Recognising Italy’s mistakes in the public health response to COVID-19
Gennaio 21, 2022
The Day of the Dead in Italy this year was not only a time for remembrance but also for demanding justice for lives lost to COVID-19. On Nov 2, 2021, members of the #Sereni (also known as Serene and Always United) Association demonstrated in Rome against institutional omerta (ie, law of silence) and for the restoration of a parliamentary commission to examine the management of the epidemic. This event followed 520 complaints that were filed by the association 4 months earlier against the national government, the Ministry of Health, and Lombardy region administrators.To understand the association’s objectives and the events that fuel its purpose, it is necessary to examine the beginning of the pandemic in Lombardy. The national government and regional government of Lombardy’s decision to not create a so-called red zone around Alzano Lombardo and Nembro (blocking off entrance to and exit from the two communes) when COVID-19 was discovered in people at the end of February, 2020, is seen to be directly responsible for the spread of infection to other towns throughout the province of Bergamo, particularly the Seriana Valley,1 then throughout Europe. How could a different public health response have stopped the COVID-19 epidemic in Bergamo Province, which went on to become famous in spring of 2020 for corpses piled up in hospitals, churches, and cemeteries and transported by military trucks to the crematoria?