22nd March, 2020 Covid-19 Update.

Hello again from Milan, Italy.

The world is treating Covid-19 as a pandemic and demanding populations be tested; please notice that tests can only be undertaken by hospitals, there’s no such thing as a home kit yet.

Also, there are some doubts about the reliance of such tests which could show false-positive results thus medical professionals are only testing people with serious symptoms who would then get admitted into hospital if considered at risk.

In Milan, we’ve been self-isolating for over two weeks now, with rules getting more restrictive each day; for instance, as of yesterday, only one person of the family can go out at once and that’s only to go to the chemist, the supermarket or to take the dog for a walk. No running, biking or walking outside for leisure.

We must keep one metre distance from one another when we’re queuing to get into either the chemist or the supermarket and we’re only allowed to be 100 metres away from our place of residence when taking dogs out.

We must have a self-certification document with us every time we go out which states the reason for the outing.

We wear ppf3 masks and nitrogen gloves at all times when we’re outside but they are in short supply.

For some reason my local supermarket has been out of eggs for a while, maybe people are baking lots of cakes, maybe it’s because of the beneficial effects of lysine in eggs, who knows. Toilet paper is available albeit scarce.

Only essential services and businesses are allowed to continue as usual, everything else is shut.

Some people are starting to panic and buying groceries in bulk, calling home-delivery services in order to stock up. This not only forces long queues but also causes supermarkets to run out of fresh products. Less-selfish citizens have to queue up for hours just to get their fair share. I hope the government will put a stop to this by implementing rules on how much food or medicine one is allowed to purchase.

Anyone who doesn’t comply with the rules, e.g., by going out for a stroll, will get a 500 Euro fine. There are police and army cars everywhere. City parks that have fences are closed to the public until, at present, the 3rd of April.

Public transports are working, with restrictions, but they are operative.

We still have ventilators for everyone and we are NOT, I repeat, NOT choosing who to treat and who not to treat. Everyone affected gets treatment. We’re isolating in order for this to be able to continue by not overwhelming our hospitals and allowing people to recover.

Our Free National Health Service is arguably one of the best in the world — although our taxes are also extremely high so calling it free might be incorrect — Health-care workers are exhausted, working 24/7 to deal with the emergency. Supermarket and chemist’s workers are also working non-stop and putting themselves and their families at risk by doing so. Please be polite, grateful and understanding.

It is reported that most deaths, and we’re having many of them, are elderly people with pre-existing conditions yet, it has to be said that, notwithstanding all the precautionary measures we’re taking, numbers continue to rise.

You may check for yourself at this link which is updated daily: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Please keep calm but please keep safe.

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