It wasn't (only) the much-needed break after a year of hard work. My holiday in Sardinia was also an opportunity to understand how Italy had awakened and equipped to face the most difficult health emergency in recent history.
After all, since the end of February, the date of my last trip out of town, I haven't had many opportunities to do it. A life of seclusion throughout the lockdown, then the bare minimum: the editorial office, the drive from home to work, the supermarket, a few local shops, a timid return to the restaurants (outdoors), no travel, no means public.
For my holidays I choose Baja Sardinia, Costa Smeralda, in that part of Sardinia that footballers and VIPs from all over the world like so much. I've been going there for years, for family reasons and because of a coast that has nothing to envy to the Caribbean one. And I choose once again to go there by ship, because Sardinia – without a car to get around it – you can only half enjoy it. After all, I think, the large shipping companies that shuttle to and from the peninsula will have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their passengers.
Optimistic forecast, I feel like saying in hindsight. From my arrival at the port of Livorno I immediately understand that the good intentions on anti-Covid measures have all or almost remained on paper. Apart from the temperature control at the entrance to the port and a pre-recorded announcement that reminds us of the obligation to wear a mask, everything has remained as it was in the BC era. (before Covid).
People gather almost everywhere: in the path that leads from the car garage to the cabins and to the place, on the corridors (with the inevitable guests sprawled on the ground), even in the restaurant, despite the ordinance stickers with the footprints stamped on a meter away.
There is no trace of all those small and large technological aids that during the lockdown proved to be useful in orderly management of the queues. No chance even for contactless payments (at most the physical credit card) and for vending machines: the only automatic machine that distributes drinks is out of order.
As for the infamous QRcode prescribed by the Sardinia Region as an anti-Covid self-certification, everything is resolved with nothing: no one checks it upon landing. Fortunately, there is a dispenser with free Amuchina.
The project of my holiday in Sardinia is like an average Italian: lots of sea, a few strolls along the Cannigione seafront, a few outings to the restaurant. I'm not the nightlife type, but I still have a way to understand what's going on around me. Everyone talks about it, on TV, on the web but especially on the beach.
Right on the Pevero coast I find myself side by side with a group of young people in their thirties who are talking animatedly about their evenings. "You have read – a girl bursts out at one point – L. is not positive". Intrigued (and indiscreet) I intrude and ask for information on what happened. Basically, given my condition as a neighbor (but not too much) of an umbrella, I feel entitled to know more. "Nothing", the most talkative of the group reassures me, "a girl we know was sick and swab. Luckily she doesn't have Covid. She just wrote it to us on WhatsApp".
It is this last aspect that strikes me the most: the extent of contagion via chat. Immuni, apparently, has not arrived. "It's useless"one of the boys jokes, "it's done first by word of mouth".
Elsewhere, too. "Fear runs in chat", headlines the national newspapers in the same days in reference to the Porto Rotondo outbreak, complete with names and messages published, in spite of privacy. The same goes for the case of positivity in the two nightclubs in Soverato, on the Ionian coast of Calabria: a message posted on an Instagram bulletin board is enough to unleash the uproar, complete with the closure of the premises and hundreds of people crowding hospital wards.
I also talk about the situation in Costa Smeralda with A., a real estate professional who rents luxury homes in Sardinia. "They did well to close the discos, but the biggest problem remains the private parties. Everyone wants to make up for it after the dark months of the lockdown. There are parties everywhere, with hundreds of people, players and more or less famous people. Some of them. of them tested positive, a big problem for homeowners too ". Immune? "Let's not joke, it's already a miracle if you find someone with a mask at the end of the evening".
The institutions also say that Immuni is a half failure, especially among the very young. In an interview with Print, Deputy Minister of Health Pierpaolo Sileri speaks bluntly of a “flop” due to the low number of downloads.
According to the latest data, there are about 5 million compatriots who have faith in the medium. The 60% share – the one that according to the statisticians would guarantee a minimum of effectiveness – at the moment remains a utopia. On a personal level, I therefore interpret the absence of alert notifications on the Immuni app installed on my phone as little or nothing significant. In case in these days I find myself close to a positive it is very likely that it does not have Immune.
In conditions of this type it seems almost obvious that the situation in Costa Smeralda will precipitate dramatically. The chronicle is well known: the Briatore case, the many positivity among the employees of the Billionaire and Phi Beach, all speak of the Sardinian outbreak. I decide to further reduce my visits to the restaurant, although, it must be said, the rigor of the restaurateurs – mandatory masks, fever control at the entrance, sanitizers scattered everywhere – is commendable. No drama, however, the holiday remains a holiday, albeit with some less entertainment.
To be honest I am more concerned about the return trip by ship, given the experience of the outward journey. In fact, the script does not change: waiting for me on the ship that sails from Golfo Aranci there are the same gatherings of 15 days before, perhaps a few more. The only difference is upon arrival at the port of Livorno, where the Tuscany region has set up kiosks for free tampons. A nice idea with a view to tracing and isolating the outbreaks that come from Sardinia. Too bad that the tampons are voluntary, with the result that is easy to imagine: few do.
Many Italians are obviously afraid. Not of the Coronavirus but of the specter of a long quarantine. The case raised by Selvaggia Lucarelli of the Milanese influencer who returned from Sardinia stuffed with Tachipirina and with the frozen bottle on his forehead seems to confirm this.
Holidays over, however, back to work. Beyond the tan and some traces of sand in the slippers, I am left with the photograph of a people who still have little faith in the technological medium as a deterrent to limit contagion. Is it the fault of those who developed the application, of the institutions or of a poor education of users (poorly informed by us media)? Maybe a bit of everyone, but that's not the point. The truth is that of the famous 3T that should help us cope with the Covid recovery, the one related to tracking is probably the weakest link. We are not ready yet, at the moment we just need to be overwhelmed.
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