A musing on transmission


So Italy has had a giant leap in cases of the Coronavirus.

Musing on this,  do you think that the traditional way of greeting friends in Italy has played any part in this increase?

Just a thought.


  • Eric
    March 9, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    I had read that in Italy only 60% of the population respects/trusts what the govt tells them to do. Whereas in UK, Germany etc it is about 80%. So we listen to advice on washing hands etc in the UK.

    Quite a few Britsih Airlines stopped Chinese links early on as well.

    • phil
      March 9, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      So us and Italy get the first two confirmed cases on exactly the same day, Italy now have, what? 8000 cases to our 300 and you think this is likely down to Italians not respecting their government enough to wash their hands?

      A commercial airline making such a decision has negligible diplomatic impact. A national Government effectively declaring that your country is in purdah has a huge diplomatic impact. The Chinese government has quite the reputation for sensitivity with regard to it’s international reputation.

  • Ian
    March 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Italy’s first 2 confirmed cases were Chinese nationals in Rome on January 31st.


    Britain’s first 2 confirmed cases were Chinese nationals in Newcastle on January 31st.


    The biggest difference seems to be Italy immediately precipitated a diplomatic spat by becoming (as far as I can tell) the first country to sever air links with China.

    Italy now has more cases confirmed than any country other than China and (narrowly) South Korea, and more confirmed cases than all the rest of Europe combined. Very strange, also quite weird how this has hardly been mentioned.

    One might draw the conclusion that it’s best not to annoy the Chinese government.

    • Eric
      March 9, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      Isn’t Iran a bit of a disaster zone as well? I think the Iranians have been a bit evasive about the whole thing so accurate numbers may not be available.

  • Rob1970
    March 9, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    I saw a chart the other day showing how often people wash their hands in each country after going to be the bog compared to number of infections in said country. It was a striking comparison with Italy being the least concerned about personal hygiene. However the Dutch were no better than the Italians which may or may not disprove that correlation.

    I work with a lot of French and Italians and would say that in the workplace at least kissing isn’t that common. However in France it is common to shake hands every morning as you start work in the same way as we just say hello but that’s France, not Italy.

  • scats
    March 9, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Wouldn’t it apply at least also to France, this musing?

    • Gaz
      March 9, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      I also thought that , but not being well versed in any of their nuances of each culture , maybe there is a difference .

      Or maybe the virus doesn’t like crusty baguettes or horse meat.

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