FROM THE ENVIRONMENT TO MOSO IN PASSIRIA (BOLZANO). “We get vaccinated with beer here. Indeed no: write that we are all vaccinated, even those gentlemen over there ». Two boys, in their early twenties, laugh at the counter of the Hochwilde coffee and point to a group of elderly people, the felt hat and blue apron typical of those who work in the countryside, drinking a glass of slave in company. “Vaccine? We don’t speak Italian ”they close like a curl. Moso in Passiria, 2,080 inhabitants of which 30 currently positive for Covid at the top of a valley of farms, fir trees and hairpin bends that rises from Merano to the Giovo pass and on the border with the Austrian lower Engadine (99.58% of the residents are native speakers of German), has been in the red zone since yesterday together with 19 other South Tyrolean locations.
The closest is tiny Caines, 380 residents. To weigh in Passiria is not only the incidence of new cases of Covid, in fact the largest centers of the valley for the moment do not have to submit to the evening curfew and the early closure of bars and restaurants provided for by the new provincial ordinance, but the very high percentage of people not vaccinated: 40% in Moso, a few less in San Leonardo and San Martino. In strict descending altimetric order.
“In the mountains it is the Far West – explains Andrea Pizzini, the former war photographer who has been entering the intensive care units of Bolzano and Bressanone for months, attacked in recent days by those who oppose the vaccine for having denounced the Covid party phenomenon – . «Without the Green Pass, half the population would have been vaccinated here. And then our No Vax are very different from those of the rest of Italy: even those who save their skin after a month intubated are conspiratorial. It is not that they deny Covid, that is a minority, it is that they do not accept restrictions on individual freedom “. Just look at the buses that run through the valley to realize it: for two days it has been mandatory to wear Ffp2 masks but very few passengers do it.
The tourist office in Moso is deserted, also because tourists come here mainly in summer. “I’ve already done Covid, why should I get vaccinated? – the clerk makes a surprised face -. Here there are few people and a lot of nature, it’s not like in the city ». Doctor Alessandro Beccarello, who has his surgery a few steps away, peeps out the door just for a moment: «I do not issue statements. Here the theme is very sensitive, it is better to avoid misunderstandings ».
What you are referring to can be understood by exchanging a few words with Mayor Gothard Gufler, 57, a blacksmith by profession. “The situation in our valley is very difficult because three out of five doctors have rowed against vaccination – he says, showing a box of Ffp2 available to anyone who enters the town hall -. Now it’s a little better: one got vaccinated, one got suspended and the other left. However, with these premises, convincing those who are closed for 90% of the time on their farm and already did not want to know, has become even more difficult ».
The issue also split the small community in two. In the hamlet of Pfelders, for example, the percentage of vaccinated is over 80% and the residents are very angry with the neighbors of the other hamlets. “Our slopes are already open and at the moment we have here over 300 athletes from the junior alpine skiing teams of Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, the United States and even Thailand – explains Kneisl Hannes, who manages the ski lifts -. We got vaccinated because it is important for our health but also for the economy: we live off tourism and we have come from two terrifying winters in which we did not work ».
While waiting for the Super Green Pass, something moves very slowly. The container of the mobile vaccination hub has been parked in front of the Vereinhaus (the House of Culture) in San Leonardo, about ten kilometers from Moso. Yesterday, the last day of opening, the staff skipped their lunch break and administered over 220 vaccines. At 4 pm, the scheduled closing time, there are still about forty people in line. «We are very satisfied even if the first doses remain low, an average of 35-40 per day – explain the vaccinator Ravi Kalapurackal and the responsible Annamaria Haller -. We are consoled by the fact that half concern people over 60, those who risk the most serious consequences in the event of infection ».
Dr Ravi Kalapurackal, Nurse Marika Micheli, Annamaria Haller and Gabriel Silva in charge of civil protection inside the mobile vaccination center
Those who show up for the first time are reluctant. “I am young and healthy but I am a teacher and I understand that with the new rules they will leave me no choice – shakes her head Anna, a thirty-year-old teacher from Moso, as she stamps her feet for the cold at the bottom of the queue -. My husband did it yesterday too to be able to work. ” “I decided because I’m afraid of ending up in quarantine and losing my job,” confirms Irene, 44, a waitress in a hotel. Ditto Roland, 42, warehouse worker: «They are forcing us, it’s clear. But I can no longer go on spending money on tampons ». In the meantime, work continues inside the “mobile-vax”: «Tomorrow we will move to Val d’Ultimo. Even there the situation is critical – says the nurse Marika Micheli -. I personally know an entire family that has been promoting No Vax among friends for months, but I think it is more useful to stay here and do my duty rather than waste time arguing with them again ».
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