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Covid-19: a word of warning from Italy

A dancer wearing a face mask frames the Colosseum in Rome (Photograph by Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP)

Dear Sir,As a Bermudian residing in Italy, I feel the need to write to you all urging the Premier of Bermuda to take a very strong stance against the coronavirus, and pleading with him to close your borders now.Stop all flights in and out of Bermuda. Cancel the cruise ship season. You do not want this virus to enter Bermuda. I am ever hopeful it has not arrived already. You cannot underestimate the impact this virus will have on the healthcare system in Bermuda. If we in Italy don’t have enough doctors and nurses, who, by the way, are working around the clock for weeks on end trying to combat the spread of this virus, how will Bermuda possibly cope? Italy has one of the best health systems in the world, and having started very early on trying to contain the virus, it still seems almost impossible and beyond reach. In the northern part of Italy, it has been reported that the doctors are now having to pick and choose who gets a chance to live by being treated and who they cannot even treat because their scenario for death is too great. There are not enough beds, not enough respirators, not enough doctors, not enough nurses.It is an absolute nightmare, which then forces society to turn to extreme measures by shutting down schools, all offices, all business and all events, including weddings, funerals, etc, while trying to keep people home to contain it from spreading farther.Believe me when I tell you, it will bring your country to its knees. It is only a matter of time. Please, David Burt, you have a very short window of opportunity — and I look at it as an opportunity — to isolate yourselves from this nightmare. Quarantine your nation for a few months and you will be so much better off for doing so. The flu is not what you must fear; what you must fear is how this virus is capable of overwhelming the medical system and, eventually, the economy. Please, Mr Burt, do the right thing for your country and close the borders. Now! KATHY CERVINOLivorno, Italy