Some skeptics of “social distancing” have suggested that if most Americans had generally carried on with life as usual, the coronavirus would not present any greater threat than the seasonal flu or car crashes, each of which kill about 40,000 Americans a year. The fact that 10,000 people have died from the coronavirus in three weeks in Italy — a country with one-fifth the population of the United States — should dispel such wishful thinking.
And keep in mind that this is the death toll in Italy weeks after lockdowns were imposed — first within the region of Lombardy on February 21 (affecting only about 50,000 people) and then on March 9 for the entire country.
The spike in the daily death toll in Italy — a record 919 coronavirus deaths were recorded on March 27 alone — does not mean that the national lockdown is not working.
The good news out of Italy is that the daily percentage growth of new cases has been decreasing:
Today (March 28th) the daily percentage growth of confirmed #COVID19 cases in Italy is 6.91%, from 86,498 to 92,472.
The absolute increase amounts to 5974 cases.
— Riccardo Puglisi (@ricpuglisi) March 28, 2020