https://spectator.org/coronavirus-the-price-of-luxury/ In the world of fashion, the “Made in Italy” tag has a distinct value associated with luxury and status. Merchants can charge higher prices for clothing, shoes, handbags, and other fashion goods manufactured in Italy, and that value was coveted by certain Chinese entrepreneurs. During the past three decades, more and more Chinese investors bought into textile and leather-good factories in northern Italy, and they brought over Chinese laborers to work in those factories. By 2010, there were reportedly 60,000 Chinese in Prato, an industrial suburb of Florence. To accommodate Italy’s new foreign labor force, nonstop flights were established between China and Rome. The size, location, and timing of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak all suggest that the disease was imported to the country directly from China. The first two cases reported in Italy were Chinese tourists who arrived in Rome in late January. Three weeks later, however, a 38-year-old man in the northern province of Lombardy showed up at a hospital with respiratory problems but had to wait 36 hours before he was tested for coronavirus, during which time “he had contact with hospital staff and visiting friends and family.” That Feb. 19 incident raises obvious question: How did a man in Lombardy get this virus? Why northern Italy and not somewhere else? Why late February? Well, it is customary for Chinese to travel home for Lunar New Year celebrations, which fell on Jan. 24 this year, and the incubation period for coronavirus is about two weeks. How many of the Chinese workers in northern Italy traveled to China in late January and returned to Italy — without symptoms but already infected with COVID-19 — in early February?