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The Coronavirus Diaries - Day 3

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

246 cases this morning, 260 to close out the day, 0 deaths, which is certainly a good thing and, truly, the only metric that matters. If literally nobody had died, nobody would care. We've also surpassed 200k cases worldwide. The numbers seem very large, however, when put into the context as bare numbers, they are minuscule against a total of seven billion humans, as are the nearly 9,000 deaths, tragic though they are. Think about this: in only three months in 2014, at the peak of the civil war in Syria, 20,000 civilians were killed. Regular people, men, women, children wiped out. Thousands each and every month. Even this year, in January and February, almost 3,000 people died in the same conflict. I had no idea.

And I don't mean to divert the discussion, I understand the nuance of context, but if danger is danger and death is death (which is exactly what is is to the dead), we could all be doing much worse. This is worth remembering and being grateful for. Imagine, the worst thing we have to endure is a stay at home. As for Romania, we are somewhat lucky here. As I understand it, this strain is slightly different and less aggressive than what they had in Wuhan, which might explain the low number of fatalities and the many asymptomatic cases. That and the fact that the average age of the infected is 41 while only 9 people over 70 have contracted the virus.

Speaking of staying at home, I went out to do some 'alright-for-real-this-is-the-last-shopping-we're-doing-for-two-weeks' shopping and was feeling mighty vulnerable even though the store was largely empty. Still I might've been the only shopper wearing a mask, though I did see a few sets of gloves. Overall, people seemed relaxed. Most Kaufland employees were wearing latex gloves and masks but others, and other shoppers, were cruising with zero protection (or consideration). Also, there was plenty of toilet paper.



Now for the fun stuff.

A Bulgarian citizen, transiting Romania from Moldova was taken to a Galati hospital with symptoms and tested positive. He then escaped the hospital by cutting through window netting only to be discovered, an hour later, on a minibus bound for Bucharest. He was then taken back to the hospital while everyone else on the bus was taken to a quarantine center. Imagine someone did that to you. At least he's been charged with 'contempt of disease control measures' - don't know what the penalty is yet.

The number of people investigated for breach of self-isolation directives has now reached 120 as they were not at their residence during checkups. Maybe they just drove to their secondary residences in complete isolation. Maybe they were shopping at Kaufland.

A man from Constanta attended a dance competition with his daughter in Neamt county, alongside 1,000 other people, then returned to Constanta where he tested positive several days later. At least one other person in attendance at the same event tested positive in Neamt.

A man from Suceava (the county not the town) had recently returned from Belgium and broke his self-isolation regimen. He went on to have contact with around 200 people before turning up at the hospital with lung pains. There, he tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile it's only Day 3 and I keep imagining I have lung pains. Autosuggestion at its finest. If it turns out to be, uh, something else, well then, shit.

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