COVID-19: social disorder is gaining momentum in Italy

Like a health infection, the public disorder should be stopped as soon as the first hints of antisocial behaviour appear. Failing to do so means to let a social pandemics to grow undetected until strong police – and possibly, military – crackdown will be the only (non)solution to restore the “peace of the land”.

There have been several warning tales in the last weeks. In Palermo (Sicily) a mob of twenty people assaulted a supermarket), in Bari (Puglie) criminals robbed a food transport, in Pescara (Abruzzi) a young homeless assaulted a 63-year old lady and stole her shopping bag and in Milan (Lombardy) food-delivery raiders are victims of assaults and theft of the merchandise they carry. Furtherly, media reported an increase of COVID-19-related scams and swindles). Still, the Government is doing nothing but “issue warning”.The copycat is similar to the pandemics’ reaction: an initial underevaluation of the issue, a progressive increase of cases without a rapid reaction, poor enforcement of the social-distancing orders and a desperate quest to find spaces, types of equipment and people to cure those severely affected by the virus.

As per the public order issues, Italy is still at phase one: initial underevaluation of the telltales. Unfortunately – and disturbingly – the Government is doing nothing to change its pandemics-like approach. And like in case of the pandemics, the consequences will be an aggravation of the state of emergency. It is not unlikely, then, that armed forces – State police and Army – will patrol the streets policing people without distinction among desperate, criminals, and “professional rioters”.

A dystopian – as well as as “conspiracy theorist” – might claim that this is “part of the plot” to “change the world order” by letting the social crisis to explode and justify the use of (normally not allowed) excessive force, thus depriving citizens of their freedoms.

The Government, though, does not strike as being that clever. A more probable explanation is dramatically simpler: powers-that-be are looking the other side, hoping that the problem disappears.

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