Just a year ago, Italy entered its first lockdown and I look back at this past year to try to understand some macro-dynamics that led us to be here today exhausted and ready to ignite and explode for nothing. In this moment of frustration that twists like a crashing plane, I get whispered on the phone sometimes if nothing was closed it was better. Here we will die more of hunger than of Covid, a veiled attempt to have my blessing in letting go of the mask, loneliness and upset life. Instead, the misunderstood truth is that if we hadn’t closed immediately we would have had that wave of death that hit Bergamo all over Italy. It is difficult to be so crude but I cannot exempt myself, out of respect for those who are no longer there and out of respect for those who have saved thousands of lives. If we had not applied restrictive measures, the health system would have collapsed and we would have had a number of physically and logistically unmanageable deaths from funeral and cemetery services. Which means death in one’s own home for more than humanly bearable time.
I am equally convinced that we are now at a critical moment that could be the turning point. Alas, we are faced with a viral strain that has put the turbo and therefore surprises us with its contagious force. And so I have to say it forcefully: we have to move as little as possible. The absolute essential and that’s it. And when we really have to take double precautions. How long? If you are good and compact a couple of months. At the same time, vaccinate using the greatest possible efficiency. And this is precisely another determining factor for the positive turnaround – and on this I would like to jump back even further, to January 30, 2020. On that date, the WHO declared the pandemic emergency. Of the many things that were not known at the time, one was known – namely that vaccine would have been served in quantities much greater than the production capacity at the time. And today we are dramatically realizing what it means for the resumption of real life as well as for the economy not to have enough vaccine.
I am convinced that the original sin of this pandemic was that at first no one believed it. Western decision makers believed that Sars-CoV-2 was only about China. Arrived in Italy almost to surprise us (despite the world preview of the two cases of Chinese tourists) many European countries looked at us saying that the problem was so serious for us because it got out of hand. Having leapt to France and Germany, protected by a domino effect of denial, he made his way to the United Kingdom, which a week earlier was looking at the continent convinced that it remained immune to it. I believe this behavior bordering on the surreal has been fueled by a vulnus linked to a distorted perception of reality.
Many people could not imagine themselves vulnerable to an unknown virus which, by the way, was also in another country. They had forgotten or perhaps they had never known that they were receptive to viruses and therefore potentially all vulnerable because they are at risk of infection. Here, if more people had understood the potential scope of the phenomenon and had acted by imagining the worst case scenario maybe now we would have the vaccines we need. Yes, because if at the beginning of 2020 we had started to reconvert existing structures and plants (including those that produce the billions of doses of veterinary vaccines) today we would have one big problem less.
There is something, however, that we can do now in the one area where we are in control, to accelerate the exit from these compressed lives as in a blister. We put the turbo to the administration of vaccines. Paradoxically, the life-saving operation is performed in a scarce minute and forms are filled for up to 20 minutes. Not so everywhere, so it doesn’t have to be. In the countries that are ahead of the vaccination campaign, a signature is enough. There must be a procedural or digital way to minimize this huge waste of time at a critical moment like this. We don’t leave the doses in the fridge, we can’t afford it. Believe me please.
March 8, 2021 (change March 8, 2021 | 21:01)