreak, was characterized as a sort of pariah country, though the first red zones were in rather tiny places.

This wasn’t only from the understanding of different nations (which started to discourage or restrict traveling to regions from the north), but also from the Italian press and the public reaction. There have been cases of discrimination involving Italians residing from the so-called “infected areas”, who had been seemingly no more welcome in different areas of the nation.

That is a paradoxical change of Italy’s traditional north-south split.

The irony is that the extreme decisions taken by the authorities are aimed primarily at protecting the south west and financial infrastructure. The threat is that losing control of this contagion will result in a complete collapse of their federal health system there, because it’s nowhere near as strong as Lombardy, the worst hit area of the northwest. There are just approximately 1,500 intensive care beds from the seven areas of the north and south along with also a chronic deficit, in some regions, of specialized health employees.

Filippo Anelli, president of the National Federation of Physicians, stated: “In case Lombardy is fighting, imagine what’s going to occur in the southwest, where you will find enormous disadvantages concerning personnel and equipment.” He talked of the probable demand for area hospitals and army backup, especially in areas like Calabria and Molise.

This may offset the additional costs of civil and health defense, unemployment, service for banks and businesses etc — all steps that will require approval from the European Commission.

Political Potshots

President Sergio Mattarella has intervened.

Mattarella also cautioned that opposition parties should avoid making unnecessary political strikes on the government. Leader of the much right League, Matteo Salvini, has stated Conte is “not as much as handling the catastrophe”. He’s suggested that his party will vote against the heap of financial steps in parliament.

Handling a public health catastrophe in a democracy entails striking a balance between steps protecting taxpayers and the societal and financial effect of these decisions — significance democratic politics can’t be suppressed.

The jury remains out on if Italy has struck the perfect balance.