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No. The rate in Germany might be, say, 20% higher than Italy because of the slightly older Italian population, but not 10000% higher (100x). The Italians (and Spanish) have simply decided to go crazy, probably related to the tense political situation. Northern Italy is where Berlusconi came from.
I am not there but, from what I read and what I know, German has a younger population than Italy, meaning there are less old people who are at risk of dying of any disease, including Covid. They were particularly efficient in testing for the disease, which means the number of total cases diagnosed that did not result in death is much higher and that brings down the mortality rate. Finally, that I didn't know until they stated it, it seems that Germany has more ICU beds than Italy, which helped absorbing the spike in severe cases and improved survival.
Italians and Spaniards might be less disciplined than the Germans, but they're not stupid. We didn't "go crazy" because of a political agenda, we went crazy when we saw a lot of our elderly parents and relatives dying like flies. You could say those people were fragile and with debilitating conditions and would have died anyway, even from a seasonal flu, yet we are not as cynical as the Brits and the Americans. Our elderly's lives matter.
As an Italian, you know there is constant traffic between north and south Italy. If tjis covid19 is really do contagious, surely the disease would have spread all over Rome and Naples and other crowded cities of the south. So why is only north Italy so badly affected? Answer: crazy Italian politics mixed with mass hysteria.
Sure, there have been hundreds of thousands of people who moved back south a few days beforre the government started the lockdown in Milan and other northern areas. That surely contributed to the spread of the disease down south. There ar plenty of cases in Rome, Naples and virtually any southern city. Many of them are undetected or asymptomatic. The northerners have been far more diligent and efficient in testing the population, which resulted in many more officially reported cases. If they had been as good down south, you would have seen a multiple of the cases there, too.
As for your grandparents, the worst evil you could wish upon them is to be dragged off to a hospital and spend their last days with a tube shoved down their lungs pumping air in and out like in some horrible torture chamber. Best thing is for old people to remain quarantined at home while young people deliberately get sick then recover so as to create herd immunity, which will take several months. Then the epidemic will fade away and the quarantine of old people can end.
Yes, that is the strategy. Most young people are avoiding contact with their parents and elderly relatives. My brother keeps working in his own bakery and hasn't seen my parents for 2 weeks. I even taught them how to do some of the accountancy on Google Sheets, so they didn't have to meet to check the books.
It's a tragedy alright, but a tragedy for old people. We love them, down there...
Italians and Spaniards might be less disciplined than the Germans, but they're not stupid. We didn't "go crazy" because of a political agenda, we went crazy
Different cultures more than lack of discipline or stupidity. Germans went apeshit crazy in the 1930's, whereas Italians and Spanish and Portuguese also had fascism but not so crazy as Germany.
Note that there is no quarantine in Sweden or Japan or South Korea and even China is almost back to normal. These countries figured out that covid19 is not that serious, so quarantine no.longer justified. Also, as of 19 March 2020, covid19 is no longer considered a "high consequence infectious disease" in the UK, because fatality rate is so low, though three is a disconnect between scientists and politicians there, same as in Italy, so crazy shutdown continues:
.....Note that there is no quarantine in Sweden or Japan or South Korea and even China is almost back to normal. These countries figured out that covid19 is not that serious, so quarantine no longer justified.
Opinions are divided if the situation is serious or not in Japan, but all agree, that restricting the movement of people within Japan is not an option.
You can see the recent statistic about the corona-virus in Japan when clicking on these websites in English.
Japan has around 127 million people. About 1000 cases are known presently with active corona-virus infection.
Generally said, the problem is mainly in the large cities, but not in rural provinces - Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka and cities next to them because of commuter traffic.
The infections in Hokkaido were caused by a Chinese group. In Oita almost all infections were related to one elderly care home.
The highest number of infections were on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, it is now over, out of 712 infected people, only 9 remain in intensive care, 10 died and 597 fully recovered and/or left Japan.
Including infected Japanese coming back from China, Wuhan with a special charter plane the number of infected people so far is 1313, of them 57 are in intensive care, 45 died, and 310 recovered fully and left the hospitals.
In rural areas most people are not living so close to each other, are moving around with their own small cars and are not using public transport. It is now school vacation time in Japan (beginning of spring)
So far, what I can say about the area where I am living (Okayama province, about 7 million people), a bit outside of the center of Okayama-City (800.000 people) there are very few foreign tourists, just local people and not so many are interested in travelling to abroad - there are no restrictions, no supply shortages, just nothing except some events were cancelled - life more or less the same, as always.
So far, out of 7 million people in Okayama, only 1 person is known to be infected with the corona-virus after she came back from a one week vacation in Spain.
One important question is this. Who is going to pay for the damage to the economy, and subsequent bailout, caused by the shutdown? IMO since the elderly benefited most, they are the ones who should pay, such as by taxing all pensions by several thousand a year (exemption for first X dollars) or raising monthly medicare premiums. Some might ask, why should the elderly pay when they didn't vote for all these shutdowns and bailouts? Because their representatives voted on their behalf. That is how representative democracy works. We elect representatives (Congressmen, Senators, President, etc) who then vote on our behalf about details of public policy. In this case, their elected representatives ordered all seniors a nice juicy steak, so to speak, versus something cheaper, so now these seniors have to pay the bill for that steak.
Anyway, all seniors who were saved should be grateful to be alive. Plus we can't put a price on human life, can we? Not even people who are on death's doorstep and would have died of something else if covid19 didn't kill them. No limits on money spent to extend life by another month or two. However, those who benefit from such limitless spending should pay, assuming they have the means.
I'm posting this so as to go on the record as being among the first to propose this controversial idea. Anyone who uses twitter is welcome to steal my idea and post there (though please mention HA, unless you're ashamed to be associated with this forum and its motley crew of members).