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News from Italy By Brian Simpson
A Chinese teacher I work with is keeping up with the alternative views on the coronavirus by using my articles as a clearing ground, so I am grateful for this, since all of the white liberal feminist teachers think I am a racist, but not the Chinese and other ethnic ones, whom I sit with each day at lunch time, while the feminists sit in their own quarantined area, and well, whinge about how oppressed they are. Anyway, here is an Italian professor hosing down the idea that the coronavirus only knocks over old folk, for the Italians are seeing increasing numbers of young people in hospital. My Chinese teacher friend thinks that the commo Chinese government genetically engineered the virus to kill old people to reduce health care costs. That is horrible, but initially credible. However, the hypothesis is probably refuted by the Italian data on young people now getting the infection.
So, this week we still have not got a clear theory on what is happening with the virus, and it may be some time before we do. In the meantime, keep prepping.
“Travel was restricted across Italy from Tuesday and public gatherings were forbidden throughout the country as the government signed off on strict quarantine measures to fight the spread of the new coronavirus. Marriages and funerals were banned for more than three weeks and bars and restaurants were told to close at 6pm, with the prime minister urging people to "stay at home". The unprecedented measures, in place until April 3, were extended from several large areas of the north to Italy's entire population of more than 60 million in a decree signed Monday night. Since the COVID-19 disease first emerged in China late last year, Italy has become Europe's hardest-hit country and has seen a rapid rise in cases to more than 9,000, with 463 deaths so far. "All forms of gatherings in public places or sites open to the public" were banned, the decree said, while sporting events of all levels and disciplines were cancelled -- stopping play in the top-flight Serie A football league. Under the new rules travel is only allowed for the most urgent work or health reasons, but people will be able to return to their own homes from elsewhere. Schools and universities were closed, while businesses were urged to give their employees leave. Bars and restaurants were only allowed to open between 6am and 6pm, the decree said, and only if it was possible to keep a distance of at least a metre between customers. Religious institutions will also stay open, as long as people can stay the same distance from each other -- but ceremonies such as marriages, baptisms and funerals are banned.
- Supermarkets packed -
The measures extend a quarantine zone that Italy had imposed on Sunday for its industrial northern heartland around the cities of Milan and Venice. "Today is our moment of responsibility. We cannot let our guard down," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a dramatic evening television address before signing the latest decree.”
“1/ I may be repeating myself, but I want to fight this sense of security that I see outside of the epicenters, as if nothing was going to happen "here". The media in Europe are reassuring, politicians are reassuring, while there's little to be reassured of. #COVID19 #coronavirus
2/ This is the English translation of a post of another ICU physician in Bergamo, Dr. Daniele Macchini. Read until the end "After much thought about whether and what to write about what is happening to us, I felt that silence was not responsible.
3/ I will therefore try to convey to people far from our reality what we are living in Bergamo in these days of Covid-19 pandemic. I understand the need not to create panic, but when the message of the dangerousness of what is happening does not reach people I shudder.
4/ I myself watched with some amazement the reorganization of the entire hospital in the past week, when our current enemy was still in the shadows: the wards slowly "emptied", elective activities were interrupted, intensive care were freed up to create as many beds as possible.
5/ All this rapid transformation brought an atmosphere of silence and surreal emptiness to the corridors of the hospital that we did not yet understand, waiting for a war that was yet to begin and that many (including me) were not so sure would ever come with such ferocity.
6/ I still remember my night call a week ago when I was waiting for the results of a swab. When I think about it, my anxiety over one possible case seems almost ridiculous and unjustified, now that I've seen what's happening. Well, the situation now is dramatic to say the least.
7/ The war has literally exploded and battles are uninterrupted day and night. But now that need for beds has arrived in all its drama. One after the other the departments that had been emptied fill up at an impressive pace.
8/ The boards with the names of the patients, of different colours depending on the operating unit, are now all red and instead of surgery you see the diagnosis, which is always the damned same: bilateral interstitial pneumonia.
9/ Now, explain to me which flu virus causes such a rapid drama. [post continues comparing covid19 to flu, link below]. And while there are still people who boast of not being afraid by ignoring directions, protesting because their normal routine is"temporarily" put in crisis,
10/ the epidemiological disaster is taking place. And there are no more surgeons, urologists, orthopedists, we are only doctors who suddenly become part of a single team to face this tsunami that has overwhelmed us.
11/ Cases are multiplying, we arrive at a rate of 15-20 admissions per day all for the same reason. The results of the swabs now come one after the other: positive, positive, positive. Suddenly the E.R. is collapsing.
12/ Reasons for the access always the same: fever and breathing difficulties, fever and cough, respiratory failure. Radiology reports always the same: bilateral interstitial pneumonia, bilateral interstitial pneumonia, bilateral interstitial pneumonia. All to be hospitalized.
13/ Someone already to be intubated and go to intensive care. For others it's too late... Every ventilator becomes like gold: those in operating theatres that have now suspended their non-urgent activity become intensive care places that did not exist before.
14/ The staff is exhausted. I saw the tiredness on faces that didn't know what it was despite the already exhausting workloads they had. I saw a solidarity of all of us, who never failed to go to our internist colleagues to ask "what can I do for you now?"
15/ Doctors who move beds and transfer patients, who administer therapies instead of nurses. Nurses with tears in their eyes because we can't save everyone, and the vital parameters of several patients at the same time reveal an already marked destiny.
16/ There are no more shifts, no more hours. Social life is suspended for us. We no longer see our families for fear of infecting them. Some of us have already become infected despite the protocols.
17/ Some of our colleagues who are infected also have infected relatives and some of their relatives are already struggling between life and death. So be patient, you can't go to the theatre, museums or the gym. Try to have pity on the myriad of old people you could exterminate.
18/ We just try to make ourselves useful. You should do the same: we influence the life and death of a few dozen people. You with yours, many more. Please share this message. We must spread the word to prevent what is happening here from happening all over Italy."
20/ I finish by saying that I really don't understand this war on panic. The only reason I see is mask shortages, but there's no mask on sale anymore. We don't have a lot of studies, but is it panic really worse than neglect and carelessness during an epidemic of this sort?”
As I have said many times, the economic effects of the coronavirus situation may well be greater than the biological ones, and we need to be ready for this. The situation is quite different from the climate change issue, which is longer-term, and purely conspiratorial. There could be elements of truth to this crisis, suitably manipulated by the elites, of course. The fact of the matter is that viruses are nasty, and exist.