The lesson to be learned from the way authorities reacted to the first outbreaks of coronavirus infection and to alarms coming from data
There are some similarities between the work of the Oxygen Observatory (Osservatorio Ossigeno) and that of the specialized departments of hospitals treating patients with coronavirus, also as regards the limited resources available in relation to the number of cases to be treated. We will subsequently have the opportunity to explain why. But it is enough now to say that, inter alia, the similarities concern the way in which the actual data showing what happens and asking for immediate responses are often overlooked and often set aside even when the data are well checked.
Why is this happening? Because actual data disturbs the freedom of decision of the helmsmen in charge , they damage on-going business, popular consensus or because, as has been cynically said, even during this health emergency, “the economy cannot be ruined”, “the image of the country must not be damaged “,” now we have more important things to do ” and so forth. We hope that leaders, people in authority, experts and civil society can learn once and for all the most important lesson that this cruel pandemic is imparting to all of us.
It is wise to face reality as soon as problems arise, even if that reality is ugly and unpleasant. It is sensible to consider immediately that the outbreak of an infection in another country, in other parts of the world, could also reach our home and therefore something must be done to defend ourselves. What does all this have to do with intimidation against journalists and attacks on press freedom? The simple fact is that these attacks spread just like contagious diseases. Therefore it is pure illusion to exclude a priori the possibility that the infection can reach our territory. It is always necessary to combat the disease before it can cause more serious harm. It is not wise to postpone the measures or hide the data on the contagion as they will emerge despite any attempt. We will all be more secure when no one tries to avoid the necessary decisions by saying that certain bad events can only happen in other countries. ASP