Life in Rome
I am in a city with a curfew (enforced ?) where only pharmacies, supermarkets and those stores where someone from China sells all sorts of household stuff are open. Rome hasn’t reached the dread levels of Wuhan and Milan, but the Italian government is trying to get ahead of the curve.
It is strange and alarming that there is little traffic (it is also impressive that Romans don’t obey the traffic code even when there is little traffic). People are really trying to stay home all the time (I was semi home bound before it was cool).
I have learned about the activities which people consider absolutely necessary. A large fraction of people walking around are walking dogs. Many people are wearing masks (absolutely sold out everywhere) and gloves. I discover there are some things I have to touch. These include an ATM (alarmingly often) and cash.
One striking thing is that people wait outside of the supermarkets and pharmacies. This is a rule that does not have to be enforced — people are scared. Good thing it’s not cold in Rome during March (or February or actually ever at all in the globally warmed year of our lord 2019/2020). This makes me notice the high rates of infection in Iceland and Norway. I guess up there (where I have been in July with a rain coat) the choice is risk of Covid 19 or of frostbite.
The extreme measures (not just ordered but orders which are actually obeyed, by Romans) are impressive because as of the day before yesterday there were only 200 cases in Lazio (region which includes Rome). The fact that one of the cases was governor Zingaretti (also head of the Italian Democratic Party) might have made a difference.
The news spreads even faster than the virus. Down here the health care system is under strain but not overwhelmed (yet) but people read about (and see on TV) reports on how in Lombardy Triage has reaquired it’s original meaning. During World War I, It was red = critical, yellow = serious monitor but not critical, black = doomed. In normal times black now means deceased.
In Lois Armstrong Airport New Orleans during Katrina there were living people with black tags (for will not survive a flight and so will die here). I was appalled. Now in parts of Northern Italy there aren’t enough respirators for patients who would die without one. This is part of why the Italian case fatality rate is high. It is also important that Italians have had low fertility for decades and are old on average.
I guess I haven’t written anything that people don’t know already. I will update when the wave of contagion overwhelms us. I fear that I will be giving readers a hint of future action in their home town.
Thank you. I was hoping Rome was warmer and humid.
I was tired last night and could not keep my eyes open. I apologize for the brief comment. You are right in the midst (or near it) of the maelstrom a place which I think will become apparent to us due to the ignorance of one man and the fact many of us have never had to worry over the decades.
I was at Kroger yesterday to pick up some wine and also some laundry soap. My wife and I like to drink wine on the weekends and relax. It was packed with people and the lines were long. Everyone is hunkering down and collecting food for hunker. The news has not been kind to people here and they are scared. They had put their faith in a narcistic fool and the remaining political leaders are not bold enough to lead while the former who could make a difference thinks only of his public appearance and purses his lips like Mussolini. There are parallels here . . .
Some scoff at the idea of high humidity making a difference, virus burdened fomites saturated from humidity can not remain airborne long. One healthcare person made such an observation. Here is the latest comment from that healthcare site. An observation with a rn :
Numbers? Jerry B has one site up showing numbers by country. In a comment to him, I gave another site. Interesting fellow.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Run, I hope your thoughts about indoor humidity are right for all our sakes, but your description of the lack of national leadership is dead on. I take some comfort from local and state leaders and business leaders trying to fill the void, but they are actually being hindered by Trump’s deplorable base who continue to believe that any infringement on their chosen lifestyle is being caused by a hoax perpetrated by liberals out of hatred for Trump. I think a lot of people are going to die prematurely in this country and by a lot I mean seven figures.
The result is based upon a global observation. Maybe it is right or maybe it is not. I turned my humidity up on the furnace. If I see water on the windows I can turn it down. If it works, I will not know it. If it does not work, I will wonder if I did not dial turn it up high enough. Take care of yourself, ok? Keep in touch with us too.