The Lockdown That Isn’t One
The situation in Italy as I write this blog post is this one. You can obviously follow the link for updates.
The news this morning seem apocalyptic for those living abroad. perhaps some explanations are in order.
Having the whole Country on lockdown does not mean that everyone is physically quarantined. It means, in a word, that everyone must self-quarantine unless he has valid reasons to move. These are, for example, going to work, visiting relatives who need assistance, going to the hospital, buying groceries.
He who has such necessity to move can print or copy on a piece of paper the self-certification that he needs to move for this or that reason. If stopped by the Carabinieri or Polizia, he will show his self-certification and say to the law enforcement officers, say, where exactly he is going. The LEO can check at any time. The self-certification means a criminal offence (three months in jail) if the information is not truthful or the person is riding the system.
I miss the information about how exactly many day-to-day situations will be dealt with. However, I think that whilst it is not paralysis (offices will keep going, transports will keep going) it is, I think, pretty much the end of those sectors of the economy that depends on recreational activities, from restaurants to football (soccer) games. The football (soccer) championship has been suspended, no doubt many other sport activities will suffer the same destiny.
I am not a doctor. I understand the Government is trying to do what they can whilst trying to remain sensible and within the legal framework of a free country. However, as a layman I ask myself this: with millions of people still moving around (as it is, in fact, unavoidable) how can anyone think that the virus will be seriously hampered? If, say, ten million Italians go to work every day instead of twenty (many people can work from home, I have several friends in Italy who are working from home with no massive disruption), how does this exactly impair the ability of the virus to spread? Does it make such a big difference that people can’t go to the stadium on the weekend? As a layman, I frankly doubt it.
Plus, there is a nagging doubt in my mind; which. again. comes from life experience.
In situations like this, the temptation for every Government is to follow the stupidity of their own voters, and take drastic measures not because they are of any real use, but because the Government does not want to be accused of inaction or of listening to the “evil Capitalists”. The entire West is now accustomed to living in a climate of permanenet, extremely stupid low-flame hysteria due to so-called man-made global warming. Why would I think that Governments which even adopt stupid measures to prevent imaginary dangers, and who do that to pander to the stupidity of their own voters, will not adopt even stupider measures when the danger is real?
This is something I cannot avoid thinking, when reading of a nationwide lockdown that isn’t one. In a way I am not blaming the Government as such. I blame populations who have lost the ability to separate real dangers from fake one, and who are therefore prone to adopt or support wrong measures in the case of real dangers because of the massive hysteria that dominates their lives anyway.
I also miss realistic comparison with other events, say: average age and daily numbers of people who died of the common flu in the same period. So for example: in the last 24 hours, 500 people died in Italy of Coronavirus (we aren’t there yet, I this we will be soon), of average age X (it’s very high last time I looked: 81, so the dead seem to be what is called the “harvesting effect” of some diseases), compared with so and so many of such and such average age for the flu. It would, I think, help people to put things in perspective, instead of only reading the latest shouted headline and a dead count constantly rising without any sensible coordinates.
However serious this virus is (it is serious; but it is no Ebola, and no Black Plague), in the end we are in the hands of the Lord. One can only behave responsibly, go to confession and know that, if his time has come, it is because… his time has come.
The day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. It was so yesterday, it is so now, it will be so forever. Be reasonable, pray for the living and the dead, and carry on.