Two out of three surgeries postponed, more than one exam or outpatient visit out of three refered, just one in ten cancer screening performed during the first lockdown. Pazienti dimenticati, Italian for forgotten patients, are those who could not, or in some cases would not for fear of contagion, access health services during the first wave of the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic.
"Pazienti dimenticati" is also the title of the data driven survey that brought to light these evidences thanks to the work of the journalist Riccardo Saporiti. Saporiti was one of the two winners of a scholarship from SISSA Interdisciplinary Laboratory, with the collaboration of SISSA Data Science group, for the realization of an original and unpublished journalistic investigation based on data from the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. The scholarship was co-financed by SISSA with the contribution of Paolo Giordano, writer and teacher at the Master in Science Communication “Franco Prattico”, with the proceeds from his book "Nel contagio" (Einaudi, 2020).
Paolo Giornano comments:" In the last year and a half, numbers have become the protagonists of our life. Our actions, our perception of risk, the decisions of governments have been based on numbers and percentages. Data journalism is a journalism that selects and analyzes data to get new information and evidence. For this reason it looks us the most suitable means of investigation to read the recent past and our present. Data j is an area of intersection that needs to receive more attention in our country. This is one of the reasons why at a critical moment like the beginning of the pandemic I thought to donate the proceeds of the book to these projects. Riccardo Saporiti's is the first of two data J surveys dedicated to the pandemic data that we have supported for the quality of the proposals and of the work done".
The numbers obtained provide a photograph, albeit partial, as detailed as possible of the impact that the pandemic containment policies have had on patients not affected by Sars-CoV-2. (Image by Anastasia Gepp on Pixabay)