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  • mhm patients on ventilators overwhelmed doctors.

  • Mhm.

  • It's because face masks lockdowns, army trucks, taking away the bodies of Covid 19 victims and new infections and deaths reported every day until March 2020.

  • These were images only seen in China, where the virus felt far away.

  • But in the blink of an eye, it had hit northern Italy and spread to the whole of Europe.

  • In a matter of weeks, a worldwide pandemic would be declared, and our lives would never be the same.

  • Yeah, welcome to our Covid 19 special on T.

  • W.

  • I'm Monica Johnson Berlin, and I vividly remember sitting here in the studio last year reporting on the horrors in the Italian region of Lombardy.

  • Little did we know that Covid, 19, would soon dominate all our lives and still does.

  • Bergamo may once again look like a quiet northern Italian city, but it was here that the pandemic gained its foothold in Europe.

  • It was the first place where the horrors of Covid 19 were felt outside of China.

  • Emergency stations were transformed into intensive care units, and not all patients could be treated, cemeteries were overflowing and military trucks had to transport coffins out of the city.

  • The Pope John the 23rd hospital, was at the center of the outbreak.

  • Today, the number of coronavirus patients is a small fraction of a year ago.

  • The director of the emergency station suspects that Bergamo, as residents, have developed a form of herd immunity to the virus.

  • Many of the people who had antibodies in their blood last March were tested again in December, and they still had antibodies in their blood eight months later.

  • Of those people, hardly anyone was infected again.

  • After the first wave, the city's health officials ordered extensive blood tests showed who had already been infected.

  • More than 40% of those tested had antibodies against Covid 19, perhaps explaining why significantly fewer people were infected during the second wave in late 2020.

  • But now another problem has officials concerned.

  • I think we may have survived the worst of it, but it's far from over.

  • We have to look carefully at the mutations that are spreading because they could completely change the virus and the situation here.

  • The outbreak left even survivors traumatized, and it wiped out nearly an entire generation of seniors, among them Stefano frescoes, grandfather there's a saying that fits this tragedy very well.

  • Every time an old man dies, it's like a library was burned down.

  • We saw a lot of libraries burned here.

  • It's a huge wound that will never heal.

  • He said the lockdown in Bergamo came much too late to save those.

  • Like his grandfather, he founded an organization to seek justice and take legal action against the public.

  • Officials, he said, Let it happen.

  • 5000 people joined up.

  • But for now, Fusco says he wants to transform anger into something constructive and one year after the coronavirus catastrophe, to make sure that something like that never happens again.

  • And I'm joined now on the line by Enrico.

  • Start ahead of the Critical Care department and I see you at Cremona Hospital in Italy.

  • Criminal, of course, also being a beautiful old town in the Lombardy region that was hit by the pandemic last spring.

  • And Dr started, you were right in the thick of it.

  • Um, how did you experience that terrible first wave last spring?

  • Yeah, I can presently can recall exactly the time when we knew that we were facing Covid 19, because we have been the very first one to diagnose that this infection in Europe and, uh, that time it was clear that we were forced to face something which was, uh, totally unexpected.

  • And, uh, nobody did it in the last, uh, 100 here here in Europe.

  • So it was the idea that we have to find the way to fight against a pandemic problem, which was really astonishing at the time.

  • And you had to make hard choices also, something that you probably don't have to do every day.

  • Uh, yeah, I think that what should be clear is that, uh, the scenario we were forced to face was a sort of worst scenario is sort of mass casualty problem where the definition of mass casualty is when there's a huge disproportion between the number of patients, you have to take care to take care and the resources that you have available so at that time was very difficult and important to balance the resources.

  • Which means, uh, physicians, which means ventilators, which means best, and how to read the rearrange and reshape the hospital organization to meet something which was totally different from the routine, um al Paraiso, that must have been very tough.

  • I mean, all your colleagues still on board or did some say this?

  • This is too much.

  • I quit.

  • Yeah, I promise you that.

  • As I mentioned, uh, to cope with the situation with a sort of the worst scenario, worse situation.

  • Uh, what was the shift?

  • What was the, uh, let me say the peacetime organization was totally reverted.

  • So, uh, it's clear that at that time there were many, many hours to be to be covered in terms of ships.

  • And also, let me say that, uh, covid 19.

  • For an intensive, it means, uh, uh, severe respiratory distress, which means a huge, uh, needs of ICU care.

  • So the physician, we're tired.

  • We're pressed by a number of patients with a very critical condition.

  • And so nobody quits.

  • Nobody say no.

  • Nobody surrendered to the situation.

  • But if you are asking me, what has been the cost of destroyed for sure has been extremely high.

  • So what is the situation now compared to a year ago?

  • Let me say that from the organizational perspective, Of course, Now we are well prepared and we we know better this kind of pathology, this kind of infection in the very beginning, this was totally unknown.

  • And so that was an issue at that time.

  • Now we are We are more ready and we have more deeper knowledge about what we have to do and about what the covid minting infection is.

  • But unfortunately, meantime, we are speaking the curve infection curve, and the epidemiologic perspective is very close to the first way.

  • So unfortunately, I think that we have to fight a little bit longer waiting for the vaccine strategy and be fun.

  • And just very briefly, if you could utter a wish to politicians, what do they need to do now?

  • I think that we have to talk to each other and we have to balance again the actual resource in what is now available and forecasting very widely what to do in the in the next 2 to 3 months in order to address our effort.

  • All right, Dr.

  • Enrico, starting from Criminal Hospital in Italy.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Thank you.

  • Now one positive side effect of the pandemic More people have been getting a flu jab, but there are still reservations towards covid 19 vaccines.

  • Are they justified?

  • Time to ask Derek, My elderly in laws have already survived the infection.

  • Is vaccination recommended for them?

  • I'm not a doctor, and your in laws need to talk to one about what's recommended for their specific, unique medical situation, but they can go into that discussion informed.

  • So let's go back over a few fundamentals of this pandemic that are important to keep in mind.

  • First and foremost, the elderly are the group most at risk when they get this disease.

  • In some places, four and five of the people who have died from COVID.

  • 19 have been over 65.

  • That's why, in vaccine rollouts nearly everywhere, the elderly are at the top of the distribution list because evidence is now really piling up that vaccines really do reduce severe disease, hospitalization and death in that group.

  • Second in trials, older people generally responded very well to approved vaccines and going on 300 million shots worldwide.

  • They're still doing so, so the chances that a vaccine will present some kind of danger to their health are vanishingly small, and there's a reason why which is vaccines don't make you sick.

  • Many people still have to be reminded of that, Um, approved vaccines don't contain SARS cov two.

  • They contain things that fake and infection with it, and that can cause side effects as your immune system reacts, sometimes even fairly powerful side effects.

  • But those are signs the vaccine is working and are almost always quite short term.

  • Um, the third point I want to make is that health authorities pretty much all recommend everyone get vaccinated when they had the chance, even if they have the disease and have recovered.

  • Because then the vaccine acts as a booster and can help shore up the immune response even more.

  • There might be some instances, for example, where someone is extremely frail, or where there are serious underlying conditions where doctors might recommend postponing vaccination.

  • But if they were recommending that from my in laws, I'd certainly make them explain why.

  • Because vaccines save lives.

  • Derrick Williams will be back next week as well.

  • Covid 19 Special.

  • Thanks for watching.

  • Mhm.

mhm patients on ventilators overwhelmed doctors.

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Bergamo, where the horrors of COVID-19 in Europe started | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/05
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