2 min

At the current rate, this month of July will not leave us with very good memories, both in relation to covid and the fires. Our overconfidence in vaccines solving the health crisis has meant covid-19, and in particular the delta variant, has spoiled all plans for a summer of tourist recovery and more or less normalized leisure. And as for fire, we are seeing how, with the first heat wave, fires - apparently in more than one case due to recklessness - are punishing us in different parts of the country. Neither in one case nor in the other can it be said that we were not warned. Public calls for prudence have been frequent. Although it is true that there has also been inconsistency and hesitation from the administrations with regards to the pandemic, the same cannot be said in the case of fires. In the latter case, the good prevention work and the rapid and rigorous action of the fire brigade and other bodies has so far minimised the damage to nature and people. But this does not take away from the fact that, as we can see, we are heading for a summer that will continue to be very complicated.

Faced with this worrying double scenario, it is time to appeal once again to individual and collective responsibility to minimise health and fire risks. In fact, in both cases we are talking about respect for nature. If coronavirus has been able to spread as quickly as it has, it has been partly due to human abuse of the commercialisation of certain animal species, which, according to the most credible scientific hypotheses, acted as spreaders of covid-19. Putting limits on these practices is now a global necessity that must be seriously addressed. Otherwise, we will have to face more unstoppable pandemics. As for fires, with the verifiable and progressive increase in extreme phenomena due to climate change, we will also face an incendiary horizon if we do not take respect for natural balance seriously. We have already seen what has happened with the floods in Germany and India and with fires in the United States. Although in the Mediterranean we are unfortunately used to fires, this does not mean that we have to accept them as an inevitability. On the contrary: we must be aware that if we do not deal with them in a choral manner (with prevention policies, inseparable from care for the environment), fires will become more and more frequent and potentially lethal.

The health of our landscape and our nature ensures a good quality of life, as well as being of unquestionable economic value. The same can be said about coronavirus: guaranteeing immunity against this and other viruses that may come along is a sine qua non to project a collective future of progress and well-being. Otherwise, we will once again put the lives of many people at risk as well as the dynamism of our economy.

It is therefore essential that in the remainder of the summer we all work together to stop the virus and the fires, to prevent both from spreading. Let us all exercise extreme caution.