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I Can’t Stop Thinking About Patient One

Italy shows us that controlling the pandemic will require reshaping family life

The first person diagnosed with COVID-19 in Italy was a healthy 38-year-old who arrived at his local emergency room in Codogno, south of Milan, with flu-like symptoms. His condition quickly worsened, and doctors had the foresight to test him for the coronavirus. On Feb. 20, his results came back positive. Within days, Codogno and other nearby towns in the region of Lombardy were on lockdown, and within weeks so was the entire country.

Patient One—for privacy reasons, we know just his first name, Mattia—spent weeks on a ventilator before he could breathe on his own again, and was released from the hospital only on March 22. In Italy, Mattia is most often portrayed as a success story, a story of resilience, in a country where more than 21,000 people have died from the coronavirus and some good news is needed.

“Mattia teaches us that you can also recover from serious illness,” Raffaele Bruno, the head of infectious diseases at the San Matteo Hospital in Pavia, where Mattia was treated, told me.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Atlantic.

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