From: El Paso, TX
Regarding the lockdown, the situation for those in forced quarantine is (as I expected) deteriorating. The first days were "easy". Yes, apparently hard, but you felt that you were doing your part to help your country, sacrificing your liberties for the greater good (chest beating). Except that we are not even halfway in this emergency, and it would seem that patriotism is a finite commodity.
Now I look at Twitter, and the trendings are slowly transiting from (I'm translating) #Istayhome, #firstyourhealththenyourliberty, #IamDredd (regarding those "irresponsibles" they saw in the streets outside the window) to #Governmentofshame, #Contegohome and #Theyjailedus. I guess that they run out of shampoo.
I don't know... maybe eight years in the Navy helped me to accept a situation where you have to live for days and days in confined spaces while maintaining absolute hygiene conditions. However, I took as a given that the truly hard part is just starting. You sang your patriotic songs on the balconies and posted the pictures of your cats/dogs "guarding you during the quarantine". Fine. Now endure.
That's a real concern. Lockdowns will be difficult to maintain, especially if they are preemptive, before a country has spiraling cases and death counts. Fear is a good motivator, but the population's ability to "pay now" for future benefits that realistically can be described as "the bad thing that didn't happen"? Well, just look at the savings rate and that gives you some idea of how many (or better, how few) will make that mental calculation. Italy is in dire straights, yet after only a week, you are already seeing the first stages of push-back.
I suspect that going forward, this might also turn into a generational divide - "why should we, the young and healthy - sacrifice our lifestyles for the benefit of some old people"? Anecdotally, I've heard rumblings from young folks I know, and their only hardship is angst about future toilet paper availability.
I looked at the Critical Care Beds stats. Regarding the situation in Italy, it is important to remember the deep differences still existing between the North and the South. From what I'm reading and seeing, the North has a number of CCB (per 100,000 inhabitants) comparable with the US - which means that the number of beds in the Center-South is just dire. Once again, "luckily" most cases are concentrated in the North. The last official numbers show 12,272 cases in Lombardy and only 68 in Calabria (on the other end of the peninsula). As you can see, the difference is stunning.
Wow! Thanks for the clarification. That unfortunately implies that if this thing starts to take off in the South, there's almost no margin, and even a small uptick in caseload would overwhelm the system and the death rates would spike.
Btw, thanks for your interesting and informative writing. Your first post in the other thread was amazing reading. I shared it with some family members and for the first time I saw an awareness of what this could turn into in the US.
It must be difficult to be separated from your wife and parents and literally unable to do anything to help them. Impossible to go from northern Italy to southern? That hasn't been true since WW2, when there were actual battle lines in place!
< Message edited by Kull -- 3/16/2020 2:17:44 PM >