With thanks to Signora Carlotta Capuano I have reviewed the Italian cases by region curious to see where it has spread across Italy and in what numbers.
As of March 12, 2020 there have been 15,113 Corinavirus cases diagnosed across Italy.
The epicenter is in Lombardy (Milan) where there were 8725 cases, or 58% of the national total.
The next highest infected region is Romagna (Bologna & Rimini) with 1947 cases (13%) and then Veneto (Venice) with 1384 cases (9%). Combined these three regions account for 80% of the country’s diagnosed cases.
What do these three regions have in common?
They are in the north and are contiguous.
The region with the fourth most diagnosed cases is Marche with 592 (4%). Piedmont is fifth with 580 (4%).
Piedmont is where Turin is located and is directly west of Lombardy but Marche is further south in the center of Italy, hugging the east coast along the Adriatic.
Marche is directly south of Romagna, the second highest hit region.
Combined these five region’s account for 88% of the national total and that is before you factor in the national capital and largest city, Rome.
Marche is a hilly area and separated from Rome by the Appennine Mountains. It’s also a center of Italian shoe manufacturing (leather goods). Marche has a temperate climate.
Just across the mountains in Lazio is Rome with 3 million people.
Lazio has a Mediterranean climate and has had 200 Corinavirus cases, or just over 1% of all diagnosed.. With tourists from all over the world passing through the Eternal City, you’d think their numbers (Lazio is an area that encompasses more than just Rome) would be comparable to Milan’s instead of a fraction (2% of Lombardy).
And the further south you go from Lombardy the case numbers plummet.
Campania, home to Naples, Italy’s third largest city with one million people, has 179 cases. And it should be noted that Naples is one of the dirtiest cities in Western Europe.
In contrast Tuscany, directly north of Rome and home to Florence and Pisa, has 364 cases.
The Mediterranean island of Sardinia has 39 and Sicily, the fourth most populous region with 5 million people, has 115 diagnosed cases.
I’m not a doctor nor do I study virology as a hobby. And in high school biology I considered a C grade on any test to be a personal academic achievement.
However I can read a map.
And clearly the further south you go, the fewer the number of Corinavirus cases. Is there also a correlation with warmer weather with this clear trend?
Are temperature and climate conditions acting as an accelerant or deterrent to the spread of the Coronavirus in Italy?
In the case of the flu, cold and dry air tend to keep it together while warm and humid air break it up. Bear in mind the peak of flu season is between December and February, the coldest months of the year. Of course you can get the flu in any month no matter the temperature but your chances are higher in the winter.
Now I will throw in an alternative answer for the Italian pattern: the natural movement of people funneled by topography.
Rome is separated from the Marche region by mountains and hills so people heading south from Milan or Venice on the east side are going to pass through Romagna (#2 in cases) as opposed to Tuscany.
Either way if there is a connection with geography and warm weather with the smaller outbreaks, then the approach of spring and higher temperatures (and dare I say, Hurricane Season!) will be welcomed for once in the deep South not necessarily as an eradicator of the Coronavirus but perhaps as a force of nature that will slow its exponential spread and severity.
This is not some magical fix for the Coronavirus crisis we face today as a nation and planet.
People must take proper precautions such as avoiding large gatherings, vigilantly cleaning hands and adopting other personal cleanliness measures to lessen the chances of contracting and spreading the virus, and accommodating at risk demographics and those with compromised immune systems by limiting the number of trips they make outside their homes until this challenge is behind us.
We need to do our part as individuals to avoid straining the medical system to ensure those in most need of care receive it.
It’s better to self-police your conduct so the state doesn’t have to do it for, or rather, to you.
But we can hope and pray that medicinal advancements and the upcoming warmer weather will speed up the end of this health crisis.