I hear many people criticizing the disease containment maneuvers that are being put into practice in these days in Italy.
I'd like to do some simple numerical calculations.
So, let's start from certain and established things, the codiv19 is a completely new virus so in the human immune system there is no genetic protection. It is a virus that is easily transmitted by air like a normal cold or flu so it is very contagious. Furthermore, we do not have any specific medicine.
The population not being upstream immunized if exposed to the virus will easily be contaminated.
We still know of this disease that in 80% of cases no symptoms or symptoms of normal cold and flu. In about 20% of cases, however, a serious form may develop that requires hospitalization up to very serious cases (5%) that require intensive therapy. It can lead to death in a limited number of cases, here the percentages are not safe, because we do not know the total number of infected because we do not have a precise number of symptomatic and light cases.
Let's say it still leads to death in a number of cases greater than normal flu (which is fatal in 0.1% of cases) At this point, let's imagine that in Italy, to save the economy and tourism, everything was silenced from the beginning and that there was no maneuver to contain the infection.
There are numerous studies that simulate the spread of a pandemic in the population without controls of a disease with the characteristics mentioned above.
These studies applied to Italy say that at least 50% of the population is likely to be infected in 60 days. That is, we are talking about 30 million people. Of these 30 million, 6 million would need hospital treatment and 1.5 million intensive care.
Calculating that a seriously ill patient before being discharged from the hospital spends about a month there, this means that 3 million hospital beds would be needed, of which 750 thousand in intensive care.
These are astronomical numbers!
Our public health is already at the saturation limit now where hospitalized patients are counted in hundreds of cases.
So these millions of people who would almost all be healed in hospital, given that mortality is higher than normal flu but not much, are still destined to die.
Here we may have a new Spanish at this point.
This is the most terrible scenario and all containment maneuvers are put in place to contain the spread of the infection and to contain the number of patients to allow hospitals to give due care to everyone.
You need to buy time rather by getting to close everything to be able to stop the infection and if you can not stop it at least to slow it down to such an extent that the health system continues to stand and heal everyone. Earn the time it takes to find new treatments and a functioning vaccine. Maybe also helped by the arrival of summer which in the heat should further slow down the virus.
We will restart the economy and tourism together at the end of this bad experience!