This book analyzes contagion trends and the spread of Covid-19 in Italy in relation to territorial features with a focus on the region of Lombardy, which was the most severely affected. Research began in February 2020, as a group of researchers from the University of Bergamo began monitoring in Italy the first epidemic “wave” of viral infection coming from China, which subsequently spread to Europe and the entire world. Monitoring ceased at the end of June, when the epidemic entered an endemic phase and lockdown measures adopted to contain it were finally lifted. This initial intense period of health emergency in Italy is crucially important for shedding light on the epidemiological dynamics of the disease, for pinpointing potential flaws in our pattern of urban living in times of Covid-19, and, finally, for assessing measures that were put in place in an attempt to stem infection and safeguard the functioning of the health-care system. As also witnessed at present, subsequent Covid-19 waves provide datasets that differ from first-wave data, since infection monitoring has by now extended to increasingly larger population groups, which also include asymptomatic people.a Furthermore, later epidemic waves depend on containment and tracing measures that were adopted as well as on citizens’ acceptance of restrictions over individual freedoms: all that makes it difficult for researchers to examine contagion dynamics in relation to socioterritorial features. This study should be placed in the context of social research that developed in the course of 2020 alongside biomedical studies, and it is rooted in the influential claims of one of the famous 19th-century progenitors of German pathology, Rudolf Virchow, who stated, “An epidemic is a social phenomenon that involves some medical aspects.”b In addition, our research is not so much and not merely an account of the first viral wave that swept across Europe. Rather, it is a territory-focused reflection on a complex issue, an investigation the ultimate goal of which is to derive useful guidelines on how to defend ourselves from subsequent Covid-19 waves or subsequent pandemics.c The initial purpose of this research was to answer the question, “Why in Bergamo?,” that is, to investigate why the contagion spread with such unparalleled virulence and gravity in the province of Bergamo, and later affected much of the region to which this territory belongs, that is, Lombardy. In order to pursue this goal, besides official infection data made available by the Ministry of Health, we relied on a “toolbox,” which included datasets produced over the years on the socioterritorial aspects of the region and used cartographic and geographic equipment from the CST-DiathesisLab to visualize data and translate datasets into information.d However, we soon came to the realization that we needed to formulate a clear starting hypothesis and to lay out a solid theoretical framework on which our analytical research method could be based. Our hypothesis eventually focused on the existence of a relationship between epidemiological features and physical and social aspects of places. Thus, we embraced the notion that territory affects contagion and that territorial features impinge on the onset, course, intensity, and severity of contagion. This involved assuming territory not exclusively in its localized dimensions, but rather in relation to its physical and/or social features. In order to address the territorial phenomena of globalization, we needed to adopt a theoretical model, and the reticularity model seemed particularly apposite. A reticular model succinctly states that in the contemporary, mobile and urbanized world, living unfolds along the intertwining nodes and connections produced by the dynamism of inhabitants both locally and globally (L!evy, 2008). Unsurprisingly, in times of a pandemic, reticularity of this kind marks ideal conditions for a viral spread. Under such conditions, a contagion will occur both by proximity, which results from gatherings or crowding around high-connectivity places, such as hyperplaces (public spaces typical of high population density), and by reticularity, which derives from people’s movements on collective public transport (Lussault, 2007, 2017).

(2021). Mapping the Epidemic: A Systemic Geography of COVID-19 in Italy [edited book - curatela]. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/194640

Mapping the Epidemic: A Systemic Geography of COVID-19 in Italy

Adobati, Fulvio;Casti, Emanuela;Negri, Ilia
2021

Abstract

This book analyzes contagion trends and the spread of Covid-19 in Italy in relation to territorial features with a focus on the region of Lombardy, which was the most severely affected. Research began in February 2020, as a group of researchers from the University of Bergamo began monitoring in Italy the first epidemic “wave” of viral infection coming from China, which subsequently spread to Europe and the entire world. Monitoring ceased at the end of June, when the epidemic entered an endemic phase and lockdown measures adopted to contain it were finally lifted. This initial intense period of health emergency in Italy is crucially important for shedding light on the epidemiological dynamics of the disease, for pinpointing potential flaws in our pattern of urban living in times of Covid-19, and, finally, for assessing measures that were put in place in an attempt to stem infection and safeguard the functioning of the health-care system. As also witnessed at present, subsequent Covid-19 waves provide datasets that differ from first-wave data, since infection monitoring has by now extended to increasingly larger population groups, which also include asymptomatic people.a Furthermore, later epidemic waves depend on containment and tracing measures that were adopted as well as on citizens’ acceptance of restrictions over individual freedoms: all that makes it difficult for researchers to examine contagion dynamics in relation to socioterritorial features. This study should be placed in the context of social research that developed in the course of 2020 alongside biomedical studies, and it is rooted in the influential claims of one of the famous 19th-century progenitors of German pathology, Rudolf Virchow, who stated, “An epidemic is a social phenomenon that involves some medical aspects.”b In addition, our research is not so much and not merely an account of the first viral wave that swept across Europe. Rather, it is a territory-focused reflection on a complex issue, an investigation the ultimate goal of which is to derive useful guidelines on how to defend ourselves from subsequent Covid-19 waves or subsequent pandemics.c The initial purpose of this research was to answer the question, “Why in Bergamo?,” that is, to investigate why the contagion spread with such unparalleled virulence and gravity in the province of Bergamo, and later affected much of the region to which this territory belongs, that is, Lombardy. In order to pursue this goal, besides official infection data made available by the Ministry of Health, we relied on a “toolbox,” which included datasets produced over the years on the socioterritorial aspects of the region and used cartographic and geographic equipment from the CST-DiathesisLab to visualize data and translate datasets into information.d However, we soon came to the realization that we needed to formulate a clear starting hypothesis and to lay out a solid theoretical framework on which our analytical research method could be based. Our hypothesis eventually focused on the existence of a relationship between epidemiological features and physical and social aspects of places. Thus, we embraced the notion that territory affects contagion and that territorial features impinge on the onset, course, intensity, and severity of contagion. This involved assuming territory not exclusively in its localized dimensions, but rather in relation to its physical and/or social features. In order to address the territorial phenomena of globalization, we needed to adopt a theoretical model, and the reticularity model seemed particularly apposite. A reticular model succinctly states that in the contemporary, mobile and urbanized world, living unfolds along the intertwining nodes and connections produced by the dynamism of inhabitants both locally and globally (L!evy, 2008). Unsurprisingly, in times of a pandemic, reticularity of this kind marks ideal conditions for a viral spread. Under such conditions, a contagion will occur both by proximity, which results from gatherings or crowding around high-connectivity places, such as hyperplaces (public spaces typical of high population density), and by reticularity, which derives from people’s movements on collective public transport (Lussault, 2007, 2017).
curatela (libro)
Adobati, Fulvio; Casti, Emanuela; Negri, Ilia
File allegato/i alla scheda:
File Dimensione del file Formato  
Mapping the epidemic_editors.pdf

Solo gestori di archivio

Versione: publisher's version - versione editoriale
Licenza: Licenza default Aisberg
Dimensione del file 3.95 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.95 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

Aisberg ©2008 Servizi bibliotecari, Università degli studi di Bergamo | Terms of use/Condizioni di utilizzo

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10446/194640
Citazioni
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact