Italy begins to emerge from world’s longest nationwide lockdown

first_imgBut bars and even ice cream parlors will remain shut. The use of public transport will be discouraged and everyone will have to wear masks in indoor public spaces.”We are feeling a mix of joy and fear,” 40-year-old Stefano Milano said in Rome.”There will be great happiness in being able to go running again carefree, in my son being allowed to have his little cousin over to blow out his birthday candles, to see our parents,” the father-of-three said.”But we are also apprehensive because they are old and my father-in-law has cancer so is high risk”. ‘Worried about reopening’ The economic toll of all those shutdowns has been historic.Italy’s economy — the eurozone’s third-largest last year — is expected to shrink more than in any year since the global depression of the 1930s.Half of the workforce is receiving state support and the same number told a top pollster that they were afraid of becoming unemployed.And some of those who are out of a job already say they do not entirely trust in Conte’s ability to safely navigate the nation out of peril.”I am worried about the reopening. The authorities seem very undecided about how to proceed,” 37-year-old Davide Napoleoni told AFP.Conte’s popularity has jumped along with that of most of other world leaders grappling with the pandemic thanks to a rally around the flag effect.But a Demos poll conducted at the end of April found some of Conte’s lustre fading.Confidence in his government has slipped by eight percentage points to a still-strong 63 percent since March. ‘Moment of responsibility’ Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus emerged in December, led the world with an unprecedented lockdown on January 23 that lasted 76 days. Weeks later Italy followed suit, becoming the first Western democracy to shut down virtually everything in the face of an illness that has now officially killed 28,884 — the most in Europe — and some fear thousands more.The lives of Italians began closing in around them as it became increasingly apparent that the first batch of infections in provinces around Milan were spiraling out of control.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte began by putting a quarter of the population in the northern industrial heartland on lockdown on March 8.The sudden measure frightened many — fearful of being locked in together with the gathering threat — into fleeing to less affected regions further south.The danger of the virus spreading with them and incapacitating the south’s less developed health care system forced Conte to announce a nationwide lockdown on March 9.”Today is our moment of responsibility,” Conte told the nation. “We cannot let our guard down.”The official death toll was then 724.More waves of restrictions followed as hundreds began dying each day.Almost everything except for pharmacies and grocery stores was shuttered across the Mediterranean country of 60 million on March 12.Conte’s final roll of the dice involved closing all non-essential factories on March 22.Italy’s highest single toll — 969 — was reported five days later. Stir-crazy Italians will be free to stroll and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks on Monday as Europe’s hardest-hit country eases back the world’s longest nationwide coronavirus lockdown.Four million people — an estimated 72 percent of them men — will return to their construction sites and factories as the economically and emotionally shattered country tries to get back to work.Restaurants that have managed to survive Italy’s most disastrous crisis in generations will reopen for takeaway service.center_img Psychological toll Italy’s staggered reopening is complicated by a highly decentralized system that allows the country’s 20 regions to layer on their own rules.Venice’s Veneto and the southern Calabria regions have thus been serving food and drink at bars and restaurants with outdoor seating since last week.The area around Genoa is thinking of allowing small groups of people to go sailing and reopening its beaches.Neighboring Emilia-Romagna is keeping them closed — even to those who live by the sea.All this uncertainty appears to be weighing on the nation’s psyche.A poll by the Piepoli Institute showed 62 percent of Italians think they will need psychological support with coming to grips with the post-lockdown world.”The night of the virus continues,” sociologist Ilvo Diamanti wrote in La Repubblica daily.”And you can hardly see the light on the horizon. If anything, we’re getting used to moving in the dark.” Topics :last_img read more

Syracuse looks to avenge regular-season loss in ACC tournament semifinals matchup with Louisville

first_img Published on November 13, 2014 at 12:19 am Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse wasn’t shy about the fact that it wanted Louisville.After the Orange defeated Duke in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament on Sunday, the attention quickly turned to exacting revenge on its most disappointing loss of the season.“I’d love to play them again,” junior goalkeeper Alex Bono said. “Neutral site. Went down a man down there, unfortunately, right or wrong. I’d love to get back after them and get some re-venge.“Just going out there and seeing those red jerseys and walking all over them.”In its best season in program history, Syracuse’s biggest blemish came on Oct. 17, when it lost at Louisville after relenting a one-goal advantage. Cardinals midfielder Tim Kubel tied the game on a penalty kick and SU’s Alex Halis was ejected after receiving a controversial second yellow card with just more than four minutes to play.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith the Orange down a man, Louisville’s Jerry Ramirez scored off a free kick six minutes into overtime and then-No. 2 SU’s eight-game winning streak was over. The No. 1 Orange (15-2-1, 5-2-1 ACC), though, has a chance to redeem itself when it travels to Cary, North Carolina to face the sixth-seeded Cardinals (9-6-3, 4-3-1) in the semifinals of the ACC tournament at 8 p.m. on Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park.“Right after we played them down there, we realized we’d hopefully have another chance to play,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “I’m sure they’re as excited to play us as we are to play them.”After Halis was whistled for pushing another player from behind in the 86th minute of SU’s eventual loss, the home crowd of 3,367 immediately started yelling before referee Ted Unkel gave Halis a second yellow card, despite there not being much contact, backup goalkeeper Matt Stith said.SU right wing Oyvind Alseth said that moment demoralized SU, and a team that works constant-ly on defensive set pieces conceded a goal on one just six minutes into overtime.“It wasn’t just the result. It was the morale and the way we played,” Alseth said. “Letting that goal was pretty disappointing. I think the team got over it pretty quickly. The most important thing is how you react to losses, and we haven’t lost since then.”Its loss to Louisville wasn’t a game that highlighted Syracuse’s weaknesses, it was an anomaly in a season where seemingly every break has gone SU’s way. Six of its first 13 games had been 1-0 wins, and when the Orange jumped out to that advantage in the 55th minute, there was no reason to think the game would be any different.“Yes and no,” midfielder Stefanos Stamoulacatos said when asked if he wished the Orange could have that game back. “Everything happens for a reason. We’re playing them now in the final four, I think we’re going to come up on top this time.”McIntyre jokingly said he owed the ACC an apology for robbing the league of a potential Duke-North Carolina semifinal this weekend, noting that it will probably be harder to sell tickets in Cary now.But whether the Orange plays in front of a packed house or empty bleachers, it’s the chance to get back at Louisville that gives SU extra motivation.“We lost two games this season, and now we get to play one of the teams we lost to,” Alseth said. “It’s a big chance for redemption for us and it is quite a big deal.” Commentslast_img read more