Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala in late February was busy with the usual chores. His city is an endless series of exhibitions, festivals, conferences, etc., national and international, and the head of the city is responsible for everything along with the organizers. The international exhibition of footwear MICAM Spring (February 16–19) has just ended and Milan Fashion Week (February 18–24) was in full swing.
As early as January 31, it became known that two Chinese tourists, who had previously been traveling in Milan, were hospitalized with coronavirus in Rome. But it seemed a trifle: the capital of Italy is in the middle of the boot, and the capital of Lombardy is at the top of the boot. Moreover, Italy immediately, the first in the European Union, stopped air communication with China.
No one knew that on February 14, in the city of Codogno (Lombardy), a 38-year-old Italian named Mattia fell ill. Six days passed before he was changed from conventional flu to COVID-2019. After this, events grew like a snowball. On February 21, 16 cases were known, the next day the number exceeded fifty, and the first victims of the coronavirus died; one of them, a 77-year-old woman, in Lombardy. Just these days in Milan, in addition to the fashion week, residents walked at the carnival, and schoolchildren went with their parents all over the country for the holidays.
The city was full of Chinese, especially at Fashion Week. “I was somewhat shocked by the situation – the story of Wuhan was just in full swing. Meanwhile, only a few fashion brands canceled parties and held shows online, without spectators in the hall, ”says the Russian-speaking manager of a luxury company based in Milan. But soon everything changed.