scw wrote: Yes, the measures taken by the Government are drastic and unprecedented but they are designed to mitigate and hopefully avoid what we have seen in Italy and Spain. The alternative is equally drastic and would be unthinkable in a civilised society.
Unthinkable but very likely!
The good people of the United Kingdom are taking this epidemic so seriously that they are packed in, cheek-by-jowl in Aldi, Tesco and Lidl and panic-buying every stupid item on the shelves - and at the same time infecting one another!
For those of you who are wondering how things will pan out - here's a description of life in a small Italian town - just to cheer you up!
Thanks partially to this idiotic panic reaction to rush out and buy lavatory paper, this is how things will be in some parts of the UK.
Nowhere in Italy is the coronavirus raging as badly as in the small town of Nembro in Lombardy. There are already over 90 dead. The small town with 11,500 inhabitants and numerous churches, which are all under one parish, is looked after by five priests. Four fell ill, only one remained healthy, the youngest: Don Matteo, 40, is originally from San Pellegrino Terme.
On March 7th, the funeral bells in Nembro stopped: "We have decided not to ring them since Saturday, the day of the four funerals. This would have meant that the whole day would be filled with the sound of the death knell and would have been too much for the whole town. We thought it best to just let things go."
says Don Matteo.
Nembro, this small town east of Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy, located at the entrance to the Seriana Valley, runs the risk of being recorded in the history books as the town with the highest percentage of deaths caused by the coronavirus.
Back in 1630, the plague killed almost three-quarters of the 2700 inhabitants; only 744 survived at that time. Last year, 120 people died in Nembro, ten a month. Now 70 people have died in just twelve days.
Assistant pastor of Nembro, Vicar Don Matteo Cella tells of the terrible events of the past few weeks: "According to the parish statistics, since the beginning of the epidemic, we have held 39 funerals in the church, another 26 in the cemetery. We also have 26 dead people who still have to be buried. That is 91 Dead without all those who have died in the past few days and who we have not heard of."
The epidemic appears to have started much earlier. Nembro stands still, a walk through the town is surreal. There is no one on the streets, all shops are closed, the grocery stores and the pharmacy as well - they only deliver to the home. A short time ago the town square was full of children, now there is no human soul left. Everything has seemed frozen since the government in Rome decided to cordon off all of Lombardy.
That was in early March, but the history of the coronavirus seems to have started much earlier here. With every day that epidemic continues, there is more evidence that the so-called "Patient One", a man from Codogno in the Lodi area, was only the first person to be tested in Italy and declared infected.
Apparently, however, the epidemic had already spread over a period of time. "The thing has been around since the beginning of the year - or even since Christmas."
Don Matteo emphasizes that he is not a doctor - and that is why he does not want to go too far. The Vicar of Nembro, therefore, confines himself to describing the facts that have caused so much devastation in his community."We believe that this thing has been going on since the beginning of the year or even since Christmas without being identified. First, the nursing home in Nembro had an increasing number of abnormal deaths. In January, twenty people died of pneumonia. There were only seven deaths there in the past year. So the number of funerals grew week after week and everyone was talking about this severe pneumonia. Before the carnival half of the city was in bed with a fever. I remember we were discussing whether we should hold the carnival celebrations and the parade with the children. We had to close the 'homework room' because most of the volunteers who looked after the children were sick, but there were no reports of coronavirus in Italy at the time. So who knows how many of us were sick and then recovered."
In normal times, Don Matteo looks after the younger members of the community. "Little by little, everything came to a standstill. We started to suspend mass. But we took care of the sick for as long as possible, we met their families, because they cannot be denied comfort. We tried to exercise as much caution as possible, but today I am the only priest who is still healthy, the others all have a fever, Don Giuseppe is in the hospital and Don Antonio, the pastor, was sick, too, now he is healthy again. Then we started the first funerals of those who were infected with the coronavirus. Only the closest family were present. We buried 14 people in the first week of March, usually, we have just one or two."