COVID positives in Venice

Rising numbers of COVID positives in Venice

We have an increase in the numbers of COVID positives in Venice. On August 6 there were a little more than 12.000 positives in Italy. Now there are 32.000. There’s no doubt that these figures reflect the loosening of the lockdown measures. It’s not as dramatic as in some other European countries, but it’s significant.

And it’s what we could have expected. We’ve been at home and not seeing anybody for months. Now we’ve opened up, gone out, moved around, and the virus has had much more possibility to spread. It’s a normal consequence of lowering the guard. From now on, it will be a difficult balance between safety measures, and the urge to get the wheels spinning again.

coronavirus venice

The Italians have been adequately good at respecting the rules. We’ve had almost 90% mask-wearing, and people have avoided gatherings to a certain extent. From summer, from maybe July, people have been less rigorous in their social distancing though. As in all the other countries, this trend has been mostly among young people.

Although Venice was still pretty empty in July, we could already see crowds of teenagers and young adults moving around in groups… Mostly without masks and very close to one another. On the land side in Mestre, in Padova, and Treviso, the crowds could reach impressive numbers. And the beaches in Jesolo were packed with people trying to cool off some of the summer heat.

The COVID positives are mostly young people.

A TV team from the Italian State TV, Rai 1, went over to Croazia and filmed the partying with a hidden camera. At one of the mega-discotheques, there were hundreds, if not thousands of young people dancing

  • COVID doesn’t exist anymore. It’s gone, one Italian girl said spinning away into the summer night.

The average age of those testing positive has gone from 56 years in March, to under 30 now.

The discotheques are closed from July 17. It’s funny why they were allowed at all in the first place. The whole idea with a discotheque – At least in my time, a few years ago – is to get as close as possible to the other person. Not to stay far away. And the music makes speaking difficult. You have to scream. And we know that screaming increases the number of droplets.  

There are fewer deaths…

Fortunately, death rates are much lower now. Not a little lower but a whole lot lower. That makes a lot of people reason that the virus has lost its strength. I wish that was true, but I can’t see it. The total numbers in the whole world don’t confirm that.

  • From mid-July, the daily new cases have been 250.000 – 300.000 globally.
  • In the same period, daily deaths have been approximately 6000 globally. It hasn’t changed much since the middle of July.
  • In April the daily cases were under 100.000 but deaths were still slightly higher.
  • But in Italy, the death rate is much lower than in March ad April.

So the virus is weaker, less lethal now?

No, not really. The lesser death rate depends on other factors

  • The age of those who are testing positive to Covid-19 has gone down dramatically. And the younger a person is, the less severe the disease is and the less severe symptoms he or she will have. 
  • The lower average age is partly a result of more frequent testing. In the beginning, practically only people with symptoms got tested. Now many without any symptoms whatsoever are being tested for reasons of containment. The more frequent testing also lowers the death rate, as many of the asymptomatic never got tested in April, but they are now.
  • The lower death rates are also a result of a better understanding of the disease and better treatments. But there are many fewer patients to treat now, as not as many get severe symptoms that require hospitalization. 
  • Another reason why the deaths are fewer now is one very interesting conclusion. Recent studies show that mask-wearing not only protects the other person as it limits much of the droplets coming out… But it actually also limits the amount of virus load that the mask-wearer inhales. And the number of viruses seems to have an impact on the severity of the infection. We still get sick, but the mask lets us be less sick, with a much higher possibility to pull through. 
  • We are now in the beginning of the next wave. It is likely that death rates will increase with time.
  • Another reason that would be very positive,  is that maybe the death rate never was as high as we thought in the beginning. The 6, 7,  or 8 percent of people who got sick that died, maybe wasn’t more than 1, or 2. Or even lower than that. Some estimates point in that direction.
  • And finally… I gotta say this one too, although it’s not an explanation to the lower death rate. But it could possibly lower it even further if it got implemented more. A Spanish study shows that Vitamin D in the treatment of COVID-patients could significantly lower the risk of getting severely ill or die. Here’s a link to the D-vitamin study.

Do you remember? This is how it was…

COVID positives rise but the Government strikes back.

The Government has imposed new regulations to try and contain this new tendency. As I said before, the discotheques are closed. It’s also mandatory to wear a mask even outdoors if you’re in an area where social distancing could be difficult. And the football (soccer) matches are played without public. For someone who’s not Italian, it’s very difficult to imagine what that means.

For a normal Italian man, three things are important in this earthly life:

Football, Football, and Football.

For you wonderful people, who intend to come and visit us, there are new restrictions to be aware of. The Italian Government is obviously terrorized that the situation develops into something similar to what it’s like in Spain… Or in France for that matter.

We’re running out of tools.

COVID positives in VeniceThe problem now is that we don’t have the lockdown measure anymore. We’ve already played that card and it didn’t have the effect we wanted it to have. We’re sort of back on square one. What they will do now is to try and contain the outbreaks as well as they can. Isolate everybody and track their connections… But keep the industry rolling.

That will just work until a certain point though. When the outbreaks are too many, you will have to surrender. And that is what seems to be happening in Spain. 

Isabel Díaz Ayuso the President of Madrid said on Wednesday 2: “Practically all the children about to return to school in the region are likely to pick up the virus over the coming months”. That is like saying… We can’t do anything more now. They’re all gonna get it, so be aware. Lock up your old and sick and let the storm pass. 

And maybe we’re moving towards that kind of strategy, all over Europe. We don’t have any more firepower, so we just have to wait it out.COVID positives in Venice

… Just like they did in Sweden. 

But Sweden now has a lower death toll per million inhabitants than both Denmark and Norway. So they were right all along, and all the rest of the world was wrong?

I’ve been very hard on them ever since the first outrageous comments from Anders Tegnell, the chief architect of the Swedish heard-immunity-project. They’ve sacrificed their old and sick, just to keep the factories going. A very cynical response to a pandemic that involves the whole world and still kills thousands of people every day.

But now, when we down here don’t really know what else we can do… Maybe they were right all along?

Then again, we have three major pharmaceutical companies that are in phase 3 studies right now. One of them claims that they will have a vaccine ready at the end of October. They are already producing it. If that’s the case, then we just have to stand the ground for another month or two, and we’ll be out of it. At least we in the west, who can pay and pre-order.

… And maybe, just maybe we have all learned something from all of this… Or?

Here’s all you need to know about travel restrictions.

COVID positives in VeniceDisclaimer. I’m sorry that I insist on this depressing subject. I could have talked about all the positive stuff going on because there are such things too. But no. I have to keep repeating the bad news like a doomsday priest from the middle ages.

Ok… I get the message. The next blog post will be all sunshine, I promise.