Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Why is it so bad in Italy?

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“Italia Spezzata” headlined “La Repubblica” on March 21, 2020: Italy broken. Specifically, this referred to poorly coordinated regulations, measures and timetables that regions and municipalities issued in the fight against Covid-19 – and at the same time meant the country’s tragedy. Why us? The Italians keep asking themselves this question: Why did the virus hit us first and so far in Europe? Why do we have the most deaths – more than China since March 19, 2020?

So far, four main reasons have been given for the explanation. First: Italy is the country with the second oldest population in the world, 23 percent of the population are over 65 years old; only in Japan is the proportion even higher (28 percent), in Germany it is 21 percent, in the United States sixteen, in China twelve percent. Second, the center of the epidemic is the Po Valley, the country’s densely populated economic center, where air pollution is particularly high and many people suffer from respiratory problems.

The ban became a boomerang

Third: Italy became the first European country to ban direct flights to China on January 31; but the ban became a boomerang, as many passengers then entered other countries and were not even tested on arrival in Italy. Fourth, the public health system in Lombardy is one of the best in the country, but research funding has been cut by 21 percent in the past decade.



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In a study carried out at the Leverhulme Center for Demographic Science at Oxford University, a research group led by demographer and epidemiologist Jennifer Beam Dowd has now identified a number of demographic, social and family structures that shape northern Italy, with the course and spread of the Virus related. The high average age is associated with the often great and intense closeness that many Italians have to their parents, siblings and grandparents.

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