First, there was racial distancing: locals taking a wide berth around Chinese tourists. Then, there came the jokes: Italians having a good time when the world thought they were in the midst of a plague. Locals scoffed when one after the next the foreign universities and colleges in Florence closed. “It’s just like the ‘flu,” many said. Others cringed at hysterical headlines about their beloved country. That was late February and there were only a handful of Coronavirus cases in northern Italy.