Surfing the (second) wave

Surfing the (second) wave

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Here in Italy the second wave of covid is very active. It has gone from an average of 200 new cases a day in the summer to an average of about 8,000 in the last week after creeping up slowly during August and September with an average of 1500 cases a day. The problem here as in just about all of the world is that people are weary of the limitations. While in general people follow the rules on wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings much of the uptick in cases seems to come from those ignoring those rules, or more accurately, recommendations. So now those are becoming rules. Usually those who are lax about the recommendations have been the young, teenagers and 20 somethings. This has been especially true on weekends when people want to be out and about and party with friends. On weekends the very center of Bologna is closed vehicular traffic, T-days. They’re called that because the major roads in the center that become pedestrian-only form a T. So about two weeks ago the mayor issued a decree that on weekends masks are mandatory even in open air. On the first weekend the police issued 14 tickets to people in their 20s for flaunting the rules. These tickets really get people’s attention since they are 400 euros each – that’s about $470. Word gets around and now everyone is wearing masks. And it’s not just the financial penalty; nobody wants to go back to a lockdown. As in the US the rate of deaths is much lower than in the spring partly because of greatly increased testing so that those infected receive treatment sooner. One of the hard lessons that they learned earlier and also because they are more testing capacity now. It is interesting to look at the charts. The first lockdown was very effective here in Italy and in much of the rest of Europe. The summer was almost normal here while the number of cases in the U.S. steadily grew. I’ll be interested (vitally interested) in the shape of the curve going forward. I expect it to continue to decrease but probably not as rapidly as it rose.

Number of new cases in U.S.
Number of new cases in Italy

We had hoped to have a little party at our house with under 10 total people to celebrate our marriage but decided to postpone that until the wave subsides. I’m hoping that things seem less scary in December.  I’ll end on a positive note with one of the quotes that come with the Baci.

Only he who has overcome his fears will truly be free.
Solo chi ha superato le sue paure sara’ veramente libero.

And a second one

When we feel the need for a hug, we must run the risk of asking for it.
Quando sentamo il bisogno di un abraccio, dobbiamo correre il rischio di chiederlo.
Emily Dickinson

P.S. I always appreciate comments ( and new subscribers)

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