Italy was also notably not calling for, or practicing, social distancing
Feb. 4: "Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella has suggested residents hug Chinese people to encourage them in the fight against the novel coronavirus." pic.twitter.com/gVmYTnCmB4
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) March 20, 2020
Chinese media and Italian officials also combined to encourage folks to hug Chinese people, to fight “racism” in early February.
A former European Society of Virology doctor was quoted in a CNN article suggesting that fears of being labeled racist contributed to the lack of readiness and the devastating spread of the coronavirus in Italy.
“There was a proposal to isolate people coming from the epicenter, coming from China,” European Society of Virology’s Dr. Giorgio Palu said. “Then it became seen as racist, but they were people coming from the outbreak.”
Palu concluded that fear led to the current situation and added that the country was “lazy in the beginning” and referenced “too much politics in Italy.”