Italy’s dependence on tourism is something that has always bothered me. In 2019 tourism’s contribution to GDP rose to 13.3%. What happens if a panic were to take those numbers into single digits? A disaster for the whole country.
(ANSA) – Rome, February 26 – Moody’s said Wednesday that Italy is more likely to go into recession after the outbreak of the coronavirus in the north. But the agency added that it is unlikely to affect sovereign and sub-sovereign credit profiles. Coronavirus weighs on growth — Moody’s
I’ve been hearing from tour guides who report their inboxes full of cancellations recently. COVID-19 is having a big effect already. Martha tells me that journalists have been told not to write tourism stories about Italy. Events are being canceled in affected areas. Are we feeling the landslide yet?
Tourist cancellations have reached 90% in Rome for March — ANSA
The horrors have been around the net a few times now, but what I haven’t seen are the facts that put the coronavirus into perspective.
Coronavirus in Italy Facts and Figures
Here is some information I’ve compiled on the virus; click the links for more information.
Only 3% of coronavirus patients die, and all of them had pre-existing conditions, Walter Ricciardi of the World Health Organization told a Rome press conference Tuesday. — ANSA. (My note: It is possible, probable even, that Mr. Ricciardi was victim of a bad translation and meant “have died” rather than “die.” I’ve not found the Italian version of the story on ANSA.)
(ANSA) – Rome, February 25 – Civil Protection Chief Angelo Borrelli said Tuesday that 283 people are known to have contracted the coronavirus in Italy up to now… There are 109 people in hospital, plus another 29 in intensive care, while 137 are in isolation at home. — ANSA
“We Italians are seen as a country of undisciplined people, but we are very orderly when there are precautions to be respected regarding the health of all,” Borrelli said. “There isn’t anyone without health assistance or without the support of civil protection.” — Italian civil protection head and coronavirus emergency commissioner Angelo Borrelli ANSA
Should I go to Lombardy or…?
The Italian region of Lombardia is the hardest hit by the virus and folks are taking measures to avoid infection: trains and buses have been reported as empty as folks stop going out.
I can’t tell you personally what to do at this moment, but calmly consider the facts and the risks when making your Italy vacation plans. The extreme measures Italy has taken to control the spread of the disease may indeed be the deciding factor; there seems to be an avalanche of event cancellations at this moment.
Here is a hour to hour reporting of corona virus cases in Italy: Coronavirus in Italia
Decameron Due (2)
As for us, I suppose we’ll do what the Boccaccio’s characters have done, hole up in our rural abode telling stories until the plague passes. We’ll go out on occasion. We’ll wash our hands often. We’ll rest knowing the Italian health system is one of the best.
If you go, reduce your many risks: take an airplane built by people who care about safety, wash your hands, drive like you enjoy paying attention, wash your hands, go to a place like Sardinia that hasn’t been hit (yet), wash your hands…
And you know you can lease a brand new car rather than drive one that’s had many people doing unspeakable things in it, right?