‘Totally awakened’: how tragedy has left Italians alert to deadly virus

Memory of crammed hospitals lingers in adherence to Covid rules and Italy is faring better than others

Morena Colombi, from Truccazzano, a small town near Milan, was among the first people in Italy to test positive for Covid-19 and knows only too well the impact of the virus. The 59-year-old suffered a mild initial illness, but months after being declared recovered she is among Italy’s post-Covid ‘long-haulers’ – struggling daily with muscle pain, chronic tiredness and occasional memory loss.

“My real problems have been what the virus left behind,” she said. “And this was something that nobody expected.” The lingering effects of a tough two-month lockdown and the horror experienced at the height of the emergency – when the country held one of the highest death tolls in the world – may however help to explain why Italy, the first European country to be hit by an outbreak, appears to be more successful than its neighbours in containing a resurgence. On Tuesday, it recorded 1,392 new cases compared with 10,799 in Spain, 10,088 in France and 4,926 in the UK.

Continue reading…