[nexa] Post di Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

J.C. DE MARTIN demartin at polito.it
Sun Mar 15 16:33:09 CET 2020

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In the next few months, I will most likely become infected. Billions of 
crown virus will be produced in my body, starting a desperate fight with 
my immune cells. However, in the absence of chronic disease, in Boston, 
I hope my immune system will win.

Yet I'm really worried about the virus. So much that I think it is 
inevitable that we will close the world for two months. I don't do this 
for myself, but for my mother.

In the lab since February, we know that the world will stop in 
mid-March. I mentioned this to a lot of friends weeks ago, but even for 
me it was hard to understand what this means. Now we start to see it -- 
it's going to be a hard two months and the best is yet to go.

I knew what was going to happen because at the Boston Network Science 
Institute where I work, my colleagues have been able to predict the 
spread of the current virus for years. They were followed by is, Ebola, 
and now it's the crown virus.

I'm not moving out to the theory of the problem network - this is what 
the and is about x. And my school book x. Chapter 
(http://networksciencebook.com/). The virus caused by the crown virus is 
a network problem, so a network method and thinking is needed to predict 
its spread and finally control.

Now we understand that the virus cannot be stopped. It will spread 
regardless of how many countries close their border and how many flights 
will be cancelled or how many schools have been closed. Where ten 
patients are in hospital, there are hundreds of infected people in the 
community. Many will never know that they were infected because they had 
no signs. But the virus is spreading through them too.

We are already over the point that we can stop the spread of Cov-19 with 
a whom of a stay. Ebola could be written like this, but the crown virus 
is too contagious and is too spread. In addition, we can't expect shots 
this year.

If it is unstoppable, then why do we put the brake in? Why do we close 
schools, why do we push the world economy into a recession?

For one reason - to slow down. Because this way we can save our parents, 
our grandparents, and sometimes ourselves.

Every model predict that about half of the population will be infected 
within a year. In the absence of action, the process will follow a 
well-expected fast growth, a strong peak, then a strong peak. However, 
there will be no hospital capacity for everyone who needs this.

And the top is scary close -- thousands will be infected within weeks if 
we don't do anything. In the example of Italy, we see what happens when 
the virus is free -- in the absence of capacity, doctors have to decide 
over life and death, to help some patients, and let others go without a 

Many continue to lie that we are facing a safe flu virus, which is safe 
to many of us, because it avoid young people and especially children. 
This is not true - the crown virus is spread faster than the flu and 
does not meet immune. By the time the flu reaches Europe in the fall, a 
large number of population is already vaccinated against it, making it 
harder to spread. The Crown virus is contagious without obstacles and 
causes death in the elderly and patients.

I'm most worried about the elderly. Everyone who is old or sick in their 
family, neighbor, house, is responsible. Don't bring the virus home! 
Make them understand that the danger to them is very real! Make sure 
they have food, and if they don't, shop for them! Help them to be 
separate for the next two months! And do your best not to spread the 
virus, to reduce the load of health care.

If we all take cov-19 seriously, we can avoid being sick at the same 
time. This is how supply and oxygen can remain for those who get serious 
infection. But if we don't do everything we can to slow down the 
disease, by the end of the year, a lot of us will be without parents and 
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