Still on topic of plague – sorry! I’ll find something else eventually. But this short piece was written by reporter Anton Nikitin, and is an example of international solidarity. People helping people, nations helping nations. [Cue Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” swelling chorus.]
So, the Italian people and government are going through a very tough time right now. The Covid plague hit them hard, they were unprepared (like most countries), didn’t have enough testing kits, enough ventilators, enough doctors, enough nurses, etc.
Into the rescue gallops the Russian cavalry, in the form of 22 units of automotive specialized anti-virus technology. These guys work for the Russian military, so they are fairly well organized. And is actually kind of unprecedented that a NATO country is accepting this kind of quasi-military aid from the “enemy”, Russia.
So this military column landed, a few days ago, at the Italian airbase Pratica di Mare and has just completed a 600-kilometer march north to the city of Bergamo, where it will unroll operations.
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And bringing with them the following supplies: Mobile diagnostic complexes, mass-production disinfection facilities, special equipment to assist those critically ill with the infection. The Russian Defense Ministry proudly announced that the aid column was accompanied, along the entire route, by Italian carabinieri, in their colorful uniforms. These might even be some of the same units that Herr Beethoven encountered, back in the day, when Napoleon was busy invading Europe.
The military-medical unit will set up operations at the airbase Orio al Serio, near Bergamo. Russians and Italians will be working together, hand in hand (wearing latex gloves, of course) in the battle against the Covid-19 virus.
The city of Bergamo, located in the beautiful region of Lombard, has been, unfortunately, one of the epicenters of the infection in Italy. But Russia is bringing assistance, in the shape of 600 ventilators, 15 airplanes containing vital equipment; not to mention 100 specialists, and 8 brigades of Doctor-Nurses. Russian President Vladimir Putin had offered this assistance to the Italians, and they gratefully accepted. Yesterday Italy’s Ambassador to Moscow, Pasquale Terracciano, thanked Russia for the help. Terracciano was too polite to mention, but ex-Italian diplomat Franco Frattini commented pointedly that the EU had abandoned Italy, pretty much to just die on the side of the road. EU nobbity-nobs even had the gall to blame Italy for its own problems, saying that Italians were lazy and don’t follow the rules.
[yalensis: I have heard similar quasi-racist remarks about, say, the Chinese; like people blaming them, they started the whole thing because they “eat digusting food”, that sort of ignorant talk.]
In conclusion: Russia is doing the right thing to help a fellow nation that is suffering and needs a hand of friendship (in a latex glove, natch). In the words of philospher Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get along?” Especially in these trying times, which would test the patience of Christ himself.