1/ To look back at those crucial days last March when lockdowns spread globally is to realize NONE OF THIS HAD TO HAPPEN. Italy set the stage when it locked down March 9; at the time it had 9,000 cases out of 60 million people, and a few northern hospitals under serious pressure.
2/ It also had, on March 6, a physician in a hospital in Bergamo (a city near Milan that was the epicenter of the Italian epidemic) making a terrified Facebook post which caught the world's attention but in retrospect contains a few lines that should have been read more closely.
3/ In the post, the doctor wrote that his hospital was near collapse and that "each ventilator becomes like gold."

Yet the specific figure he cited for daily #Covid admissions was far less terrifying: "We arrive at a rate of 15-20 hospitalizations a day all for the same reason."
4/ He also acknowledged nearly all the victims were elderly: "Covid 19 causes a trivial flu in many young people... the most serious [cases] are mainly elderly with other pathologies." (Later, he said he'd seen more serious cases in the young.)
5/ Yet the post's overall tone was very different, alarm verging on panic. And the doctor was clear about what he hoped the post would do:

"Please share and share the message. Word must be spread to prevent what is happening here from happening throughout Italy."
6/ He couldn't have been more successful. The original Italian version was shared 40,000 times, and a partial English translation was retweeted 36,000 times. Media outlets all over the world reported the warning.
7/ No one seemed to remember flu epidemics had caused over 40,000 excess deaths in Italy from "influenza-like illnesses" in both 2014/15 and 2016/17 - without any thought of a lockdown, much less a national or global panic.

The Rubicon was crossed.

We're still paying the price.
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