Warning: this is an explicit discussion of how Covid19 travels through our community. It is not a comforting post and may cause anxiety in some people.
So the UK government has finally caught up with the idea that we are in a really serious and difficult situation and despite their faith in the goodness of man - their recommendations weren't being implemented. The naughty step was called into play: lockdown, house arrest, social distancing, whatever you want to call it, was made easier by them telling everyone what the rules REALLY meant. You stay at HOME - but to get that to register they had to close pretty much everything,
Here in Italy I have been living with this for over 2 weeks and there are tiny shoots suggesting it is beginning to have an effect. It doesn't mean the end is in sight - there are weeks and weeks to go here and the numbers of infections are still rising but the rate of rise is slowing. In another week or two we should see a change.
So tonight I want to bring a couple of links to make you think - to help you understand why this is necessary and maybe help you explain to family and friends WHY you are shutting the door to them, WHY it is so important that you protect yourself so that you don't become part of the statistics as a patient requiring the NHS to treat you in one of their ICU beds - if there is one available and staff to run them. There is no guarantee there will be - the thin blue line of the NHS is getting thinner by the day despite retired staff answering the call to return.
I know, it sounds brutal. But there is increasing evidence that you personally must take responsibility if you are to survive this unharmed. You can't trust that anyone outside your own home is not infected with Covid19. You must look after your own safety and that of your family. And that means you, and they, must stay at home and implement the hygiene and distancing rules for your, and their, safety.
(Thanks to Goodgrief for the link)
Research has found that the Covid19 virus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and metal for up to 17 days. This explains why cruise ships have been such hot-beds of infection. But those aren't the only places where the risks are lurking.
London has become a epicentre for corona virus in the UK - and it is very likely the underground and trains into the city, used daily and repeatedly by thousands of commuters, are amongst the culprits - together with pubs, cafes and shops:
Imagine it - someone is infected, coughs and splutters onto their hand which they then use to strap hang or hold onto a pole as you do. They leave the virus and no-one cleans that handhold or pole. Commuters for the next week or more are picking up virus. And not just one, dozens, increasing numbers as the week goes on. And at least half, probably more, have no symptoms. No-one knows, there is nothing to see, an invisible wave of infection.
But if each of us stays at home, avoids others and washes our hands and cleans everything we can think of that might be contaminated we protect ourselves and break the chain of infection. That starves the virus - it can only survive if it meets a new open door to move in. When there are no open doors, it can't take up residence. There is no cure, we are back in the Middle Ages, like then there is no modern medcine that works. We are dependent on old-fashioned protection: isolation and hygiene.
But having implicated cruise ships - a bit of good news: they are also part of the solution here.
Necessity is the mother of invention and it is already bringing people across the world together: here in Italy we have teams of Chinese and Cuban healthcare workers who have come to help. Austria and my region are sharing hospital beds and protective equipment. Companies are switching production to protective gear instead of ski jackets, ventilators instead of vacuum cleaners.
It is new, it is different and it takes getting used to. But it may save your life and that of your family members. That has to be worth it doesn't it?