Despite the rise in cases, few wear the mask. On the street, on public transport and in clubs, distancing not even to talk about it. “There is a collective removal of the pandemic – he observes Walter Ricciardiadvisor to the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza and full professor of General and Applied Hygiene at the Catholic University of Rome -. People are anxious to get back to normal, but by doing so in the end they become infected, and only then do they realize the mistake they have made “.
Masks, extension hypothesis at work: “Ffp2 mandatory under 2 meters away”
So if the epidemic does not stop, is the responsibility of those who do not use precautions?
“If you want to avoid an extremely contagious virus, you cannot rely on the good will of individuals. There are objective data on which to rely for making decisions and governments must have the courage to take unpopular measures. Otherwise, people live normally, until unfortunately it happens that someone ends up in the hospital. This new wave was largely foreseeable as early as March. Now it can only be contained if a series of means of prevention are restored ».
Are bans and fines still needed to avoid the worst?
“When you have a low-contagious virus, you can afford to have 15-20 percent of the unprotected population circulating freely. But when faced with such a transmissible virus, one cannot rely on correct individual behavior. Let us not forget that the Swedish model was based precisely on the sense of responsibility of individuals, and resulted in more deaths than other countries. If we consider that Swedish citizens, on the other hand, are very disciplined, let alone what can happen in other countries … ».
Is vaccination coverage not enough?
“We are about 8 billion people. The virus, I repeat, is one of the most contagious in the history of microbiology. So, if you let it circulate, it finds a free field. Unfortunately, with these variants, vaccination does not play a protective role against infection. Fortunately, however, it does so against the disease. But the negative impact on fragile people remains “.
Maybe a little more freedom was needed to at least favor the economy?
“If there are leaps in cases, as in this moment, with a flow of tourists greater than before the pandemic and with the circulation of people traveling by plane without masks, it is clear that in the end both health and health are compromised. economy of a country. At a certain point, in fact, the pressure will be so strong that you will be forced to take strong restrictive measures ».
Yet Italy had also been praised by the WHO for managing the pandemic. What are you doing wrong now?
“We have adapted to other countries. Let’s not forget that almost all Western democracies have coalition governments, so there are different sensitivities. In Italy there are some parties that are opposed to these limitations, as happens also in Germany, with the FDP, the liberal-democratic party opposed to masks. In fact, we managed to keep them, but not as long as it would have been necessary. It is clear that in the end if you take compromise decisions, you will pay the consequences ».
Would the CTS be needed again?
“The voice of the scientists is not lacking. There are the technical bodies, the ISS and the CSS, that is the Institute and the Superior Council of Health. The problem is that the voice is not heard and bound to decisions. A striking example is, for example, the non-mandatory nature of masks on airplanes. It is a decision that has no scientific basis, and yet it was taken, not only in Italy. Right now, there are hundreds of flights delayed because there are no staff on board; in fact, almost all of them are infected. It is a disconcerting and irrational mechanism on a world level ».
But is it just a problem with masks?