A Warning From a Friend in Italy

by on March 12, 2020 · 6 comments

in Health, Ocean Beach, World News

Editordude: A good friend of the Widder Curry who lives in Italy wrote her to share what was really going on. We are not certain when it was written, so the dates mentioned are hazy.

To Judi Curry

I am writing to you from Bergamo, Italy, at the heart of the coronavirus crisis.

The news media in the US has not captured the severity of what is happening here. I am writing this post because each of you, today, not the government, not the school district, not the mayor, each individual citizen has the chance, today to take actions that will deter the Italian situation from becoming your own country’s reality.

The only way to stop this virus is to limit contagion. And the only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today.

If you are in Europe or the US you are weeks away from where we are today in Italy.

I can hear you now. “It’s just a flu. It only affects old people with preconditions”

There are 2 reasons why Coronavirus has brought Italy to it’s knees. First it is a flu; it’s devastating when people get really sick they need weeks of ICU – and, second, because of how fast and effectively it spreads. There is 2 week incubation period and many who have it never show symptoms.

When Prime Minister Conte announced last night that the entire country, 60 million people, would go on lock down, the line that struck me most was “there is no more time.” Because to be clear, this national lock down, is a hail Mary. What he means is that if the numbers of contagion do not start to go down, the system, Italy, will collapse.

Why? Today the ICUs in Lombardy are at capacity – more than capacity. They have begun to put ICU units in the hallways. If the numbers do not go down, the growth rate of contagion tells us that there will be thousands of people who in a matter of a week? two weeks? who will need care. What will happen when there are 100, or a 1000 people who need the hospital and only a few ICU places left?

On Monday a doctor wrote in the paper that they have begun to have to decide who lives and who dies when the patients show up in the emergency room, like what is done in war. This will only get worse.

There are a finite number of doctors, nurses, medical staff and they are getting the virus. They have also been working non-stop, non-stop for days and days. What happens when the doctors, nurses and medical staff are simply not able to care for the patients, when they are not there?

And finally for those who say that this is just something that happens to old people, starting yesterday the hospitals are reporting that younger and younger patients – 40, 45, 18, are coming in for treatment.

You have a chance to make a difference and stop the spread in your country. Push for the entire office to work at home today, cancel birthday parties, and other gatherings, stay home as much as you can. If you have a fever, any fever, stay home. Push for school closures, now. Anything you can do to stop the spread, because it is spreading in your communities – there is a two week incubation period – and if you do these things now you can buy your medical system time.

And for those who say it is not possible to close the schools, and do all these other things, locking down Italy was beyond anyone’s imagination a week ago.

Soon you will not have a choice, so do what you can now.

Please share.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Judi Curry March 12, 2020 at 11:08 am

For those of you that doubt this information – I have checked it with several of my former students that live in Italy; they have all confirmed that this information is true. They say it is a very difficult situation – can’t go out; can’t shop – nothing left in stores anyway – One of the students “elderly” parents – in their early 60’s – have been quarantined for many days and they show no symptoms of the virus. But…they live in the center of the infection and it is for precaution reasons. I asked Frank to post this just to make people aware. You don’t have to agree – or disagree with it. You can call it fake news, or you can read it and take caution. It interesting to note that virtually everything here was also mention on two TV programs yesterday – CNN and MSNBC. Stay well.


Frank Gormlie March 12, 2020 at 11:11 am

That red location marker on the map is Bergamo. Judi – question for you: when did you receive the message and do you have an idea of what the dates your friend mentioned were?


Judi Curry March 12, 2020 at 11:44 am

One of my student’s sent me the message Sunday, March 8th. He, (Alex), told me about his parents being confined to their home 5 days ago. They live 40km from Milan. At the time he wrote me he said that he wasn’t quarantined yet, but that his parents live in a red zone, and even though there are only 5 cases there, they live close to one of the worst zones. He also said that over two weeks ago there was a run on toilet paper, soap, etc., even before the government shut everything down.

Shortly after I received the message from Alex, I received another message from Loredana, another former student, basically saying the same thing. Her last words on the email were to “take a lesson” – don’t let it happen to you!” I have received several other messages from my former students all saying virtually the same thing.


OBKID March 12, 2020 at 11:48 am

Agreed. This is like a viral blizzard – time to close up shop for a few months.


Judi Curry March 12, 2020 at 11:49 am

By the way – all of the students that have written to me are now quarantined, as is just about everyone in Italy. Whether it is just Northern Italy I cannot tell you. He used to live in Bologna. I am not sure if that is where he still lives. (He was going to come here to visit in July – his birthday is the 4th – and when he was here 20 years ago as a young lad, we told him the fireworks were to celebrate his birthday!) When he went to buy his ticket 4 weeks ago they told him then to wait; that they did now know what the situation would be and put his name on a waiting list. Even if trumps ban is lifted, he will not be coming.


John "woody" Woodruff March 12, 2020 at 7:27 pm

I have been to italy many times, the first time when i was 20 during WWII, the last was in 2018 during my friend Ed “no neck” Hiem’s 80 birthday, the italians all kiss each other on the cheek, and have no concept of personal space, americans do not partake in this greeting, i think we are at at less of a risk than those kissing italians.
Sgt. John Woodruff (retired)
745th Tank Battalion
kill them all and let God sort them out


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