An American woman expat in Italy has taken to social media to sound the alarm bells to the rest of the world whom she said are weeks away from where Italy is today.
American Cristina Higgins opened the FB post by stating where she was upon writing the open letter. “I am writing to you from Bergamo, Italy, at the heart of the coronavirus crisis. The news media in the US has not captured the severity of what is happening here.”
Higgins went on to give the world an idea how the virus can be stop and who can stop it from turning their country, city or town like the situation in Italy. “I am writing this post because each of you, today, not the government, not the school district, not the mayor, each individual citizen has the chance, today to take actions that will deter the Italian situation from becoming your own country’s reality. The only way to stop this virus is to limit contagion. And the only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today.”
“If you are in Europe or the US you are weeks away from where we are today in Italy,” Higgins wrote to give fellow Americans and Europeans the sense of urgency to act and act fast.
Higgins said she can already hear what the naysayers and doubters will say as soon as they read her post. ‘I can hear you now. “It’s just a flu. It only affects old people with preconditions'”
Higgins cited 2 main reasons why covid-19 proved devastating to Italy. “There are 2 reasons why Coronavirus has brought Italy to it’s knees. First it is a flu is devastating when people get really sick they need weeks of ICU – and, second, because of how fast and effectively it spreads. There is 2 week incubation period and many who have it never show symptoms.”
Higgins recalled what line struck her the most when the Italian PM announced the lockdown of 60M Italians and that was ‘there is no more time.’ “When Prime Minister Conte announced last night that the entire country, 60 million people, would go on lock down, the line that struck me most was ‘there is no more time.’ Because to be clear, this national lock down, is a hail mary. What he means is that if the numbers of contagion do not start to go down, the system, Italy, will collapse.”
Higgins was alarmed because of the grim situation in the ICUs in the hospitals in Lombardy and if the number of infections do not go down fast, go figure what will happen in a week or two. “Today the ICUs in Lombardy are at capacity – more than capacity. They have begun to put ICU units in the hallways. If the numbers do not go down, the growth rate of contagion tells us that there will be thousands of people who in a matter of a week? two weeks? who will need care. What will happen when there are 100, or a 1000 people who need the hospital and only a few ICU places left?”
Higgins recounted what she read on the paper about a doctor claiming they have begun making decisions who live or die when patients show up in the ER. “On Monday a doctor wrote in the paper that they have begun to have to decide who lives and who dies when the patients show up in the emergency room, like what is done in war. This will only get worse.”
Higgins said the number of doctors, nurses and medical staffs are not limitless and if they get sick, she dreads that day when that happens because nobody will take care of the patients. “There are a finite number of drs, nurses, medical staff and they are getting the virus. They have also been working non-stop, non-stop for days and days. What happens when the drs, nurses and medical staff are simply not able to care for the patients, when they are not there?”
Higgins also brushed aside people who say that it happens only to old people because in the Italy experience, hospitals are reporting that as young as 18 are coming in for treatment. “And finally for those who say that this is just something that happens to old people, starting yesterday the hospitals are reporting that younger and younger patients – 40, 45, 18, are coming in for treatment.”
Higgins urged netizens to do what she has to say to make a difference and stop the spread in their respective countries. “You have a chance to make a difference and stop the spread in your country. Push for the entire office to work at home today, cancel birthday parties, and other gatherings, stay home as much as you can. If you have a fever, any fever, stay home. Push for school closures, now. Anything you can do to stop the spread, because it is spreading in your communities – there is a two week incubation period – and if you do these things now you can buy your medical system time.”
Higgins turned her attention at the people who says closing schools and do all these other things is impossible to ponder what just Italy did. “And for those who say it is not possible to close the schools, and do all these other things, locking down Italy was beyond anyone’s imagination a week ago.”
Higgins strongly insisted to act now before it’s too late. “Soon you will not have a choice, so do what you can now.”
Higgins FB post has been shared 1M+, reacted more than 212,000+ and commented by netizens 128,000+ and counting.
Source: Cristina Higgins