Listened to, loved and pampered by journalists for his frankness and his authority, the infectious disease specialist Massimo Galli retires. The scientist and university professor, however, promises to continue fighting in two interviews: “I do not abandon the trench. We doctors, along with the magistrates, are the kind of people who would never want to go. But in Milan they say: ‘Pumpkins and melons in their season’. And behind me there are those who deserve to take this place“. Galli reminds Corriere della Sera that “my job requires wearing armor. M.this pandemic leaves scars. There are griefs that are difficult to forget and many friends I have seen die of AIDS also come to mind. Most of my professional life I have spent looking for a cure to curb that disease ”.
As for Covid, “I think it will be declassified – says the head of Infectious Diseases at the Sacco di Milano – Anthony Fauci talks about next spring. But we must not lose the pace of the vaccination campaign. And from this aspect I must say that in Italy we have done better than many others. I have never been pessimistic from this point of view – he clarifies – I was worried about the doses available to us. A person who has impressed me in recent months? Guido Bertolaso for what he did in Lombardy: it is difficult for a technician to lend himself to politics ”.
Galli then talks about his presence on TV, which many consider excessive: “The fashion of virologists makes me angry – he declares – I am, like many colleagues, constantly invited on TV. But the client is the people. For that enormous need for information and debate on the subject. We are not the ones to claim spaces. And anyway for my future I hope not, but I’m afraid so. Look at my publications: there are more than 60 since the beginning of 2000. To the ignorant of politics who say more microscopes and less TV, I say that I have more attention to the fate of Italians and less search for electoral consensus. I go on TV, like I am in the hospital. Fortunately, I sleep little “.
Once retired “I will not stop studying, says Galli – My passion for the history of epidemics will lead me to delve into a great book. That folder that collects all the dead in Milan since 1452. An uncharted territory to be digitized. And then I want to write books: I also have a novel in the drawer. Biggest mistake in 20 months of pandemic? On February 20, 2020 I was hopeful that we would have escaped it, that the virus would have turned wide: I was thinking about the parameters of Sars. I looked in the mirror and wondered how I could ask politics to stop everything and take restrictive measures. Also, in May I shouted that we were lifting the restrictions too soon. I think we opened in a lucky window. We went in luxury, if the Delta variant had arrived a hair earlier it would have been another disaster ”.
“An epidemic like this had been missing for a century – he concludes – underlined the precariousness of human life. It is as if people thought that with technology, medicine could save us from everything, that we would always live happily ever after. Instead, today’s young people will tell it to their grandchildren. Hoping that memory will help them build a health system with broad enough shoulders to prevent such a thing from happening too soon ”.
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