Influencing the high circulation of Covid-19 among the elderly in Italy during the first wave would not have been the strength of the ties between generations within families, rather the greater number of daily encounters, with people of any age, compared to other countries Europeans such as Germany and the United Kingdom.
This is supported by a research published in the journal Plos One and carried out by scholars from the universities of Trento, Sorbonne and Bologna.
To analyze the problem and identify the potentially most relevant factors in the spread of the coronavirus, the scholars used a variety of simulation methods in combination with real data on the characteristics of in-person social contacts. The analysis took into account in particular the characteristics of social networks in three countries - Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. "We specifically examined the role of three characteristics of social networks", explains Lucas Sage, PhD student at the universities of Trento and Sorbonne, first author of the study: "degree distribution, or how many face-to-face contacts have on average people in the three different countries; age-mixing, i.e. the age differences of the people you meet; clustering,or the tendency of people to share the same contacts in social networks ".
By comparing these different aspects with data from Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, the results of the simulations showed that the age differences between social contacts have a very low impact, while it is instead the overall number of face-to-face contacts between people to determine a greater spread of the infection. (HANDLE).