“Pandemic did not surprise me, I knew it would come”


“Pandemics are phenomena that happen, where there are men there are pandemics. I have studied this topic for more than 30 years in the laboratory, because these viruses always arise from the animal tank. I knew that sooner or later a pandemic would come, I wasn’t that surprised. ” These are the words of Ilaria Capua, director of the UF One Health Center, at La Cura on Radio3.

“I was also one of the first people to say that you had to equip yourself with teleworking or with remote lessons for schools. I understood that there was a lot of loss, especially in Italy. I decided to put my lab coat back on for my country and my multidisciplinary center tries to explore what the research and development areas of the future will be around the major health problems, not only of man but also of animals “, he adds. “I decided to put my coat back on and accompany my country with an external point of view, because living in the United States can give another perspective,” says the scientist. “We need to understand the messages that this pandemic is screaming in our faces. Cities, as they are made now, are unable to cope with this disease. A pandemic does not save you from the next, pandemics occur, another pandemic will come. This pandemic is shouting at us that cities, as they are, are not making it. ”

“We have to reduce the risk that these viruses come out of the animal tank, we have to do serious interventions on poaching and maintaining biodiversity. This virus started with a bat that found itself where it was not meant to be, together with a pangolin. The two viruses present in the two animals they have recombined, it is still not known whether in a wild habitat or in a market of live animals. Mother Nature did what she does best and created this new virus, perfectly capable of infecting humans. and to pass on from man to man, “he says again. “Live animal markets are a huge living factor: the vast majority of pandemics and pre-pandemic viruses came from live animal markets, which must be eliminated. It is no longer possible, in the same way, to bring certain species to the limits of extinction “.

“We who have been dealing with science for a long time must make a great self-criticism. For a long time they told decision makers – politicians, entrepreneurs, intellectuals – that a pandemic would come. But nobody believed it. We have a great responsibility , science should not be disclosed but must be woven into reasoning and everyday life. People no longer have to be surprised when asked to put in place a series of mechanisms to protect individuals and their families, “he notes. “If we could keep a third of the habit of washing our hands developed during this period, we would cut down other infectious diseases by 50%. We scientists must do an examination of conscience, but also the ruling classes should do it: you must believe more to science. Without science we live badly: if the Italians had been more prepared from the scientific point of view, they would not have been so afraid. A very intelligent lady told me that for a period she was terrified and did not open the window because he feared the virus would come in. Please … “.


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