As of March 9, 2020, Italy has been put on near-total lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. It is the worst hit country outside of China with more than 40,000 infected. Bonnie Khan – a Trinidadian living in Venice, Italy – is recording her life during the lockdown.
Thursday 19 March developments
- Number of people infected with Covid-19 in Italy: 41,035 (5,322 more than yesterday)
- Number of people infected with Covid-19 in the Veneto Region: 3,484 (270 more than yesterday)
News round-up: There are now convoys of army trucks moving dead bodies. With the most fatalities in the world from Covid-19, Italy is now running out of space to bury its dead.
They are reopening closed hospitals to make space to treat those infected. Doctors are crying because they have to choose which patients they can treat. One head nurse interviewed was clearly upset that people are dying alone. They are begging citizens to stay indoors.
Despite this, Italians are still going out unnecessarily, in groups, to markets, parks and beaches.
Government has extended the lockdown to April 15. In the south of Italy, helicopters are patrolling public spaces. The Chinese doctors here are pleading with the Italian government to implement even stricter controls to keep people at home.
The Veneto region has shown 21 infections less than the previous day. It is a possible flattening of the curve.
Life under lockdown: Day 11
Nothing much to report from the home front today. Even if there was, it’s been relegated by scenes of army trucks carrying dead bodies. It was the scariest, saddest, coldest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Please do not let this happen in your country.
Wherever you are…in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, the USA, the NL, just don’t. It can be managed.
By acting earlier and doing more.
This outbreak has a very distinct social pattern:
- It starts with small ‘imported’ numbers of cases
- People treat it lightly – thinking they won’t get it because it ‘only’ affects the elderly and most vulnerable – and do not take precautions
- Asymptomatic people – those without symptoms – act normally and spread the virus
- Numbers rise dramatically with people of all ages getting sick and dying
- Health systems are overwhelmed
- Government implement lockdowns to control the spread
If, at Stage 2 and Stage 3, drastic action is taken – as it was in China, South Korea and Taiwan – all of which have now been able to manage the spread of the virus, things could be better. And it’s not the government who needs to take the drastic action.
Without being told to do so by authorities, you can take control and influence your friends to:
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Wash your hands and stop touching your face.
- Avoid crowds.
- Work from home.
- Practice social distancing when outside.
- Don’t panic buy – what sense does it make to create a food crisis on top of everything else?
Don’t wait on a State of Emergency to be declared. Don’t go out just for a snack or a quick run to the grocery. Don’t meet up physically with your friends. Organise yourselves and demand better from your employers. Employers: be responsible and make work from home arrangements where possible. Landlords: be flexible with your tenants. Businesses: be flexible with your customers’ payments.
It is a tiny price to pay in the short run to stop from being locked in and crippling the health system. And it will save lives.
Don’t do what Italians did and act as if it can’t happen to you. It is happening to you RIGHT NOW.
I don’t know when next I’ll be able to leave home. Think about that.
Next week is when the Italian government hopes that the rate of infection will start decreasing per day (#flattenthecurve). We’re holding on to that hope.
Andrà tutto bene, it will all be okay. Till next time.