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TownerFan

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TownerFan last won the day on March 3

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About TownerFan

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  • Birthday February 10

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  1. Over here life has turned upside down since a month. Me and wife are both working from home since the beginning of March, as both companies put all their employees on remote working for the time being. Working from home has several pluses, but also some downsides (I need more time to concentrate at home, our space is quite small so we both have to work in the living room). The problem is that my mind often goes to think about this pandemic and how it will affect our lives in the medium-long term, but I've started to focus much more on the very present time. I live in Milan, where the situation is pretty dire, so there is also added anxiety for the risk of falling ill. I go out only once a week with mask and disposable gloves to do some grocery shopping at the supermarket for us and also for my 81-years old mum who lives alone. We both miss our social life with friends and family, we're doing lots of Skype calls to check with our loved ones, but we feel nonetheless lucky to be with each other (and with our kitten) in these strange, uncertain times.
  2. I'm quite worried about what will become of the EU at this point. It seems this thing is shaking the fundaments of the (already frail and often hypocrite) solidarity and common view among European states. There's no common strategy, but we can get out of this thing only with a shared effort.
  3. I fear it's too late now to think about a containment strategy that will work in avoiding severe lockdown measures all over the world. The virus is spreading everywhere and won't be securely stopped until we have a vaccine or at least an effective therapeutic. The big issue now is the global health emergency, hospitals around the world are already under enormous pressure to cure an unprecedented number of cases (especially those in dense populated areas, like big cities) and the strain they're facing is almost unbearable. We're entering uncharted territory, where we have to live on a day-by-day basis for several months and the economy will have to follow suit. I'm more and more convinced every day since this emergency started that life as we knew it is very likely over and we'll have to adjust and adapt to a new mindset for the future. I think human kind has all the resources to get out of this emergency, but let's not pat ourselves on the back and think this will be over in a couple of months and everything will go back as it was.
  4. I heartily suggest to read this very insightful AMA reddit transcript with Bill Gates about the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/A-coronavirus-AMA Until we have a vaccine or at least an effective medical therapy, containment and mitigation (i.e. social distancing and lockdown) are the only measures to avoid a dramatic surge of the spread, combined with an effective strategy of tracing, testing and treating all the mild symptomatic and their contacts at their homes or in specially built quarantine locations. The problem now is that the virus is infecting medical workers and health personnel to the point that hospitals and ERs are becoming clusters of infections (read this dramatic report by a pool of Italian doctors working in the red zone where the virus hit very hard), so it's crucial to have a strategy that keeps most symptomatic cases out of hospitals and follow them with telemedicine, like they did in China and South Korea. Of course all governments in every country are now worried about the economic consequences of locking down entire sectors and blocking most activities for 2 or 3 months, but the point is to apply the best strategy in having this virus contained and under control otherwise all the sacrifices and limitations we're all going through now will be useless if the virus starts circulating again.
  5. Stay safe, dear friend!
  6. There it is, guys: NEW PODCAST EPISODE! - Guest host Tim Burden presents an exclusive interview with Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains about his work and collaboration with John Williams on FAR AND AWAY, recently released on a new spectaculat expanded edition by La-La Land Records produced by Mike Matessino. https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/03/14/paddy-moloney-interview/ Sorry it took longer than expected, but it's been a very tough week around these parts. Hope this will offer some moments of respite and joy in these troubling times. Hope you'll all enjoy. Stay safe and healthy!
  7. Look, I never wanted to sound pre apocalyptic, nor I wanted to scare anyone. I don’t think this is the absolute worst that can happen. As you said, we can still rely on many commodities in such situations (hey, it’s the 21st century), but it’s likely the most disruptive event of the last few years. I’m worried for the health of my relatives, for my 81-years old mum, and for my in-laws. Of course there were (and there are) other worrying situations in the world, but again let’s try to avoid Mad Max-like scenarios as the worst that can happen. Having a whole country on a lockdown as it’s happening here it’s totally unprecedented. And we’ll face enormous economic consequences for the following years. I very much hope this won’t hit the UK as hard as it’s doing here.
  8. that’s exactly why I think we can win this battle. I hope that this will reinstate the centrality of science in our society.
  9. Because the Covid-19 causes respiratory deficiency and lots of people need automated ventilation to help breathe. You don’t want to send a person home dying basically suffocating. That’s the concept I was talking about above—this is about the dignity of taking care of people’s health.
  10. Well, I'm worried... but I don't want to sound too funereal, sorry. I think we can fight back and win this battle.
  11. Since I'm seeing with my own eyes what an epidemic of Covid-19 looks like, let me tell you what it looks like. This is not a drill. It may be not the end-of-the-world pandemic scenario imagined by some books and many Hollywood movies. But tt's a serious issue that put at risk the basic structure of our societies, their ability (or inability) to hold on together when facing a very complex threat and what these societies can or cannot do to protect one of the basic rights of the human being: health. One of the great conquest of the modern world is how medicine and good health services can help us live better lives, cure sickness, ease out pain in terminal situations, and find solutions to fight back new threats like this. The only weapons we have at the moment are containment and mitigation. This is a new virus, we don't have antibodies for it and there is still no medical cure nor vaccine to stop it. Hence, we cannot avoid people getting infected. We cannot avoid some people dying from the complicancies of getting infected by the virus. But we can give the best cure and treatments to everyone IF the health system won't get overloaded in a very short amount of time with lots of people getting sick and needing hospitalization. Here in my region (Lombardy), the epidemic curve is surging dramatically each day and we're now very close to the point hospitals and medical workers will collapse. Many doctors and nurses are posting scary stories on their social media about the drama they're facing every day. They're working night and day to care for all the people needing hospitalization. But it's hard, becuase the pressure gets higher and higher every day and the volume of demand is becoming unsustainable. If we don't tame it, or at least seriously try to do it, it will do serious damages to the lives of many people around the world. China showed that it could be done. Yes, they're the most authoritarian government of the world, they used methods of control over people that are scary for our western world, but citizens duly followed the strict quarantine rules, they found a common spirit and the situation is getting better now. Yes, the price they paid in economic terms is humongous. But it's the only way.
  12. The contagion rate is very much in line with what happened in the Hubei region in China by the end of January. This report explains the whole situation very well and how the only way to mitigate the virus is to use severe restriction measures: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30567-5/fulltext is this the apocalypse? No, of course it isn’t. Anyone selling and buying the “end is nigh” storytelling are idiots. However, this is a SERIOUS problem of public health that now concerns pretty much the whole world. We should not be afraid to use the word “pandemic” because that’s exactly what this is. It’s not Hollywood-like scenario, but something much more complex and multifaceted. It concerns health, economy and politics.
  13. Italy has extended restrictions nationwide: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/09/world/coronavirus-news.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage Guys, this is extremely serious. It’s not just the flu, or an exaggeration of media. Fear is not “fabricated”. We’re facing the most serious health emergency in the history of our country and it’s only the beginning. I totally concur with these extreme restrictions, it’s the only weapon we have against this virus. Please, be safe, avoid close contacts and crowded places, wash your hands frequently, boost your immune system with vitamin pills—this is not about just protecting yourself from getting sick, but to protect the most frail and exposed people around you.
  14. yes, absolutely. This has been underestimated since day 1. The way the decree was also leaked to the press before being officially announced was also absolutely outrageous. Italians are known to be kind of sloppy when it comes to follow strict rules and sadly here we’re showing our worst side.
  15. It’s now a matter of national emergency and public health. I have to say the central government acted schizophrenically in the last couple of weeks, as the country didn’t expect to fall victim in such a short time. It’s now a situation where (and it feels bad to say this) the only way to go is to apply China-like draconian laws to mitigate the virus’ spread. It will also become a matter of constitutional law, but if this doesn’t slow down in the next couple of weeks, it’s going to be more dramatic than it already is.
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