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

Trojans stun powerhouse Anteaters

first_imgFollowing a season-opening loss to UC San Diego, the USC men’s volleyball team is looking to re-group with a slate of matchups against top-ranked opponents.Feather in the cap · Sophomore middle blocker Robert Feathers has tallied a combined 19 kills in the season’s first two games. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanThe Trojans got off to a solid start in that regard, earning their first victory of the season by knocking off reigning champion and the No. 1 UC Irvine Anteaters 25-21, 25-23, 27-25 Friday night.The Trojans atoned for their tough loss to the Anteaters in last season’s championship game in which they were swept on their home court. The victory enabled the Trojans to overcome their loss at the hands of UC San Diego, also a three-set sweep.Sophomore middle blocker Robert Feathers shined on both sides of the court, registering a team-high 12 kills to go along with six blocks. Freshman outside hitter Alex Slaught and junior opposite Tanner Jansen each notched eight kills to pace the Trojan attack alongside Feathers, while the defense was anchored by freshman libero Brooks Varni (eight digs) and sophomore setter Micah Christenson (seven digs).The Trojans are coming off a successful 2012 campaign, one in which USC coach Bill Ferguson lost four 2011 starters, including three All-Americans. After starting slowly at 5-4, the Trojans dominated the remainder of the season to finish with a No. 2 overall ranking and 26-4 record, including an 18-4 mark in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play to earn their second straight regular season title. USC thoroughly dominated its regular season schedule, posting an 18-game winning streak, a 14-match MPSF winning streak and an 11-game home winning streak.As the Trojans attempt to make another trip to the NCAA Championship, youth will play a major role. Ferguson leads a 2013 squad featuring 18 underclassmen (including 10 freshmen) and only one senior opposite/outside hitter Maddison McKibbin.After lagging behind the competition during the earlier part of the 2000s, the Trojans have developed a dependable program behind Ferguson, who is in his seventh season at the helm. The two-time National Coach of the Year has guided Troy to three NCAA Final Four appearances in the last four years. The team will attempt to make up for the absences of 2012 National Player of the Year Tony Ciarelli at outside hitter and All-American middle blocker Steven Shandrick.Following the resounding win over the Anteaters, the Trojans (1-1) will return to the Galen Center for a three-game homestand, beginning with a match against Pac-12 rival Stanford on Friday night.last_img read more

Rays’ 2-way player McKay to have season-ending surgery

first_img Tampa Bay Rays two-way rookie Brendan McKay will have season-ending surgery on his left throwing shoulder Wednesday.The 24-year-old McKay tested positive for the coronavirus in early July and missed most of the club’s preseason camp. He was cleared to resume activities July 31 and reported to the club’s alternate site, but then experienced stiffness in his pitching shoulder and was shut down last week.“Obviously frustration, but we’re optimistic with the procedure that Brendan will have. Hopefully we’ll have him for 2021 spring training and go from there,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said Tuesday night before a series opener against the Yankees. “There’s no doubt it’s unfortunate for him, for us, because we probably would have already been using him, but just the shoulder never cooperated.”Cash said the issue is in the back of McKay’s shoulder, but the exact nature of the injury won’t be known until after the procedure.McKay was 2-4 with a 5.14 ERA in 13 games (11 starts) last season, and went 2 for 10 with a home run as a designated hitter. He’s also played 49 minor league games at first base since being selected fourth overall in the 2017 draft out of Louisville.The Rays sit in second place in the AL East entering Tuesday’s action, 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees.Image credits: AP WATCH US LIVE Associated Press Television News SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT Last Updated: 19th August, 2020 07:42 IST Rays’ 2-way Player McKay To Have Season-ending Surgery Tampa Bay Rays two-way rookie Brendan McKay will have season-ending surgery on his left throwing shoulder Wednesdaycenter_img First Published: 19th August, 2020 07:42 IST FOLLOW US LIVE TV Written Bylast_img read more