The inconsistencies of the Italian fight against the pandemic

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Two weeks ago we wrote that Italy was about to deal with the effects of the second wave of Covid. Today, unfortunately, the pandemic storm is hitting again our unfortunate country with unprecedented virulence, unleashing, in addition to a record number of infections, a wave of generalized fear that insists on two fundamental issues. On the one hand, there is the natural alarm of individuals for the unopposed growth of infections and their ways of diffusion; on the other hand, there is a national community well aware of having been caught once again unprepared, especially from a health point of view.

This fact bitterly clashes with the memory of the four months of effective pandemic truce that took place after the first lockdown and that today, for this very reason, puts Italian politics in front of to its proverbial inability to know how to plan and manage the common good. In short, the impression is that of the eternal pursuit of the emergency, with all due respect to the relaunch recipes devised by the much-celebrated advisors of the Colao commission, the general estates summoned with great fanfare in Villa Pamphili by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte himself and the thousand national, ministerial and regional task forces activated almost everywhere in the last six months.

Truth is that Italy has remained fundamentally the same as that of the first days of May, with serious gaps in terms of essential countermeasures such as the failure to enhance its offer of intensive care units, the everlastingly unsolved transportation-node, flu vaccines simply unavailable and endless queues to make a simple swab. And while among Italians grows stronger the feeling of going towards a new lockdown (it may not be so in words, but it will be in fact), the logic of the eternal political-institutional row has exploded the thousand contradictions related to the emergency. Starting with the troubled State-Regions relationship, marked by a pulverization of the responses to Covid-19 that leaves us dumbstruck and in which regional presidents who are supposed to belong to the same political area which supports the government invoke the general lockdown to protect public health (De Luca from Campania) or warn against the risk of triggering a real socio-economic pandemic (Bonaccini from Emilia-Romagna).

The same goes for the municipalities, which on the one hand accuse of not having been involved in the top decisions and on the other complain that they have too many responsibilities on closures. However, it is a fact that most of our problems in the pandemic management depend on the hiatus between the centrality of Italian urban agglomerations and the current political-administrative system that allocates elsewhere health care and governance of the structures in charge of combating Covid.

Last but not least, there is the “DPCM decree schizophrenia” that we have been witnessing for weeks now, with different rules to curb contagions announced practically every 24 hours while trying to explain that each choice needs at least 15 days of time in order to unfold its benefic effects.

The question therefore arises almost spontaneously: why proceed with new DPCM decrees every 3-5 days if the previously approved one has not yet had time to begin to be applied? Posterity will tell.