A message from: Adriano Fontanari, Alessio Smeraldo, Angela Costagliola, Mauro Quinzi, Salvatore Pirri, and Stefania Raimondo.
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#itsuptoUs is an open initiative from a group of Italians with different professional backgrounds. We met last year, after participating in the Starship EIT Health programme, one of the flagship programs funded by the European Union, with the aim to share and train young innovators across Europe to foster and sustain innovation in the healthcare sector.
Italy has been among the first countries hit by the COVID-19 emergency. As healthcare innovators and European citizens, we believe, and feel, that it is our duty to European values and the European community, to share our recent experiences.
The goal of this document is to create, share and disseminate a list of social activities to prevent a worsening of the effects caused by the coronavirus, many of which are triggered by social behaviors which were perfectly normal two weeks ago, but are now deeply dangerous.
It is incredible how life can change so fast. Early this year we were impressed when watching videos amid Coronavirus outbreak in China. The virus seemed to be very far. Then it started to spread. Day after day new cases were found. In the beginning, the numbers were small and located in the North of Italy. The virus was spreading and nobody could imagine how fast the situation would deteriorate.
At the end of February, the recommendation was to avoid crowded places, to wash your hands, and to sneeze into the elbow.
In ten days the government took the first nationwide decision: close the schools. Then, people had to keep one meter of distance. It was no longer a video. People in bars were sitting one per table.
The second major measure was the lockdown: to close all activities but the essential ones (e.g. supermarkets) and people have to stay at home.
Suddenly, we went from going to work/school, running or meeting up with friends to stay in auto-quarantine.
The number of people in Italy that have tested positive for COVID-19 has increased exponentially due to the Coronavirus contagion rate. Today, we know that the number of people who are actually affected by the virus is far higher than the number who have been offically diagnosed, as many of them could not have obvious symptoms.
If the virus spreads, the healthcare system will saturate soon, especially intensive care units, the resources to cure people will run out and the situation could degenerate even further.
We don’t know how the situation will evolve in Europe, but numbers should encourage us all to be responsible for our own actions:
The coronavirus safety list of recommendations:
Follow the WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines:
- Wash your hands frequently: Link Guide
- Maintain social distancing - Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Practice respiratory hygiene - Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and call in advance.
- Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider.
- Ask for smart-working and prefer online meetings
- Avoid going out for shopping if not strictly necessary
- Avoid unnecessary travels
- Avoid crowded places (bars, restaurants, events)
- Avoid being in contact with vulnerable people (e.g. elderly people)
- If you experience these symptoms, call your doctor. Don’t rush to the hospital.
- Say hello without hugs and kisses, if the Italians are doing it, you can too!
By staying at home you can:
- Prevent hospital overcrowding and pressure on hospital staff
- Protect your relatives and friends from getting infected
- Protect vulnerable populations: immunosuppressed people, elderly, chronic patients
- Explore the bright side to stay at home!
- Share your bright side to stay at home story
Small individual actions have a huge impact on all. #itsuptoUs