Coronavirus, Update April 9th, Day 49

Coronavirus, Update April 9th, Day 49

Not so much news today and the little we have is not particularly encouraging.

Today’s numbers in Lombardy are slightly on the rise, partly explained by the increase in the tests that were carried out (9.000 overall). 1.300 new cases are still quite a negative number to report, especially in Milan, but we are now quite accustomed to this bumpy road. It is evident that we need to look at the numbers over a longer horizon.

The emergency rooms continue to provide us with reassuring messages: no major pickup in the spread of the virus, but rather a slow gradual decline. The number of daily deaths continues to be shocking, sadly enough it’s something we’re growing accustomed to.

Key concepts to know

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The positive cases rise in the hardest-hit regions (Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Piemonte) and sometimes more than proportionally to the number of tests.
Even without changing the color scale in the “traffic lights ” slide, the relative worsening of the situation in many areas today is quite clear.
In northern Italy, most regions report a percentage increase higher than the 3-day average. Center and Southern Italy regions are more stable, the Islands only a touch worse. The overall number for Italy moved back to 3.
Do not worry too much about this data, compare it to the absolute numbers contained in the last slides: 10 more positive cases put Campobasso at the bottom of the chart. It really isn’t fair and that will be shown over time……

If the data are still quite volatile, the more reassuring take is the drop in hospitalizations and even more so for the ICU capacity. The pressure on the health care system, still at its peak, in the last few days has shifted more to “self-isolation at home” and this is an unmistakable sign that allows us to hope for the best.

The comments from yesterday’s update provided many useful insights into how to assess how people are behaving under the lockdown restrictions across the different areas of the country.
In many regions, people are abiding by such measures in a very responsible way but the cases of transgressions are still too numerous and concerning.
People’s impatience is quite evident, especially in these sunny days of Spring (the cold facilitated the seasonal spread of the virus but also helped with the isolation). In the next few weeks we will see whether these mask-on, socially-distanced, outdoor walks will or will not give a boost to the contagion. What concerns me is the safety at work, both in the hospitals and the commercial activities/companies. Are we really taking enough precautions?

I was also thinking about certain behaviors in relation to the stages of the epidemics: the initial and the final ones are very similar: in both stages individualism prevails. You certainly remember the scenes of people rushing to the Milano train station an hour before the beginning of the lockdown. The epidemic had just begun and what people cared about was their self-interest. They just did not care about the contagion, what they cared about was avoiding isolation in Lombardy.
Young people in the clubs were claiming their right to party, the skiers to ski, etc. I remember – no, it is not a year ago – the first alarming tv news of serious cases affecting young people (so nobody is immune to it!). An then, in the face of a huge number of deaths, fear and the overwhelming sense of confusion served to unite us. It made everyone more sympathetic to the common cause..
But, again, when the fear fades a little bit, people go back to their selfish thinking. Thankfully, not everyone. This is something we need to keep in mind as this is the time which shows who we really are…..
Have a good evening,

 

Dott. Paolo Spada
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