Italy's initial response to the coronavirus was ... not great (As another country with a terrible response, we should know). Which explains why they have over 6,000 deaths, the highest in the world -- along with the world's worst death rate that's currently sitting at 9% and inching toward 10. It also doesn't help that the virus seems tailor-made to kill the elderly, who Italy has so much of you'd think they were hoarding them to sell on eBay when their value went up. (Though the idea that it's only severely impacting the elderly isn't exactly true). Italy messed up, is the point.
They messed up by only testing the severely sick while ignoring everyone else, but also by not issuing quarantine orders sooner to stem the tide. So it makes sense that, in the midst of facing the consequences, mayors would take to the streets and direct-to-camera webcam rants to berate their constituents for not being in quarantine.
Italy has been in nation-wide lockdown since March 13. Anyone not following that order will be confronted by a roving one-person gang of their mayor and/or will be scolded via live stream with an onslaught of Italian emphasis fingers. Abuse of the dog-walking exemption seems to be drawing a lot of their mayorly fury.
Giuseppe Falcomata, Mayor of Reggio Calabria, said that while he was patrolling his streets like an Italian Batman -- il Murcielago, if you will -- he reminded a man walking his dog that he's "not Will Smith in I Am Legend, therefore, get home." It's shocking enough to hear that anyone remembers I Am Legend, let alone to find out that it's resonated with small-town Italian mayors. Another mayor (who enters 27 seconds into the video in the tweet above) wonders aloud if perhaps people's dogs just have severely inflamed prostates since, surely, owners wouldn't be using their precious dogs as an excuse to potentially spread the virus that kills 9% of the Italians who contract it.
The impassioned fury with which these irate Italian mayors are approaching this outbreak is commendable. It stands in stark contrast to American politicians, like, for example, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. A governor who has overseen one of the biggest coronavirus spikes in the nation, yet still refuses to issue a mandatory shelter-in-place order -- instead of leaving it up to citizens and municipalities decided what to do for themselves. Slow-walking a response to a global viral pandemic is how you get Italy's record 743 deaths in one day. Right now, we don't need local political lollygaggers. We need the righteous ferocity of the Italian mayor who, after being asked by his constituents if they can still jog, said "In this town, there's 20 runners, if that. Now you're all marathon runners?! Everyone's asking to run. Where do you want to go?!"
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!