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The Italian lesson: Treat the crisis as a marathon

Mario Calabresi in Milan

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Mario Calabresi

Mario Calabresi

Mario Calabresi

Here in Milan, in the region that has already counted more deaths than the whole of China, we have entered the third week of lockdown. Our lives have radically changed, and this is what I've learned.

These weeks have been full of genuine regret for having underestimated our predicament. Those of you who still have time - don't waste it: in the blink of an eye, protective face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers became a rare and unobtainable commodity.

For too many days - the first few when the virus was already in our midst, but we could still go out - we thought it was rude not to shake hands with friends and colleagues, that keeping our distance was somehow insulting, that we could still down a beer, share that last pizza and have a workout in the gym. The sooner we understand that our lifestyles have to change profoundly, the sooner we can avoid mistakes.