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Coronavirus in Italy- what’s happening now?

I understand why some of the previous threads got deleted, but I miss hearing what’s happening in Italy now. If this isn’t against the rules and doesn’t offend anyone, can we discuss what’s happening there and when people think it may recover and return to normal? I don’t mean to be insensitive. I just want to know what’s going on and I don’t watch tv or listen to the radio often, so you’re my news source, so to speak. Thank you and if this is against any rules, please delete it.

Posted by
6401 posts

Italy had about 17k cases on March 14th. Now, only 7 days later on March 21st, it has 53.6k cases ( The cases and deaths are rising at exponential rate. It is a calamity of unimaginable proportions, no sugarcoating it. Their medical system is overwhelmed. There is no way to predict what the future will hold, but it is obvious there will be many more deaths of predominantly elderly people. Italy is consistently restricting movement of the whole population to try to stop the spread - now the outdoor parks are closed so people have to exercise inside and not go out.

There are many articles about Italy published in international sources and major news outlets (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal), you just need to Google them.

Here is one from March 16th (it is already "dated" because there have been many more cases and deaths since March 16th):

Posted by
17636 posts

I have no detailed information, but the Worldometers website shows an increase of 6557 cases today, and the day's not over yet. That's an increase of 13.9%. There have been 793 deaths so far today; the new total is 4825. That's a single-day increase of 19.7%.

Regional statistics are available here.

Posted by
5593 posts

Italian government website in English:

Italian Health Ministry updates COVID-19 statistics once a day at 18:00. March 21 press release:

Coronavirus: 42.681 positive cases 21 March 2020

Updated at 18.00

At Civil Protection Department Headquarters, the Operational Committee
keeps working to ensure the coordination of all operations by the
components and operational structures of the National Civil Protection
Service. As per health monitoring activities related to the spread of
Coronavirus across national territory, at present 42.681 people have
tested positive. To date, the total number of assessed cases in Italy
is 53.578.

In detail: there are currently 17.370 positive cases in Lombardy,
5.661 in Emilia-Romagna, 4.214 in Veneto, 3.506 in Piedmont, 1.997 in the Marche, 1.905 in Tuscany, 1.159 in Liguria, 1.086 nel Lazio, 793
in Campania, 666 in Friuli Venezia Giulia, 720 in the autonomous
Province of Trento, 600 in the autonomous Province of Bolzano, 642 in
Puglia, 458 in Sicily, 494 in Abruzzo, 447 in Umbria, 304 in the Aosta
Valley, 321 in Sardinia, 225 in Calabria, 47 in Molise e 66 in

6.072 patients have recovered. 4.825 died, however, this number can be confirmed only upon certification of cause of death by the Istituto
Superiore di Sanità.

Posted by
7900 posts

I've just been so heart-sick when they interview the Italy health care providers on TV. One physician said in an interview broadcast yesterday that they'd had 50-60 deaths a day in their hospital and it was just too much for them as people to have to process this kind of loss. As usual with frontline providers they will likely stuff any feelings as they continue to pull their shifts and work.

The report also indicated they army had to be called out to transport bodies to a crematorium in another city as the local one was completely overwhelmed.

I hope once the care needs decrease and after they recover physically that they can all get assistance to help address the overwhelming grief they will feel.

I don't think recovery will come quickly.

Posted by
616 posts

Based on the Johns Hopkins data:
China has 81,304 cases with 3,259 death. Death rate of 4.01%
Italy has 53.578 cases and 4,825 deaths, or a death rate of 9.01%

Could the virus be that much more deadly in Italy than in China?

Posted by
1046 posts

This is from the BBC today 3-21-20
Italy has reported another big increase in the number of deaths of people with coronavirus - 793 in the last 24 hours.
It's by far the worst single-day total worldwide since the pandemic began. In total 4,825 people have now died across the country.
On average, one coronavirus patient is dying in Italy every two minutes.

Please learn from this and pay attention to the heath warnings we all know by now. If we don’t take this virus seriously, our death rate could be as high as Italy’s.

Posted by
20834 posts

...Could the virus be that much more deadly in Italy than in China?..... Could be the population. I thought Italy had the oldest population in all of Europe. In a sober assessment of the SF medical school on March 10th suggested that the US could easily sustain 1.5m deaths. It is long ways from being over.

Posted by
11852 posts

I just want to know what’s going on and I don’t watch tv or listen to
the radio often....

Very kindly, KRS, but why not? IMHO, it's important to stay informed about the rapidly changing impact of the virus locally as well as globally. you’re my news source, so to speak.

But isn't that sort of the same as relying solely on the forum for, say, what there is to see in Rome versus referencing some guidebooks too? In addition to TV and radio, there's a TON of online news about the situation in Italy, and few forum posters are either in Italy right now or have been there recently enough to provide up-to-the-minute reports. There's also no reliable prediction of when "normal", whatever that might look like, will return. Some new normals may very well come out of all this, who knows!

Along that line, I'm curious if fallout from this pandemic will change behaviors, once it's all over, and what those behaviors might be? But just like a timeline on Italy's recovery, it would be a purely speculative discussion at this point.

Posted by
51 posts

I guess I should clarify. I don’t have cable, so I don’t see current news. Of course I read things online, but I can only stand reading so much before I need to take a step back. Most of what I see isn’t focused on Italy, and there are a lot of people where I live, in rural MD, that are certain this is all blown way out of proportion or even made up to do political damage. I’ve found this site gives information on the tragedy in Italy, and also talks about it from the point of view of an eventual (again someday) traveler.

Posted by
17636 posts

The CNN and BBC websites are where I've been going for updates when I'm not watching CNN.

Posted by
9477 posts

I can tell you my friends in Italy are very sober about this. I know ex-pats, as well as Italians and they, have been careful for a long time but VERY careful since the lockdown a week ago Monday. They are disheartened to see the rates of infection and death continue to rise. Maybe the death rate rising is to be expected because of the triage necessary by the overwhelmed medical system and the aged population. They are working from home, taking care of an homeschooling their kids, and no playdates. They go out to grocery shop and walk the dog, maybe a walk in the country if they are lucky enough to live there. Parks are, I understand, closed, to liit contact.

A friend with an apartment in Lauterbrunnen says it was a ghost town when his wife left on Sunday. Nothing is open above Wengen. Eerie, she said.

Posted by
1538 posts

I live close to MD state line- used to live in rural Maryland myself so I am watching both my state of PA and MD
Here is the MD gov website that has all the stats for your state
Still mostly in urban counties but won't be long til rural counties are affected as well. Maryland is not all that big after all.
190 confirmed cases, 2 deaths

Very disheartening to hear there are still some that simply don't believe what is happening is real. They are putting all of us at risk.
I am a retired nurse, have nurse friends still working- several at Carroll Hospital which has a few cases. Carroll County would be considered "rural"
I guarantee you it is real.

Posted by
865 posts

Many people-myself included-don’t pay for cable. Some NPR stations (if not all?) broadcast the BBC World Service. Some PBS stations offer BBC News and Deutsche Welle (DW) News which provides an international and European perspective.

Posted by
8897 posts

This is not a good website to get information on the virus. Too much personal opinion that contradicts what the real experts are saying. And much of that personal opinion is being believed to be truth and some of those spewing it believe it themselves.

The CDC, the WHO, as well as the wire service (Associated Press and Reuters) are better sites for real information.

Get your information from real informational/news websites and not from social media. Use this site to share travel tips. If anyone posts anything about what is going on and then their opinion without linking to a legitimate website, ignore it. Or at least get a second verification.

Posted by
31140 posts


Some of the members of the forum live in Italy, and they've provided some very good up-to-date information in the last few weeks. However, I haven't seen any recent posts from them and not sure why that is?

Posted by
11852 posts

I'd pretty much ditto everything Frank II said: It's important to sort opinion/speculation from fact. While hesitating a bit to do so, I will mention that there looks to be a few posters over on TA doing a good job of "from the ground" reporting, and with backup links where appropriate. This post by The Big Gay Podcast from Puglia (post 54) is a good example of one that I'd consider a legitimate report of the local pulse:

And Raffaele R's reports from Chieti often include translated news + links; one example (post 75):

While not exactly "news", this thread is a lovely, reflective conversation amongst (mostly) Italians, if willing to run translation:

Journey into the infinitely small ...

Now that "we stay at home" we are telling a journey into the
infinitely small .... from the window, between the houses, on the
streets on the way to work or on the walk for the necessary shopping

We tell ... of the small places never noticed before, of the
panoramas, corners, alleys ... of essences of kitchen, of music,
hobbies, people, books ... a moment of positive and peaceful
rediscovery and reflection ...

I'll admit to a few tears over some of the contributions.

Posted by
152 posts

Hi, my reply from Italy (exactly near Modena in Emilia-Romagna).
Some answers:
"Could the virus be that much more deadly in Italy than in China?"
Yes and no: it depends how you calculate the number of deaths. In Italy are counted all people died with the coronavirus, even is isn't the most important reason for the death. Has been calculated that only few ones really died only for coronavirus (the 1 or 2% of total deaths). This means that different countries could have a different mortality/infected ratio. Italian Sanitarian Systems says that using the same method of China the ratio is not so different. Of course the average age of Italians is higher than in China and this virus kill mainly elders, o an higher number of deaths is expected.

At the moment the rising of infected is still high, but not at exponential level. At exponential growing should be expected for yesterday more than 100K infected, while the number is "only" 53K. Now the growing is "only" linear, but we expect a further reduction on next days.
Is much worst the US status, because the US growing of infected is still exponential (33% of daily increase). In fact for Sunday 03/22 the infected should be 26K and Monday should be 34K. This means: please respect the segregation as much as you can! No unnecessary meeting with other people!

In Italy is expected an increasing of daily infected people (and of course of deaths) for at least the next week or maybe 10 days.
Next week probably will be officially closed all unnecessary factories and activities.

About build up of the magnitude of the epidemia by media: yes and no. We Italians are aware that if you have a good immune system this virus isn't worst than a normal seasonal flu. But if you have other problems, this virus affect your lungs and became like a very bad pneumonia, so you can die. For this reason several people need intensive care and oxygen suppliers to be treated. An hospital usually has only few beds for this kind of cares, so only few people can be treated at the same time. In Italy the availability for intensive care before the coronavirus was around 5000 beds (in few days will be much higher). How many infected needs intensive care? Maybe the 7%, but I am not sure. If you don't put this people under intensive care they died for lack of oxygen.
So, to summarize: in USA the growing is still at a 33% of daily increase. This means that in 1 month more ALL Americans (300M) will be infected. At that point you need more than 40M of intensive care beds or all that people are doomed to die. This is a forecast if nothing is done. This is an easy calculation and can make you decide to respect the limits or not.

Italy recover. We believe that for the end of April the number of cases will be at a regular level. Is impossible now stop the epidemia, but could be controlled. Probably for a complete stop of the epidemia we should wait for the vaccine, at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021. About change of behaviors, I don't think so. Italians are very fast to recover and forget bad period. In few months after the epidemia is over everything will be only something of the past.
About tourism we hope that the tourists start to come back as soon as possible. But we are almost sure that won't be before the end of the Summer.

"Some of the members of the forum live in Italy. However, I haven't seen any recent posts from them and not sure why that is?"
I'm asking the same. Now there is SOOO much time to spend on internet in Italy... I am trying to go in hibernation until July, but isn't so easy! :-D
I add even this TA link, about the Emilia-Romagna status: It started when all restrictions were valid for my Region only, so now is less updated.

Posted by
1160 posts

Not posting from Italy because there is little to write. Very depressing news, and anything the government does, it is likely to have its effect no earlier than two weeks, so just waiting for now. The main concern to everyday life at home is grocery shopping; supermarkets are stocked and there are no toilet paper runs - but as only few people may stay in a shop at the same time, long queues develop. This is unpleasant and maybe a bit dangerous. And of course if you happen to sneeze, you already think you're dying.

There is little joy in seeing how several countries in the world, having done even less of what the Italian government has done, are catching Italy on the infection rate.

My advices to all you are the same: 1. do not think it can't come to you 2. organize yourself and stay home, even if your authorities are not (at present) forcing it.

Posted by
152 posts

I add another suggestion: be sure you are insured if you need to be hospitalized. In Italy (and in general in several European countries) the public service is at the top and the cost if you need intensive care is covered by the Country (through our taxes, of course). If I were in US I immediately check for this insurance.
In Italy more than toilet paper we are experiencing a lack of yeast (mainly beer yeast). The most are doing pizza and bread at home! :-D

Posted by
20834 posts

For some reason, yeast and flour is non-existing in our area along with most of the paper products. Thought we would use the old bread making machine since we were locked down but cannot find any flour. The shortages are surprising to me. We are being told that supplies are adequate but just cannot keep the product on the shelf. We haven't been to a grocery store this week so do not know if situation is improving or getting worse. Hopefully, this too shall pass.

Posted by
7082 posts

ricky and lachera 's accounts are so powerful that I copied them and sent them to a few people who I thought could benefit from why it's important to stay inside.

Posted by
132 posts

Ricky fratello,

No beer! Hell has frozen over.

On next trip, (when safe to do so) I will have to try to fit in your town and shout/buy you a couple of birra Moretti.

My local liquor store has a good supply of Moretti stubbies. I have only 4 left. Can send some to if you go into withdrawal symptoms.

Regards Ron

Posted by
152 posts

I believe is a normal reaction. When media say that everything will be closed there is a wave of panic among the population and several people run to purchase what they need. Especially when announcements are made during the night or week end . Happened in Emilia-Romagna at the end of February (when was declared the lockdown), happened in southern Italy last week when was declared the national lockdown, maybe even tomorrow morning because start to be adopted a more intensive national lockdown. At the moment there isn't a shortage of nothing in Italy, but the days of the panic means that there were 10 times the normal selling. After a couple of days the panic passes and the shelf are supplied as usual.

I read the updated number of infected in USA.
Maybe tomorrow evening or Tuesday you will overtake Italy as total number, because the virus is spreading at a faster pace than the standard daily 33%. The Spring Break is a good chance of infection. Wednesday or Thursday USA will be probably the most infected country in the World. I hope Trump will declare a complete national lockdown before Wednesday.

Posted by
1834 posts

I run out of coffee capsules and today I had to waste one hour in line out of my usual shop... I guess this is what I deserve for cheating on my old eco-friendly Moka with George Clooney. Nutella is still on the shelves, but the Nutella biscuits are impossible to find.

The teacher living downstairs gives lessons to first graders via Skype from her balcony. Me and all the other neighbours listen from our balconies.

Boredome is mighty, I spent hours cooking and listening to history lessons for 6 years old.

Posted by
152 posts

@Tassie Devil
In Italy from 20 years we are producing very good craft beers. Is better don't say what we really think of the Moretti! :-D
Probably is too difficult find craft Italian beers abroad, but when you have a chance to come back to Italy try someones.
At the moment in Italy several shops do delivery, including wine/beer shops, so we have no shortage of supply. Not only in cities, but even in small towns.

Posted by
380 posts

602 deaths today, down from 651 yesterday and 793 on Saturday! I am praying for you Italy! Hopefully you have peaked.

Posted by
7900 posts

Lachera! Thanks for the link and yes, we all need a laugh. Dogs with inflamed prostates, lolol.

Posted by
9477 posts

Lachera that was the best thing I have seen all day! God bless Italy, her people, and their sense of humor.

Posted by
132 posts


Thankyou for inside info about Moretti. Yes, Peroni and Moretti are the beers I see stocked at bottle shops. I sometimes open one to go with a pasta ragu. Cannot recall seeing any craft beers over here.

Have enjoyed some Italian craft beers in my travels. Did not pay attention to the names, enjoying the drinking too much. I usually ask for alla spina. Had a great beer in Castel del Monte, Abruzzo. Can’t remember the name.

Yes, will definitely make it a point to be more observant when I am next in your region. Would like to buy you one or two of your favourites.
I am relieved that your beer supplies have not dried up.

From 12 noon yesterday all pubs, gyms, casino’s, church’s etc in this country have been closed. Thankfully breweries are considered an essential industry. Otherwise riots would have ensued! Tasmanian hop harvest is about to commence.

I am saddened to read and hear the reports from your country. My daughter-in-law has relatives, some quite elderly, around San Pio del Camere in Abruzzo. She is in constant contact with them.

So far, we have had 7 deaths, 77 to 95 years. Health advisors are telling us to expect up to 50,000.

Keep the beer cold foe me.

Posted by
152 posts

@Tassie Devil
I suppose that find craft beers abroad is quite difficult, because is always a little production. The only two bigger producers in Italy are Baladin in Piedmont and Ichnusa in Sardinia. The first do several qualities, se second only few. Both ones do very good beers in my opinion.

In Italy at the moment the infection growing rate is decreasing. Now we are close to the +10% daily. This is a very good news indeed. Doesn't mean that soon the problem is over, but that we can save the most of bad sick.

Posted by
40 posts

Sorry, on a less lighter note, but I think this is important and useful, here is the link to an article written by a group of clinicians who are currently working at the Papa Giovanni XIII Hospital in Bergamo. It was published 3 days ago by NEJM Catalyst, a branch of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
It explains everything, the unavoidable and the mistakes that have been made in Italy, because, as someone said, we were prepared for a high tide, not a tsunami.
The city of Bergamo is still in dire conditions.

Posted by
152 posts

Today news is that has been issued the third version (in a little more than a week) of the "self declaration" (or safe-conduct) that Italians have to keep when outside their house if there are controls.
Somebody is arguing that probably we are trying to puzzle the coronavirus with our traditional Burocracy.

Posted by
36 posts

In the last few days the contagion has been slightly decreasing, but the situation is still very hard. In the southern people are very worried from people that want to come back from the north. Mainly in the southern the problem is that the livel and numbers of hospital it's nott sufficient for all patients that got covid19.

Posted by
152 posts

Another little news from Italy (even if a little OT): today is snowing on the most of the northern Italy. Even on the plan and main cities. :-) Stay at home is easier!