The Tale Of The Evil Witch: Why The Official Figures Are Lying And What This Means For Us
The data coming in every afternoon from the Italian Protezione Civile keep giving a mixed picture, with mostly positive days followed by days (like yesterday) marked by slight increases in infections and deaths.
But I, and many others, begin to think that the numbers are almost useless; or that they can be, at the most, merely a vague indication of where we are and what the general trend is.
The official data of the deceased because of Coronavirus just do not square (do not even begin to square) with real life where the unfortunate inhabitant of many places in Northern Italy, particularly in Bergamo and surrounding towns, are living.
Some journalists have compared the official Coronavirus death with the lists of the deceased, and have come out with one of those unavoidable truths that every now and then confront us: it is not that you are having hallucinations, it is that the official figures about the deceased do not even begin to give account of the deaths due to Coronavirus.
Let us take Nembro, a town near Bergamo where the virus has struck with great violence. Nembro lost between 110 and 120 people from the beginning of March. Last year, they were 14. The same strong differences (though not as brutal as in Nembro) can be found everywhere in the towns affected by the virus.
Now consider this: the number of deaths in the same city and town tend to be fairly constant from one year to the other, when you compare the same time of year. This is not happening now. Everywhere, where the virus struck, the number of deaths is four, five, six, ten times the expected number, and the official statistics of the deceased from the Coronavirus only account for a tiny part of the difference.
This means that the official Coronavirus death statistics are merely an indication of trend (if that), but nothing even remotely resembling the reality of what we are living.
Why is this, you may ask? For the very obvious reason that there not enough tests, and in many cases there is not enough time, to test every death of “pneumonia” (record numbers are being recorded in the last weeks) instead of Coronavirus. Therefore, either the deceased is tested after death (possible, but rare) or the death is recorded as “pneumonia”, and that is that. This is totally understandable: first, tests need to be used to prevent the spreading of the disease; second, those who are infected need additional tests (at times two, or three each) before they can be safely recorded as having recovered.
Mind, the other obvious data is also confirmed with growing numbers of deaths: this virus is a harvester, not a killer. People don’t die of Coronavirus alone. The Chinese Virus is, by and large, the one pushing them to the grave when serious conditions are already there.
So there we have it: this Chinese Virus is, for the population at large, certainly not a threat. But it is an unprecedented threat for old and frail people. It is, if you allow me the macabre image, like an evil witch from a children’s tale, going around and taking away all the old and frail people she can get; or like a huge, automatic machine aiming at the low hanging fruits from the orchard.
How to react to this? My suggestion is the same I always had: it being impossible to stop the West until this has gone or a cure has been found or a vaccine has been created, it is necessary to concentrate the preparation on the end part: the ICU places, with the necessary ventilators and personnel.
This should be treated like you would a bombardment in time of war, with field hospitals everywhere and part of the production reconverted to the war necessities (equipment for personnel and patients; doctors; nurses). At the same time, and exactly as it would happen in time of war, the Country should go on and production (of goods and services) should continue undisturbed.
It is, if you ask me, perfectly fine to stop a Country from going out for a couple of weeks. It is a hit that we should, as a Country, be ready to take to protect the vulnerable. This will allow the worst of the first brunt to be absorbed as we prepare for a medical emergency.
But at some point, the “war machine” needs to start working again, or we will all be victims.