“We all knew that the epidemic would regain strength in the autumn”


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AGI – “What we are seeing in Italy is certainly not a surprise” but “lockdown is not inevitable. If it were to get there, someone will have to assume political and moral responsibilities ”. Speaks Alessandro Vespignani, one of the leading experts in computational epidemiology, who works in Boston, where he directs the Laboratory for the modeling of biological and Socio-technical Systems, at Northeastern University, and from where he observes and analyzes the evolution of the contagion in Italy and the strategy implemented by the government.

We all knew the epidemic would pick up strength in the fall, with the reopening of schools, the resumption of activities and so on “, analyzes the professor in an interview with Corriere della Sera, who explains:” Now we need a cool head and anticipate against the virus, I would say ‘by zone’ to use a football expression. First of all, the measures taken by the government must then be declined at the territorial level. Covid must be tracked down region by region, city by city, district by district “.

His idea is that “specific restrictions are needed, blanket measures are not needed. And more than the number of positives in general, we must look at the situation in hospitals, at the saturation of places in intensive care ”, observes Vespignani.

Then the Boston epidemiologist analyzes: “There is a communication problem here. I guess the government took those measures based on scientific data. But now he has to explain them and re-explain them to the citizens ”. And on dinners for six at home he says: “I imagine that the Technical-Scientific Committee has collected important signals that the coronavirus is transmitted in contacts with people outside the family nucleus, identified, to stay wide, with an average of six people. However all this reasoning must be explained, otherwise no one understands the importance of the measure”.

And on five-a-side football, he asks himself: why not five-a-side football and the sport of youth associations yes? “Probably – he replies – because soccer is played by millions of people, while youth associations perhaps involve 3-400 thousand boys and girls and therefore are more controllable”.


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