Curfew and masks, what are the risks if everyone is free? Questions and answers

Curfew and masks, what are the risks if everyone is free? Questions and answers
Curfew and masks, what are the risks if everyone is free? Questions and answers

It’s a curfew fatuous, now few respect the limit of 23, which will rise by an hour from tomorrow to disappear on 21 June. And while the debate between the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, and the governors on the maximum number of people at the table indoors or outdoors was animated, reality had already exceeded the rules, it was enough to take a walk in Rome as in other cities to see large groups dining in the local dehors. For the obligation to wear a mask outdoors, experts expect to say goodbye in mid-July, but a part of the population already walks today with the protective device lowered. And the spacing? Last week, in Bologna, for an open day of vaccination, hundreds of young people lined up, between crowds and shoves, as normally happens for the opening of a fashion store. Even if the institutions are not careful in avoiding these occasions, it is difficult to ask children to be cautious. Fortunately, the number of new positives is decreasing every day, but how risky is the lesser compliance with the rules that you see everywhere?

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Professor Massimo Andreoni, director of Infectious Diseases at the Tor Vergata Polyclinic in Rome, replies: «It would be wrong to exceed in rigor, in alarmism. Having said that, however, we must not exaggerate on the other side either, because with today’s behavior and throughout the summer we will also guarantee a better autumn. Let us always remember that vaccines are an extraordinary achievement, which will help us overcome this crisis. But no vaccine works one hundred percent, that’s impossible. Also in my ward we had a patient in serious condition although he had completed the vaccination course. He was a very fragile patient and in any case he recovered, in that sense the vaccine worked. But prudence must remain ». What is the behavior that worries you most? «In my opinion, the lack of respect for distances, even outdoors. The gatherings indoors, of course, are to be strongly avoided, but even in the open air we try, as far as possible, to respect the distance ».


If they are not used outdoors, the spacing is decisive

Premise: wearing a mask is not an unbearable sacrifice, in full lockdown we would have accepted it, without hesitation, in exchange for a return to normal life. Today the possibility is gaining strength that soon, outdoors, when the majority of Italians have been vaccinated, we will be able to do without the mask. However, it should be remembered that at least we must try to keep our distance and avoid crowded places and gatherings. If we are outdoors, isolated, doing without the mask can be a mistake for one reason only: we risk not being sufficiently ready to wear it when we meet many people or enter closed places.

Not wearing them indoors remains a gamble

Giving up the use of masks indoors, especially in the presence of people with whom we do not normally live, is a gamble. By now experience and numerous researches show that the transmission of the virus is easier in closed places. “Even if we are vaccinated – recalls Professor Massimo Andreoni of the Tor Vergata Polyclinic – we must not feel invincible”. Among the good rules to continue to be respected is the need to change the air frequently by opening the windows and doors. In this, the summer temperatures can help us. In general, if you are in a room with other people, it is a good idea to wear a mask.


Experts also believe it is time to abolish it

Those who say “the curfew is useless, the virus does not become more dangerous after 11 pm” trivializes the meaning of this measure. The final goal, when the virus seemed unstoppable, was to reduce the chances of transmission of Sars-CoV-2 and it is evident that this happens if the hours in which there is social interaction decrease. Given this premise, even experts believe that the time has come to do without the curfew: it happens in the white regions, it will happen everywhere on June 21 and already tomorrow we will be granted an extra hour of freedom. It must also be said that today the curfew can be counterproductive: having to go home earlier, many more people tend to do the same thing together, like going to a restaurant, in a shorter time.


Tables: everything changes if you are au plein air

If you are in an indoor restaurant, avoid the table. The debate over the past few days on the number of diners was almost out of reality. In restaurants with outdoor tables, many people could already be seen having dinner together. What can this entail from an epidemiological point of view? There is a lot of difference between an outdoor and an indoor dinner and the guidelines, among other things, ask restaurants to always keep doors and windows wide open in order to facilitate the exchange of air. The pitfall in an indoor venue is obviously determined by the fact that while you eat you take off your mask. Outdoors, however, the risk is reduced, but when moving, the protective device must be maintained.


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