The official COVID-19 thread

All the world will be put in lockdown, it’s the best measure to take until a vaccine will be available.

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Bad timing or genius marketing?

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It’s great hearing from you all, many who we had the pleasure of meeting during our previous travels!

Here in the SF Bay Area, we’re on day #3 of an ordered “shelter in place”. That means stay home unless you have to go out for groceries or a doctor appointment. All schools, restaurants, theaters, gyms, shops are closed (except people can order take out or delivery from restaurants). You can take your dog on a walk, but need to stay 6-10’ away from others. Annie and I have been doing this for at least a week before this began.

For people over 60/65 (like Annie and me), we’re not supposed to go to stores at all, so have been relying on Amazon, Costco deliveries through Instacart, and a local service, Imperfect Foods, that delivers produce that stores don’t want because it has some blemishes or are weirdly shaped.

This shelter in place order started with 6 Bay Area counties covering about 6.7M people. It has since expanded to about a dozen, and growing daily, covering at least 20% of California’s population. I’m hoping the entire state is included soon. Since each county is making its own decision, having our governor declare an edict would be best. This is supposed to be in effect through April 7, but I’m expecting it to last months. Possibly 12-18 months until a vaccine is tested and available.

Unfortunately, this almost definitely means we won’t be coming to The Netherlands in June this year.

Annie and I are pretty fortunate. Besides having a nice backyard, we already work at home, so other than the imposed part of this, and the anxiety that we might mess up and still get infected while walking the dog or touching a delivered package, or the whole delivery infrastructure collapsing at some point, we’re ok.

It’s upsetting to me, though, to see videos of college kids partying at beaches, or hanging out in groups, as if they weren’t at risk of getting sick, and prolonging the pandemic! I think government enforcement will be required to wake them up to realize it really is serious.


The restrictions are pretty much the same in Finland right now. I have been working at home for a week now. It’s good to hear all is ok with you, David and Annie.

Everyone should remember one thing: it’s not about if you will get infected; you need to think you already are infected, and try not to infect others.


Some people are more motivated by fear (of being infected themselves) than altruism (fear of infecting others). And some people think they’re invulnerable, which is when governments have to step in to keep them apart from others.


Dear David, you are describing exactly what happens in the streets of Italy since ten days or so and what happens inside our minds when we notice people underestimating the matter.
What can I say? We, in Italy, have been unlucky to be the first in western world to experiment this. So things started probably slowly. I’m glad to see that US, after a long period of denial, quickly changed its mind. I’m not so glad seeing that, only after 10 days or so of such a lockdown, somebody is starting to think that the measures should be more restrictive. How come things are so slow? Why is people afraid of strong measures? Why we didn’t prepare in advance, seeing what happened to China? Why do we have a delegation of Chinese experts in Italy who are repeating “this is not good, too much people around, too much activities open” and we react so slowly?
If it had been for our fellow citizens who panicked buying for themselves tons of FFP3 masks, we would be without masks for the health workers. And I mean literally: Now that the italian stocks are over, we are actually relying on the containers that came from China some days ago. TBH we’re still in need of good material. We’ve had nice suits and so on, but we are terribly in need of FFP3. They’re over and everyday doctors work with FFP2, which aren’t protective for working with covid patients. And this is thanks to the people who bought FFP3s, use it to go walking as if they were useful for them, the same people who thinks that “It’s China’s fault, because they’re ugly, evil and dirty”, pretty much as Mr. Trump said yesterday.
I’m tired to listen to such stupid and superficial rants, I’m tired to quarrel uselessly with people because of that on the social medias.

Anyway, some news from Italy:
The rules for the lockdown didn’t change, but the impression is that every day more and more people takes this more seriously. Supermarkets are fully stocked, but the problem is the distribution to people. Home deliveries are fully booked for days and days. Amazon reduced its deliveries too. So people has to go out for food. Phone and internet traffic is very high. I’m experimenting some band problems in the last few days. The goverment is thinking to order Netflix and Amazon to reduce the resolution of the streming to save band, but actually this isn’t an emergency yet. Despite of some problems, band is still good.
After 2-3 days of decelerating in new cases (about 2000 to 3000 per day since then), and some people was celebrating (too early) the reach of the peak, in the last 24hs we’ve had some 4500 new cases.
Now we have 40,000+ cases. Half of the chines cases, but we’ve had the same amount of deaths at the moment.
Some cities have hospitals full. That is the case of Bergamo, whose patients are sent hundreds of kilometers away to be cured in less crowded hospitals. Their relatives couldn’t meet the patients anyway, so it’s ok. My co-worker is from Bergamo: since our activity has been stopped since one month, she started working in a Covid department in Bergamo. Today was her first day at job, and she had 6 deaths. Dead bodies aren’t buried. Coroners don’t wait for the normal amount of hours of post mortem observation. The emergency ordnance asks that bodies are immediately cremated, but the facilities are fully busy, so even dead people has to be taken kilometers away. This video shows a caravan of military trucks full of dead people leaving the town of Bergamo last night:

My little hospital should have been a backup facilitiy for non-covid urgent patients from other hospitals (to make room for covid patients there). That’s why we ceased our activity one month ago. Slowly, as our patients recovered, our hospital emptied. after 3 weeks it was ghostly 25% full, then we started receiving patients from other towns. But, despite the previsions, they where actually covid patients. Now our hospital is full again, so in a few days I won’t complain anymore that I’m not working, since my presence is needed even if I haven’t treated a single pneumonia in my life. Until today.
It’s really a mess, but I can’t help thinking this is Nature who takes a revenge upon us.
By the way… the sky in Milan (the most polluted township in Europe) is wonderfully blue. The waters in Venice are so crystalline you’d like to drink them.

Say Hi to Annie from me.


Oh @Ema, I’m so sorry for you and beautiful Italy. My heart goes out to you while you help take care of Covid patients in your small hospital.

Most people here pretty much ignore anything Trump says. It’s mostly just his hardcore followers/believers, and Fox News. Unfortunately, there are several Republican-led states that have done nothing at all yet. Not sure why so many Republicans don’t believe in science, or can look clearly to see the danger.

The problem is many people just don’t understand what exponential growth is. It’s not as intuitive as linear growth, so by the time they see the numbers are rapidly increasing, it’s often far too late to take effective action.

Please stay as safe as you all can!


Next week I should have my first shift in the ward. Thanks for your words. :hugs:


I’ve found this gofundme campaign:

@Ema, @ZakPhoenixMcKracken: Do you know other good ways to support Italy?

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Thank you very much for you concern.
You can help directly the most fragile people of the town where I live, Brescia, with a bank transfer SEPA at this IBAN : IT31Y0311111210000000058915
Reason: Corona virus emergency

Thank you.

Here’s the newspaper article (local, Italian)


I fear things will get much worse here in the US than in Italy, because we have to deal with things like this

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I don’t know.
It’s only a matter of lack of money, I suppose.

Here in Italy, there are limited numbers of beds and respirators. Doctors must take horrible decisions, like to choose who to treat, based on life’s expectation.
We hope (but it seems it’s too late now) that in UK, France, USA the lockdown can stop the virus diffusion, before the health system will collapse.

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I hope this pandemy helps Americans to reconsider their system. That, along with the reduced emissions, would be a nice silver lining.


Back when I lived in (Antwerp) South, they recorded a series there. I forget the title, something along the lines of Virus, Outbreak, Quarantine or Lockdown probably. (@Sushi might know better; I suffer from not caring what’s on TV.) [Edit: found it, that was Cordon. Apparently there was an American remake called Containment.] They temporarily put shipping containers on a couple of streets for a few hours to give the impression of being quarantined inside for the series.

Now that’s an actual thing. At the Dutch-Belgian border. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Yes, we go the extra mile to keep the Dutch out!

(Just kidding :wink:)

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I live in Tokyo and I’m not pretending to be a smart a** but I suspected, or feared, for a better word, that this was going to happen to the world at some point already some January. At the time the rest of the world were like meh including the orange haired a**hole in the west. No but really it was actually similar voices from where I originate in the northern part of Europe. Even the scientists were like no WE will be fine and like “the peak will come next Wednesday”. Mind you this guy is the top guy at his position in my country and is supposed to know, but even a petty developer like me was really upset with the guy back then. Poor souls, I thought. And here you are. Now just smell the coffee because you are full awake now, right…

So how do we handle this?

I’m also remote working since mid February or something. Kids left kindergarten a few weeks earlier (terms end by early March anyway here) there is no quarantines here. Most events and stuff are closed, cancelled, but I guess it’s no where as serious as Europe and places. I just heard that things are serious in Spain where police will fine you if you are just walking outside? Yikes.
But the politicians here in Japan are likely highly responsible for part of this. They handled the whole Diamond Princess cruise ship incident in the worst way possible and they refused to test people even from the beginning. Gotta save the olympics. Looks like they failed that anyway, after all.

I just wish someone made monkey island 3 so we’d have something to do at home over the next couple of months. Or years?


Like… making monkey island 3a
(Or a bunch of other games, right @seguso @Guga?)

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