For some colorful relief amid the gloom of the coronavirus pandemic, Italian social media is exploding with scenes of the nation’s mayors’ outraged skewering of people who dare to hang out on the street, party, or make repeated trips to the store for cigarettes when they’re supposed to be staying home to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“I’ll catch you tomorrow! Not in years, tomorrow!” yells Cateno De Luca, mayor of Messina, in a warning against those ignoring Italy’s now-stringent requirements. “I’m the mayor. You won’t stroll in my town.”
Though the streets now are largely quiet as most of Italy’s 62 million people comply with the orders, more than 92,000 residents have been fined for violations, The Guardian reported.
Mayor Guiseppe Falcomatà was furious last week when he spotted a jogger with an exhausted dog in his town, Reggio Calabria.
“I told him, ‘This is not a film, you are not Will Smith in ‘I am a Legend.’ Go home,” Falcomatà said in an address to his constituents that he posted on Facebook.
Massimiliano Presciutti, mayor of Gualdo Tadino, was also sick of the dog-walking excuse. “Where are you going with these incontinent dogs?” he shouted in an address posted on Facebook. “You need to stay home! People are dying! Don’t you get it? You are irresponsible idiots, colossal idiots!”
Vincenzo De Luca, president of the region of Campania, calmly noted in his address that graduating students would likely want to party at the end of the school term. “We will send armed police — with flamethrowers” he said matter-of-factly.
Disgusted Bari Mayor Antonio Decaro told groups of young men on a beach: “Ping pong is not allowed! Go to your PlayStations at home.” He said the police would remove them if they didn’t leave.
And in case the message still didn’t get through, Antonio Tutolo, mayor of Lucera, warned that people who have hairdressers come to their homes will find “coronavirus in their hair instead of hairspray. Do you understand the coffin will be closed?” he asked.
The death toll in Italy from the outbreak rose by 601 on Monday to 6,077, the highest in the world. But still, the grim toll was slowing significantly.
Check out all the mayors’ wild video messages up top and here: