Covid-19-crisis in Italy: Letter from Italy

Piero Pagliani

To my beloved Indian friends,

Thanks so much for your interest in the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in Italy.
As you know Italy is the most hit country by the epidemic. As of yesterday, the death toll exceeded 18,000 people, mainly the old, my age or more, especially in the North of Italy and especially in Lombardy (Milan and Bergamo have been severely hit). Here in Rome the situation is far less hard.

The above figure is the official number, however there are some disputes about it.

1) Usually only people who die in a hospital with a positive coronavirus test are counted in the amount of coronavirus victims. Thus, the number could be higher than that, as some mayors in the North are claiming. Some small towns and villages of the valleys around Bergamo are reported to have grandmothers and grandfathers no longer.

However, the curve has flattened and it seems declining. Nonetheless we have still 500 to 600 deaths a day, because of the people who got infected in the last two weeks.

2) On the other side, there is a dispute about “death from coronavirus” versus “death with coronavirus”. That is, a number of victims have pre-existing health problems, usually coronary problems or blood pressure problems or lung problems or cancer and someone says that these are deaths “with coronavirus” but not “from coronavirus”.

Actually, in the first phase of the epidemic the National Institute of Health (ISS) itself used to distinguish the two causes, and deaths “from” coronavirus were far less than the deaths “with” coronavirus, an order of magnitude less.

All of a sudden, the ISS stopped distinguishing the causes, while Germany counts just the deaths “from” coronavirus, that is, without any other pre-existing disease. This is the main reason why Germany counts “just” 2.607 total deaths, while France 12,210, Spain 15.447 and Italy 18,279 (as of 04/10).

3) Anyway, it is not clear to me the reason why all Europe decided to lock-down (except Sweden). I try to explain. The 2016-2017 flue epidemic caused 24,981 victims in Italy in four months (official figure). The hypothesis of closing the schools was considered but not applied. Now, on the contrary, we decided to lock down the entire country after 5,000 deaths. As a matter of fact half of the countries in the world decided to behave the same way. Why?

Probably because of the supposed high rate of infection and the supposed high mortality rate. These are two hypotheses.

I am not a follower of any conspiracy theory. It seems clear that this is not a normal flue (but what is a “normal” flue? Was the Hong Kong (A H3N2) pandemic in 1968 - 1 million deaths worldwide - a “normal flue”?). No conspiracy theory is able to explain why China locked down one of her most important industrial town, Russia decided to lock down after just a few deaths, the U. S. partially locked-down rocketing unemployment, India locked-down, in sum, very different governments with different and often contrasting political, economic, and geopolitical interests decided to behave the same way.

However, if on the one hand the mainstream media highlight an epidemiological study from Imperial College, London, which maintains that the lock-down saved 38,000 people in Italy alone, on the other hand they hide the fact that an epidemiological study from Oxford shows that this figure does not make sense and that the lock-down is immaterial, and this silencing is suspicious.

In Italy no one is allowed to support hypotheses which are in contrast with the official ones, hammered away by a strict number of “official” virologists and epidemiologists. You can do it, formally, but you can also be denounced for criminal offence by this gang of official scientists. It really happened and the denounced people were not obscure bloggers, but renowned virologists, nano-pathologists and intellectuals (with different political ideas).

This is a very scary side of the coronavirus affair: a sort of neo-totalitarian attitude. More on this later.

4) The high speed of infection has led to the collapse of the National Health System in Lombardy and other regions in the North of Italy, but mainly in Lombardy. The reason is double.

a) The neoliberal counter-reforms destroyed the Italian welfare and the National Healthcare System with a speeding up after the introduction of the Euro in year 2,000. Here are some figures since year 2,000: Financing: 37 billions euros less. Hospital beds: 30% less. Doctors: 8.000 less. Nurses: 13.000 less.

b) In Lombardy the healthcare system was, moreover, devastated by a particular pernicious form of privatization. Lombardy's rulers kept maintaining “We have a world-class system”. We have seen it! -Almost 10.000 deaths in a region of 10 millions inhabitants!

5) In any case, even if I found any conspiracy theory ill-founded (or, more precisely, with may flaws which cannot be closed by the current understanding), my feeling is that we are nonetheless experiencing a very dangerous and scary social experiment. Practically 60 millions Italians are under a sort of soft house arrest and they accept that uncritically. The only topic of discussion is coronavirus and it must be discussed one-way. Using the coronavirus crisis the Power scares people beyond any reason and demands people to trust only the official scientists (because they save you, of course), the mainstream media (because any other kind of news is “fake”), and the government (because it cares of you).

Do you know “1984” by George Orwell? We are heading in that direction, more and more quickly. We are going into a sort of compelled hibernation of our cognitive and critical abilities. They are introducing the Orwellian Ministry of Truth with the aid of a gang of scientists with a lot of private interests but that must be applauded by the masses, because “they are saving you”. In sum, we are ending up on a sort of technocratic totalitarianism. Or, more precisely, psychologically the nation is required to apply a sort of self-repression, which is much more effective than a normal repression.
In the meanwhile NATO countries decided that the U. S. led alliance is the appropriate body to wage the war against coronavirus (I am not kidding). Evidently, tanks, rockets and bombs are the most suited means to defeat a virus! Incredible!

And no one asks: “What the hell are you talking about?”.

In the meanwhile, the Commander of this relief-oriented body, the U. S. general Tod D. Wolters, said before the American Senate that he is “a fan of flexible first nuclear strike”. I suppose against the virus.

In the meanwhile, France is sending a huge warship to French Guiana to help French overseas in their battle against coronavirus (86 cases and zero deaths as of April 8th, so what they need is precisely a 200 meters long warship, it is logic, isn't it?). The excuse is that this warship has an hospital with 69 beds on board. But since Mr. Macron is a messy person, he officially admitted that is an “unprecedented military mission”, not a “humanitarian mission”.

In the meanwhile, UK is sending a warship to British Guiana.

And in the meanwhile, the U.S. is sending a battle fleet in the Caribbean See.

What's in between all these warships? Venezuela with her political and geopolitical stances and her huge oil supplies, the largest in the world.

But no confusion! The democratic U.S, the democratic French and the democratic UK are not there for the Venezuelan oil. God forbid! They are out there to combat drug-trafficking which, of course, is led by the narco boss Nicolás Maduro - who, incidentally, is the democratically elected President of Venezuela. I am not kidding. This is not low-quality spy story. This is the official narrative.

But we, in Italy, are not told of this. Newspapers and any other mainstream media outlet speak only of coronavirus. We cannot gather and organize. We cannot gather and protest. We are only allowed to speak coronavirus, think coronavirus, fear coronavirus (not a nuclear war, who cares?).

We are only allowed to thanks our destroyers.

Goodnight and good luck

Back to Home Page

Apr 12, 2020

Piero Pagliani

Your Comment if any