Nowadays, the news seems to be overwhelmed with information about the “dreaded” coronavirus. What is most striking, however, is not the speed at which this virus seems to strike, but rather, the vast amount of misinformation surrounding the subject.
Because of that, many have started to panic and are currently taking inappropriate measures for the fear of being infected. And social media, news channels, and online information do not help to put a halt to this wave of fear that is shocking almost the whole world.
Indeed, while precautions are necessary, the WHO is warning against misuse and hoarding of masks and goggles, that are running out but should only be used by those that are infected to avoid spreading the virus further.
But this seems to be only the beginning. As the coronavirus hits Italy, the country’s inhabitants seemed to have panicked at the fear of contracting the disease and have been emptying supermarkets at impressive rates to be prepared to live in quarantine. Of course, all of these measures are extreme as in Italy the situation is getting under control. But what is the reality of coronavirus? What is the situation in the north of Italy and especially in Emilia-Romagna? Is it still safe to visit?
You’ll find all of these answers in the next sections, and don’t worry, the situation is much better than you think.
What Is the Situation In Italy and What Are the Restricted Zones
The Italian government has declared a state emergency for the coronavirus as soon as the first cases had been identified in late January. Online and in the news, however, it is common to hear about Milano being “locked down” and many people living confined in their houses in Northern Italy, but how severe is it?
The truth is that, while the toll of people tested positive to coronavirus in Italy is pretty high (1,577 cases), it is not as bad as many media portray it. And no, neither Bologna nor Modena are locked down or restricted zones. Even in Milano, the capital of one of the most hit regions, everything continues as usual. Of course, some measures have been taken by the government, that has decided to suspend big gatherings involving many people and schools and some offices have decided to make their employees work from home.
For safety reasons, the government has decided to create a so-called red zone for the areas most at risk for the disease, but this area only covers respectively 0,2 % and 0,5% of Veneto and Lombardia’s territory. The Italian population in isolation is less than the 0,1% of the whole country’s population, to keep the cases at minimum.
In terms of cities being locked down, as for today, Codogno is the only city that is entirely in quarantine. Located in Lombardia, it has been identified as the place where the infection started to spread in Italy. This small north Italian town is, in fact, the home of the infamous patient zero. Measures are taken to avoid the virus to spread further into the country, and the Italian medical care is known to be one of the best in Europe, if not in the world.
In total, as for today, there have been almost 1700 cases of coronavirus in the country and 34 deaths. 83 have been successfully recovered.
In Emilia Romagna, the situation is far from being extreme: there have been 285 cases, more than half of which labeled as “mild” and not needing intensive medical care.
What Is the Situation In Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna is dealing with its toll of coronavirus cases, with the most affected province being Piacenza.
However, the majority of the cases are mild and, just as with normal flu, have been advised to stay at home until recovery.
In the region, all the restaurants and museums are still open and visitors as safety measures have been secured and guaranteed. Indeed, by taking the right precautions, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face and mouth, there is virtually no risk of getting infected.
What needs to stop is the irrational wave of fear preventing some tourists or even locals from visiting Italy. Indeed, Italy is a completely safe country to visit and there is no need to panic or to cancel your trips in case you planned any.
Even if it is true that schools have been closed for a week, and manifestations and gatherings have been suspended, there is no need to transform the coronavirus into the deadly outbreak than many media decide to portray. You can still visit museums and enjoy a meal and your favorite drinks at the many delicious Italian restaurants.
Is It Safe To Visit Emilia-Romagna?
As said before, bars, restaurants, and pubs are open to the public, as well as museums. The fear of coronavirus should not stop you from appreciating the beauty of Italy and its arts, culture, and food. Indeed, the country is giving a good example of the exceptional levels of healthcare offered by the government and there is no need to worry too much about it.
It is important to remember that the use of masks or goggles should be restricted to nurses, doctors, infected individuals and those suffering from severe immuno-deficiencies, which are more at risk of contracting the virus and suffering negative consequences from it. Because there is currently a shortage of masks, you should not deprive those who need them.
Instead, take the right precautions, as advised by the government and the World Health Organization: wash your hands, don’t touch your eyes, mouth, and face and if you show the symptoms of coronavirus, try to recover at home or call medical authorities for help.
With an adequately informed population and tourists, this outbreak can easily be contained without causing too much damage.
Italy is a beautiful country, still safe to visit despite the coronavirus outbreak. Remember that, take the right precautions and keep enjoying the country and especially the wonderful region of Emilia-Romagna and its numerous attractions and rich culture.