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The official COVID-19 thread

Seriously guys. I want to know how’s it going where you live and how you’re facing the outbreak.

Being Italian but living right outside Italy I consider myself lucky, we’re seeing what are the consequences of underestimating the pandemy and now people here are trying to minimize contact, avoiding useless activities and so on. We’re a bit disappointed by the soft approach by the government, because we feel that it’s just a matter of time, and if we don’t act now we’ll be like our southern neighbors.

However, as I said, people are actively trying to reduce the chances of transmission. Instead of going to bars and/or Smurf-themed flash mobs, so we’ll probably be fine.

Things are pretty normal for me, though using public transport has me a little worried. But not quite enough to avoid it just yet. Come April I’ll switch to riding my bike to work anyway, and from next Monday until then I’ll be on vacation (but not traveling). Maybe not the worst timing, all things considered, though I’ve been on the edge of postponing it … but it’s kinda short notice and I do need to burn up the days left over from 2019.

Most group activities are cancelled for the rest of the month, schools are mostly open still, but concerts, movie theatres are closing.
Oh and people start rushing to stores. So there’s lots of queuing involved and online services to order and collect are overloaded.
Most people are quite chill about it still.
I am mostly PO’d for having to spend 90 minutes on getting some milk and groceries that would normally cost me half an hour or less.

Easy to report how it’s here. No work. No school. No restaurants. No anything. You just stay at home. And if you go out because you have to buy some milk or bread, the streets are desert. You go into the shop. Bread and milk is over. On your way back home, police stops you. And open an investigation upon you, since you are allowed to go out only for food, medicines, or to let your pet do its business. But you cannot prove any of those reasons.

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You’re actually allowed to move to/from job if your job isn’t the kind of job which can be stopped or done at home. The list of jobs that are not allowed is becoming longer everyday. Mine is still allowed, but I decided to quit, today. I called my coworkers asking them to stay at home too. So I went out walking for some butter and 4 apples (the last in the shop). No police, but it was just 40 meters :blush:. Amazon and the home delivery of the supermarkets still work great, but you have to wait quite a few days longer then normal.

Update: government just announced schools must be closed from Monday onwards- well not closed, but no lessons.
All restaurants, bars… are closed too

As for this, it’s pretty much the same here in southern Italy. Work is turned into smart working where possible. Limited public services (postal services, banks, public offices with shifts). We are lucky that we have way less cases, but we are still in the same country as Lombardy, because we’ve been alerted early, and we know well how hard the situation is in that region (which has a very good public health service, to be said!)
To all fellow Europeans and Americans, and everybody: don’t underestimate this pandemic crisis.

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big hospitals have been totally converted in covid hospitals since a few days. Our (small) hospital has been emptied in the last weeks to make room for non-covid patients from bigger hospitals. But today the region changed its programs. Our hospital is covid too, from today. They’re building a new field hospital in my town

Things are mostly normal here too. I work at home anyway, so I don’t have to go out each morning. In the supermarkets disinfectant is sold out, but that’s it. Most activities are canceled and I’m pretty sure that schools will follow tomorrow or next week.

But don’t overestimate it too. I would more say: take it serious, but don’t panic.

(And I really would like to know what is now different compared to the other virus pandemic crises in the past like SARS - which is also part of the Coronaviridae family, btw.)

Prevention always costs less for the society than handling a prolonged emergency.


Indeed. That’s why I said that we should take it serious. Each dead person is one too much.

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The observation is not only in terms of human lives, but also merely an economic valutation.

This Covid-19 has shown a great capacity in transmission. When under estimated, it could rapidly bring your public health service over the edge of its possibilities, in terms of intensive therapy numbers.

Yes, that’s true. But your health system could collapse too if everybody thinks that he/she/it has the disease. And if everybody is panic buying food, toilet paper and similar stuff, you can’t supply the people anymore. So we need to take it serious.

No, wait.
It’s not a matter of panic. The system IS COLLAPSING. It is happening now.
I am not allowed to perform elective surgery since these last 3 weeks. Now even urgent cases are left apart and are untreated because hospitals are full. This is unbelievably and fucking serious, would you please excuse my french. The Region seized our ortho center to turn it into a Covid hospital. This is not panic. This is the definition of total EMERGENCY.
We’re beyond the first panic response, now.


I haven’t said anything else. But it doesn’t help if you are crying out loud “fucking”.

I wasn’t loud.

When I said don’t underestimate the COVID-19, this could be read as: stay at home as much as possible, avoid group of people, stand at least 1 meter away from other people, wash your hands, which are some indications that have been said in the last weeks here.
Among these, there’s also not going to the hospital if you suspect symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, thus protecting the hospital itself. There must be a dedicated line, and a dedicated service to handle with such cases.
The problem of underestimating the infection and pandemia is that people don’t avoid contacts and gathering places as much as possible.
Here in my region, with the example of Lombardy in front of our eyes, we started to change our mentality. We started to stay home as much as possible.
But it is also important that governments establish rules of public security.
Studies on the trend of the infection, in the region of Wuhan, then in Lombardy and Italy, then again in France, Germany and Spain, show a similar outbreak of cases, with pretty much the same new cases per day (considering the time shift). Ema is just warning us, because he knows that the dramatic situation in Lombardy can be avoided with prevention, keeping it under the edge of a collapsing health service. French health professionals understood that too, and wanted to show it with this message:


The risk is that fear of not damaging economy today, will lead to a wider crisis tomorrow.
As for panic, there’s no need to bring the whole supermarket home. But buying some more food reserve won’t drain the local availability, as we’re doing right now here.
A big (virtual) hug to all the people everywhere that are struggling with this disease.
I also recommend to donate your blood before the infection approximates to its peak: lowering rates in blood donation will put some other diseased in danger.


Just to explain: the food distribution system didn’t experiment troubles. Despite some hoarding in the first phases, we have plenty of food in the great distribution. The problem of panic is not related to this, but to the problem of people piling up in supermarkets, thus spreading the infection. Now, first panic response gone, the matter is different. Big stores are semi-desert. They sell a lot with home deliveries. You find anything, but you have to wait. If you can’t wait because -say- your milk is over, you go in the small shop behind the corner, which has few fresh goods, because they weren’t prepared to this and aren’t big enough to cope with it: small shopkeepers simply buy minimal amounts of fresh goods, since they have very few customers, because nobody is around.
We’ve had a problem with PPF3 DPIs after people bought uselessly lots of them. Now new stocks are coming, and the sell is reserved to hospitals, and is not available for private consumers. So the “DPI emergency” is over.
As I said, the panic phase is over. Now we have to cope with the serious phase.

The main problem in Italy is that the virus could spread so rapidly because it was underestimated, not only by the government, but most importantly by the people.

“Just a flu, who cares, only the ill and old die”, and people kept on gathering. It quickly became an emergency. Even after the government issued countermeasures.

That’s why I’m quite confident about the situation in Switzerland.

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