Today it is Good Friday, Easter is approaching. In Italy in Easter Monday people traditionally go out for a picnic. In my home town, we used to go to the beaches that were farther from the town; we would bring some food and drinks and if the weather was good enough we would swim in the sea for the first time after the winter. This year it is different. Italian authorities are concerned that the Easter traditions may bring people to ignore the measures in place; police is ready to face this emergency situation that would hinder lock-down effectiveness in the long run.
Encouraging news from Europe. Today it is the eight day in a row that the average number of new cases of Coronavirus in Spain decreases. The curve is now going downwards and this means that the spread is not accelerating anymore.
To understand the situation, let’s compare the charts for Spain, on the left, and Italy.
The orange line is the average of new daily cases: it is going down in both countries. In Spain, the red line, representing average of the sum of people healing and people dying is increasing at a faster pace. The charts show how in both countries, yesterday, the number of people infected with Coronavirus increased by more or less 2000 units. As I explained before, the number of infected people will start decreasing when the green line crosses the zero level. Looking at the slope of the curves, it seems that it may happen in Spain earlier than in Italy.
It is important to remember that numbers that we see every day on websites depend heavily on the number of people that is tested for Coronavirus. If no-one is tested, the official number of infected people will be zero. Similarly, the way deaths by Coronavirus are counted differ from one country to another. In some countries, if you die after testing positive, you will be counted among people that died because of Coronavirus. In other countries, doctors have more leeway in determining if a death is caused by the virus or other underlying conditions.
The United States were caught unprepared by the virus. While news coming from Europe were underlining everyday the enormous risk of an imminent medical disaster, their president chose to ignore all warnings. As virus was spreading at unprecedented speed, still at the end of March, Google mobility data showed how people circulation was a lot higher than in other heavily affected countries.
Despite the intuitive reasoning that restrictive measures can only produce a positive effect if applied across the whole country, as we speak there are still several states that did not issue a stay at home order.
These states are all ruled by Republicans.
Up to date list of stay at home orders in the United States can be found on Wall Street Journal web site.