Harari and Resta: Economy and Health are not two Irreconcilable Fronts

Harari and Resta: Economy and Health are not two Irreconcilable Fronts

Sergio Harari, a physician and lecturer and Ferruccio Resta, rector of the Polytechnic: "from the mistakes made in managing the pandemic, an agenda for the future."
Sergio Harari, a physician and lecturer and Ferruccio Resta, rector of the Polytechnic: "from the mistakes made in managing the pandemic, an agenda for the future."

For months now we have been living in a surreal and almost schizophrenic condition, divided between two different feelings; a very deep internal conflict within ourselves is undermining our core values. The lacerating conflict between the reasons for individual health and public health and the equally valid reasons for work, the production system, school and university, social balance and the defense of the most fragile situations.

All immersed in a media confusion in which doctors and virologists, often in disagreement, are pitted against economists, entrepreneurs and politicians without clear indications emerging from this debate. Every day we look for reasons that help us to resist, we feel the importance of our work commitment,we obstinately pretend a pseudo-normality and often criticize choices that we consider too prudent and short-sighted; and then regret it when in the evening the numbers of infected people and deaths bring us back to the harsh reality of a virus that is still dramatically among us.

This is why we believe that the moment of unity and awareness has come, which leads us to accept that both of these realities coexist without opposition. Without talkshow fans, without pundits and political leaders continuing in divisions that would end up wearing us down in the long run.

We can no longer afford to make mistakes again: so far we have not been able to plan the economic restart, as well as to organize ourselves for the second wave. We were all wrong: looking for those who did it more than others is a useless game of massacre, which distracts us from today’s real goals.

Instead, we should make sure that the efforts of each of us, as a citizen or as a professional, are part of a broader future planning, part of a collective effort. Now we need the courage to change step in the planning and development of the interventions necessary to face a season that sooner or later will arrive and which could result in the awaited and hoped for restart or in yet another disastrous defeat.

We will not have vaccinated the whole country before one or two years, it is good to know, and therefore 2021 will be a year that will oscillate between the health emergency, the risk of a third wave, and the indispensable need to quickly restart the economy, in a balance with the virus that we have learned to be very difficult. If we reasoned like an algorithm,we would learn from our mistakes and this would direct the choices in the coming months to ensure that competence and experience find space alongside the sterile debate.

We have well seen how health claims affect choices at work and school and vice versa. So let’s now define, in these weeks, an emergency plan that brings together the health framework with the situation of schools and universities, the presence on transport, the hours of work activities, the percentages of smart working , the sectors to be protected.

The tertiary education and training systems and the health service are the fundamental pillars of our country, we have just experienced it, but it is time to re-establish them and think about a new deal . We have the funding and the experience to do it, it is an opportunity not to be missed.