COVID-19 Concerns and Confusion Over Resuming School in Italy
The main COVID-19 concerns getting attention in Italy are the lack of masks and a dispute regarding the detection of the temperature of students of all ages and the self-certification written in a diary by the parents as required by the health authorities.
The dispute has arisen between Minister of Education Lucia Azzolina who imposed the regulation that provides for the measurement of fever at home and for safety even during the journey from home to school, and President of the Piedmont region Alberto Cirio who is challenging the regulation to measure fever upon arrival at school.
Cirio’s decision has split Italy into 2 pros and cons, a tug-of-war with Rome, but Cirio does not doubt his decision. Deniers, however, are saying “the association of the people of mothers” based on the outskirts of Turin which met in Rome are crying out “let’s set fire to the masks and save the children from the health dictatorship.” Cirio reassured his parents he understood their principles and the belief that it is wrong to delegate such a delicate task exclusively to families.
Last but not least, is the question as to whether classrooms are equipped to welcome students safely. The government’s promise to equip schools with 11 million masks a day has not yet been fulfilled despite the contract won by Mr. Elkam which ensured the production of 27 million per day.
Thousands of mothers are refusing to send their children to preschools. This chaos is not reassuring to the population about the efficiency of protection services in schools. The schools of Rome without a daily stock of masks ask children to bring them from home. At the beginning of the lessons, masks are missing or not enough. The regional school office informed that “they are available, but there are delivery problems.”
The government is in a hurry to have the delivery dates of prefabricated wooden classroom modules repeated to accommodate students whose schools are still being structured. All this is followed by the decision of nurses in the RSAs to boycott them to accept the more attractive salary proposals from public hospitals, creating economic damage to the RSAs who no longer occupy their beds and the rush of families to public facilities who will not be able to support geriatric demand.
For now, schools have to get by for themselves, buying masks with their own funds or asking parents to bring them from home. There are also those who rely on crowdfunding. However, school is in reality only starting halfway as many students who will see their classrooms are doing so only in person one day and from their own PC the next day.