Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Why was Italia so hard-hit?

There are so many good answers why Italia got such a heavy COVID-19 blow that it will take years of research to see the forest from the trees.

Here are 11 very reasonable plausible candidates:

  • Italia was the first of the European countries while the World Health Organization was still pretending that this wouldn’t be so bad and not so much information came from China. We know that early action is crucial. (Taiwan had 6 deaths on 23.6 million people!)
  • Italia is very densely populated — from Now York we see how well the COVID-19 virus likes that.
  • Italia is extremely gray and we know that the elderly are extra at risk. Many of its elderly live in old-age homes. Even more seem to live with three generations in the same home. Paradise for viruses.
  • Italians, reportedly, wanted nothing to do with lockdown — you only live once — angry mayors had to shout to their citizens and threaten them. We know now from all countries that lockdown is crucial.
  • Many countries around the globe are not democracies — including China — and the true number of their victims may never be known.
  • Italia has a known pollution problem and the virus was found in Italian smog. If you get it from inhaling city air — which is not proven yet — but if, then prevention is really grim.
  • Italia had cut on the health system much more than any other European country because, under austerity, Italians don’t cut on fun.
  • COVID-19 is either contained or the health system collapses and then it gets exponentially worse when labs and doctors are KOed.
  • Once there were critically too little beds, patients were not sent to hospitals when it was not so bad (when they finally came it was often too late) and when they had a very small chance to survive.
  • Extra disastrous, was no doubt, to free up hospital beds, let COVID-19 patients, after they survived a crisis, get well in … old-age homes.
  • There were early reports that Italia had a worse strain of the virus.

I’m not counting economic pressure by economic lobbyists because they have claimed so many lives in so many countries — except maybe in Israel. After all, here we have PM Mr. Capitalism so he was able to resist them. (It’s Jewish to prioritize saving lives which eventually is the cheapest too.)

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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