New COVID-19 test numbers show that Italy is close to flattening the curve
via Al Jazeera News / Twitter

The big reason that people around the planet are social distancing is to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that fewer people need to seek treatment and hospitals are not overrun. Epidemiologists call this practice "flattening the curve."

In Italy, the curve wasn't flattened fast enough and hospitals became overloaded with patients fighting the deadly virus. So patients went without having ICU beds and hospitals suffered from a lack of basic supplies.

Italy has seen the most COVID-19 deaths in the world with over 11,500.



via Science Alert

Italy's healthcare workers have paid a tremendous price for their bravery during the crisis. Sixty-three have died because of the virus and there has been an average of 600 new infections among these workers every day.

However, there is good news coming out of Italy. On Monday, the Italian Civil Protection Department announced a clear slowdown in the number of infected people. The number has only grown 2% to reach 75,528.

"We are witnessing a slowdown [of the outbreak]," Fabrizio Pregliasco, a virologist from the University of Milan, said according to Newsweek. "It is not plateau yet, but it is a good sign."

The total number of those who have recovered from the virus had a sharp increase, reaching 14,620.

Although the outbreak hasn't peaked, Italian experts believe it's near.

via Reuters / Twitter

The disease's progress may be slowing, but Italy is looking to extend its lockdown which was scheduled to lift on April 3. Reports show that it may be extended at least another two weeks.

"The measures expiring on April 3 will inevitably be extended," regional affairs minister, Francesco Boccia, said according to Newsweek.

"I think that, at the moment, talking about re-opening is inappropriate and irresponsible," he added.

Italy appears to have the highest death rate on the planet from the disease. China had a similar number of infections but only a third of the deaths of Italy.

A big reason is that only the most severe cases are being treated because Italy's medical system has been completely overrun by the pandemic.

"We have a national healthcare system that works very well, especially in Lombardy -- but even our system has been hit by this," Dr. Massimo Galli, head of the infectious disease unit at Sacco Hospital in Milan, said according to CNN.

"Miracles have been done in multiplying the numbers of beds in hospitals," he continued. But medicine "has been lacking -- and this is a big problem that will be felt by other countries."

Another major factor is that Italy has the second oldest population on the planet behind Japan. The average age for Italians who have died after testing positive for the virus is 78.

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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via Haley McGuire / TikTok

About a quarter of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are nonverbal, and while that number seems high, there's been sharp decline from a generation ago when the number was closer to half.

This positive shift is due to an increase in studies on ASD which have resulted in more effective therapeutic strategies.

Children with ASD are often nonverbal, but many go onto acquire language skills. Up to 70% of nonverbal children become fluent speakers or can use simple phrases.

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


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