Thursday, June 13, 2024

Sport in Italy shut down as Arsenal follow advice re Corona Virus

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are following government advice regarding the threat of the Corona Virus, as all sport in Italy has been shut down until next month.

Having initially put in place restrictions that would have seen events take place behind closed doors, yesterday the Italian Olympic Committee announced a cessation of all domestic sport until April 3rd.

However, this does does not cover teams competing in international competitions such as the Champions League.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also announced that quarantine measures introduced in the north of the country would now apply nationwide.

“We’re having an important growth in infection… and of deaths,” he said.

“The whole of Italy will become a protected zone. We can’t afford to let our guard down. It’s time for responsibility and we all have it.

“The right decision today is to stay home. Our future is in our hands.”

Italy is the worst hit European nation thus far, but with cases spreading the across the globe, the World Health Organisation said yesterday the threat of a worldwide pandemic was ‘very real’.

In England, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested one way of dealing with the virus was to allow it to ‘move through the population without really taking as many draconian measures’ – thus ensuring many elderly and vulnerable people fall victim to it – restrictions have not yet been put in place regarding mass gatherings.

Speaking at his pre-Man City press conference yesterday, Mikel Arteta said, “It looks like it’s affecting more and more countries.

“Hopefully, it won’t affect us but I don’t know how realistic that is. We’re just following what the government has told us, what the club is saying and we just have to adapt to the situation.

“It’s just a few routines that we have to be more careful about; minimal contact and things like that but for the rest we are acting normally.”

Wednesday’s Champions League tie between PSG and Borussia Dortmund will be played behind closed doors, while the Six Nations clash between France and Ireland due to take place in Paris this weekend has been postponed.

In Ireland, all St Patrick’s Day parades have been cancelled, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to have congregated in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and dozens of towns across the country.

It seems ridiculous to think that football matches – events in which thousands of people come into contact – won’t be affected in England too, and how it will affect the Premier League season remains to be seen.

For more on Corona Virus – visit the NHS page for information and advice.

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This is all just a massive over-reaction. Covid-19 has a CFR similar to influenza. It really is just mass hysteria and totalitarianism.


If that hysteria is indeed misplaced, nobody more dies and the elderly and inform are able to resume their lives, but the PL season is still aborted and Liverpool do not get their long-awaited title after 30 years, I for one will chuckle a hearty guffaw.


True the reaction could lead to a cessation of liberties, but lets do math for a second. Say 1% of Earth’s population get infected (75,270,000). If the death rate continues at 3%, the number of infected would overwhelm the medical system and more than likely increase the death rate, but let’s keep it at 3% for ease of discussion. That would mean 2,258,100 dead. Ready for mass graves?

Teryima Adi

That’s really bleak. But we are sure that won’t be the case. God and man are a tag team that always overcome these plagues.


Google “Spanish Flu” and get back to us.

Teryima Adi

Always been plagues that came against the human race and we overcame.

Public Elneny

So everyone who will die don’t fall under your definition of ‘we’?


Yeah, thank God for advanced science and modern medicine

Teryima Adi

Exactly my sentiments. Many of us would take God out of the equation. And that is the problem with the human race.

Dave M

Seasonal flu kills approximately 290,000-650,000 people per year globally.

Did you know approximately 150,000 people die everyday. That is approximately 55,000,000 per year.

We are a mortal species. We die. Your’s is exactly the type of hyperbole that is best left at home.

Public Elneny

Having 10,000s or 100,000s of corona virus patients enter the UK healthcare system at one time will lead to a partial collapse in the NHS, and the same in probably all healthcare systems globally. To the extent that patients who don’t have the most urgent risk of death (or largest bank balances in the US) will be neglected – causing further death and suffering from all kinds of illness, not just corona. My partner is a nurse and will have to deal with this huge labour and emotional burden of death from treatable illnesses while the system collapses around them.… Read more »

Dave M

I think your missing my point 100%. This guy was talking about mass graves. That’s fucking hysteria and that drives people to go hoarding everything they can like an impending apocalypse is coming. I’ve said else where, do what you can to prevent yourself from getting sick, but this isn’t the end of the world people need to calm down. Talking like 2.5 million people are just about to drop dead is insane and that level of paranoia is what will crush the health systems. Yes this is a contagious virus with an elevated health risk than “most flu viruses”… Read more »


If you are informed you wouldn’t be conpairing it with the flue . All the information we have now says its most likely 20-40 times more deadly , also we have no antibodies against this so Virolgists fear that 50-60% of the populations hit could be infected . They also do not expect any vaccin to be available for the next 12-18 months so the virus will likely be here to stay and this is just the first wave. In italy most seriously infected were the elderly but they have now seen an uptick and lots of infections and severe… Read more »

Dave M

Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a briefing last month: “There’s another whole cohort that is either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic,” Head of WHO: “We’re going to see a diminution in the overall death rate.” “COVID-19 spreads less efficiently than flu, transmission does not appear to be driven by people who are not sick” …. Thus the death rate people are quoting is artificially elevated due to unknown cases (its based on reported cases). Another reason the media is over hyping things. Yes its different from the flu, but different… Read more »


Flu – full name influenza – is a viral illness which causes feverish cold-like symptoms. Signs someone has the flu can include a high temperature, body aches, exhaustion, a dry cough, sore throat, headache, loss of appetite and diarrhoea. It’s caused by a number of very common viruses and tends to circulate every winter, being spread by coughs, sneezes and close contact with other people who have caught it. The illness usually clears up on its own within a week or two in healthy patients. More vulnerable people such as young children, the elderly, or those with asthma, cancer of… Read more »


We all know that people die from flu but this has a way higher mortality rate (10-40 times higher) and the infected are ill for a longer period of time compaired to a regular flu so whats your point?

Dave M

Technically this is true and not true. Seasonal flu vaccines target one strain of flu predicted to be the biggest concern for the coming flu season by health authorities. Often they predict the wrong strain and the vaccine proves ineffective. Such as 2019: So there are flu vaccines for most known strains flu but people don’t go and get a hundred different flu vaccines every year. Furthermore, like any other lifeform that carries genetic material evolves through mutation. If a stain evolves enough the vaccine will also be less effective. Finally, a typical flu season kills around 1000 people… Read more »


290000-650000 people worldwide killed every year by flu

Teryima Adi

It’s terrible when fear is unleashed on the human soul. That in itself is the real plague. Cheers


Finally a reasonable response.


In the UK 200 odd people die of flu every year with the same groups primarily being affected.

Yes, the % of deaths is lower, but the prevalence of cases is higher.

No one bats an eyelid at the flu.

I doubt that 200 people will die from Covid-19 in the UK.


Italy is not as developed as the UK. 5821 people died from suicide last year and I don’t see you making blog posts about that. 35300 people died from lung cancer last year, where’s the blog post about quitting smoking? It’s not flu, and I will give you that it is probably twice as bad. But it’s not the apocalypse. There is a massively disproportionate response in the media to it. And the fact of the matter is, it’s a virus, the only way to build immunity is exposure. It is inevitable. Not saying it’s not bad but what can… Read more »


Yes, lots of manufacture and agriculture. High unemployment. I’m not saying it’s a third world country, but it is certainly less economically developed than the UK.

It’s maybe not the most relevant point though.

What do you propose we do, in any case?

As I said it’s a virus so there’s really not much that can be done.

Balancing act between isolation and keeping the economy going.

My main point is there’s lots of bad things that kill a lot of people and the response/media reaction to this is hugely disproportionate to the reaction to those. Fact.

Eric Blair

Blogs, you’re doing well but fighting an uphill struggle here against the trolls, weirdos, misanthropes, malthusians, and genuinely (if not aware) terrified.

I appreciate you using the platform to enlighten people, but jesus it must feel like running through treacle sometimes. Although instead of treacle it’s bucket-loads of Corona infested swill.

Naked Cygan

The mortality rate for the Corona Virus is 3.4%. The mortality rate for flu is 0.2% at most. It will take about a year to year and a half to come up with a vaccine for the Corona Virus. Italy lost 100 people in one day. If they don’t slow this thing down it will grow like wild fire.


Given we’ve seen 355 deaths now this message has aged well!


That just reinforces my point! The CFR for Covid-19 is similar to that of the flu, even though the flu has a vaccine.

Why are you ignoring facts?

Ya Gooner

If you’re old, a newborn or immunosuppressed you’ll be in danger otherwise there’s a tiny chance of death. The danger of covid-19 is in it’s infection rate otherwise it isn’t that bad. The flu vaccine is about 50% effective due to it’s high mutation rate.

What the fuck do I know I’m no doctor/prof

Ya Gooner

The most dangerous thing about corona is the media to me. Hospitals crammed with covid patients causes death to people with more serious illnesses. <2% death rate so far and that’s heavily inflated by a 20% death rate in over 75s. If you’re 10-60 it’s about a 0.3% death rate. Under 10s there are no confirmed deaths yet.


The only thing suggested is that the hysteria (which you are adding to) is disproportional when compared with other illnesses.


But since you admit you have no idea what you’re talking about, it follows that you have no idea what a proportionate response would be. So you repeat talking points that started with Trump.


Thanks Blogs – very informative. I’m not a toilet roll stockpiler but we should all be taking this very seriously.


Blogs creating panic isn’t going to help. The more panic created, the more people who are going to be flooding our A&E and Doctors surgeries, the less people who actually need help are going to get it. The vast majority of people will be fine from catching it I’m not convinced we can contain this thing, and all models seem to be pointing to a full blown pandemic by mid April. I’m not sure the answer is, let’s all just lock ourselves away in our houses, until we find a vaccine that may, or may not be able to contain… Read more »

Eric Blair

‘Rich’, if you are in fact an actual person, I want you to know it’s ok to be afraid, it’s not a sign of weakness. We all know someone who could be susceptible to this. You don’t need to panic, but you don’t need to act the tough guy either. Big hug buddy.


Rich your comment is all over the place. In one breath you suggest a blog post giving info on how to contain this thing is an overreaction, yet in the next you admit that you expect it to turn into a full on pandemic. In the next breath you suggest most people will be fine so locking ourselves up at home isn’t going to help, and in the next you suggest that somehow we need to find a way to protect the vulnerable…. ….Could the former possibly help the latter? Maybe? And finally you tell everyone to stop playing politics,… Read more »


They can’t contain Coronavirus, look at the numbers multiplying, therefor there’s no value in panicking, it’s happening…. You can’t just lock everyone away until they find an antivirus, because we need industry to survive, doctors, nurses, chemists, police, medical supplies, pharmaceutical companies, food producers etc,…. We need to find away for medical partitioners to treat vulnerable people, without putting themselves at risk, and passing it onto other patience, particularly vulnerable patience, if you lock away the medical practitioners? More people than the ones with Coronavirus are going to end up dying. its a basic economic model, people are going to… Read more »


You are not a GP, a medical doctor or a healthcare professional.

Listen to the advice of those who are, and stop scaring yourself.


I’m in great shape, and in a safe age. So if I’m infected, I will probably be fine. THAT DOES NOT MEAN that I won’t infect everyone around me. It’s a *virus* people. Come on. Even if you feel safe, if you’re infected, your children, parents, grandparents, the bloke next to you buying smokes at the gas station – you can still INFECT others that will then be at risk, then putting their close relations at risk. I’m not panicking at all, but to see that so many people have NO clue how a virus works, is … it’s terrifying!… Read more »


Nah. The only thing that matters is the individual. If you care about others, then that’s your decision, but absolutely no reason to force someone else to follow your worldview.

Unless you’re a totalitarian dictator like Pol Pot.

Group Captain Mandrake

That’s just… wow.


The kicker is – the name Rohan is a Sanskrit word that translates as “ascending” but can also mean “healing, medicine”. The irony ?


Just like Rohan, a deputy in Iran’s health ministry said fears about coronavirus were an “over-reaction”.

Then he got infected (

The virus can be asymptomatic which means you could pass it on to vulnerable family members without knowing it so yeah guys follow all precautions and keep your loved ones safe.

Viva la prof

Never seen anything like this before Rohan.. it does seem Kung Flu is the real deal.. I hope my bong ripped lungs can take it


It is exactly the same kind of nonsense I hear repeated over here about Shark attacks. You are more likely to die falling down the stairs than get bitten by a shark. Really helpful advice for anyone paddling around surrounded by great whites. The point is that 0.01% of people who get the flu die from the flu. In this case it is 3% and of you look at Italy today it is actually 5%. Those 5% are people who really don’t want to be catching this virus and are absolutely counting on the rest of us to do our… Read more »


Kill all the sharks then.


Why keep advertising your ignorance?? Just step away from the keyboard.


Sarcasm’s not lost on you is it?


Wrong. The CFR of Coiv-19 when taking into account asymptomatic cases is ~0.2%.

Not my fault that you’re using erroneous data.

Teryima Adi

Amen. God’s got our back. Jesus is the hope for humanity while the ? runs amok.

Teryima Adi

O ye of little faith, Blogs. We’re not discountenancing science, medicine and awareness. But there’s God that rules in the affairs of men.And no virus can get the best of Him.

SB Still

Err…women and children?

Teryima Adi

Hahahaha. Man( men) is generic I believe. So, we got the women and children covered.?

Eric Blair

What a warrior you are. Presume you’re not over 60 with a respiratory condition. And how dare these totalitarians take away our entertainment? Not even Mao or Joe would’ve stooped so low.

Ya Gooner

Just advise that those most at risk stay home and avoid contact in suspect areas/large crouds. People going to hospital withcold and flu like symptoms will overload the healthcare system as pretty much every illness has that. That’s my point, not that old people don’t matter, most of us have old people and people at risk in our families if we aren’t old ourselves.


Over reaction? There’s four thousand people dead what are you talking about?




I hope the situation doesn’t get much worse in UK.
I think the league should postpone the match if situation become bad.
Players’ health and safety are more concern than just a match.


Or played behind closed doors to avoid a massive fixture pile-up.

Forest gooner

In India, hopefully, strong summer will arrest corona spread.


There is no *scientific* evidence of that. Please stop spreading rumours.


Fair enough. My bad and apologies.


But there is. It seems to be well accepted that viruses like this are not so easily spread in warm humid conditions. It is thought that it is a big reason why the spread so far has been in Northern Hemisphere countries. Cold weather does actually help flu spread.


That is not thought by anyone with real expertise. There can be some correlation there, but we know very little about this virus at this point. The massive incubation phase (can be over week between getting it and showing first symptoms) screws up all the numbers this early in the game.



“It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19.”


But it is known that similar viruses, like the flu, are affected by seasonal weather changes. And the common cold (which spreads faster in colder temps) is a mild strain of coronavirus, so there is enough to suggest weather and temperature might have some impact on Covid-19.


As blogs wrote today, please follow expert medical and scientific advice. The experts have not YET said that weather and temperature impact the spread of the virus. I am from India myself; I will be very relieved to know if that is the case.

There is just no scientific evidence for it.

Right Across Sunderland!

Thailand and Laos, for example have low figures when it comes to the virus. Quite near China and up to now, pretty low figures in terms of infections. It is interesting, at the very least. I think only one death too. Loads of Chinese went to Thailand too when the virus first hit.

The official figures may indeed, be controversial, but there is a theory (only a theory, that is true) that this virus doesn’t do as well in hot climates.


Yeah there’s scientific evidence that some strains of viruses like rhinovirus and coronoviruses that cause common colds and influenza don’t transmit as well in colder weather.

Apparently It’s easier for the particles to travel through colder air – in warmer air they fall to ground quicker which would explain lower rates of infection in warmer climates.

With Covid-19 it’s still too new to know if it behaves exactly the same way, but it’s possible.

Dave Swain

Wouldn’t it be great if Steve Gerard was wearing No 19 when he fell losing the Premiership? Could the Mug-smashers title be taken away from them by Covid19… (we live in faint hope, with tongue firmly in cheek)?

Viva la prof

I can’t pretend I wouldn’t find that hilarious though., would definitely top lasagnagate for me.


Boris Johnson is being advised by people who are much more qualified to deal with this type of epidemic than he is, or any other politicians are qualified to do, he’s not the one making the decisions, he’s the person conveying the message.

This isn’t a time for party politics.

The idea that we can contain this thing by shutting everything down, and everyone staying at home, is for the birds.

North London is redder

Boris Johnson is advised by fools like Cummings. His interest is profit over people. I wish we had a half decent government at a time like this.


So Jeremy Corbyn does read arseblog!

The point made earlier was that this should not be politicised. Try reading what the Chief Scientific Officer says instead.

I think you’ll find that governments of all left/right/centre direction around the world are all trying to solve this sensibly and without causing unnecessary hardship to their futures.


So everyone should stay home until we learn to eradicate this thing in its entirety? Even if that means as many years as necessary into self isolation. No contact with people, no going to the shops, no food deliveries, no food. No flights, no doctors or nurses, because doctors and nurses are the most likely to be in contact with some who is ill, so they should stay at home as well. If you get ill or need treatment with something other than Coronavirus? Well tough, because doctors and nurses are self isolating. need to go to the chemist? Tough,… Read more »


Who is talking about “hiding” or “years” of isolation? Not a single GP, medical doctor or healthcare professional worldwide has said that.

You’ve literally made that up.

The self-quarantine period is about 3 weeks, which is the virus’ incubation period. Because self-quarantine is a *non-pharmaceutical* strategy for containing a virus.

And if you’re really concerned about doctors and nurses, the whole point of self-quarantine is NOT to overwhelm hospitals and medical professionals with infected people.

Right Across Sunderland

Agree, but look at how long Wuhan has been locked down. I suspect Italy will be locked down longer than 3 weeks too (and it isn’t as bad there as it is/was in Wuhan). I do think, however, that there are some using this potential pandemic as a political point scoring tool. Some just want everything to burn to the ground. I’m of the opinion that two week isolations are a good idea in some cases (like Italy, for example…if it is for 2 weeks). Also, to keep those at risk (the elderly and those with asthma, for example) at… Read more »


Pretty much agree with you. It’s a sign of the times when political grandstanders are having a field day while doctors and nurses work quietly in the background.

You and your wife stay healthy!

Right Across Sunderland!

Cheers man. You stay safe too.


Odd how his advice goes against what basically every expert in the world is saying. Mindlessly following a leader like that is the epitome of party politics, and, as you say, this is no time for that.

Teryima Adi

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the earth/ the falcon cannot hear the falconer. Covid-19, hear us in the name of Jesus, even if the gyre is widening (apologies to Yeats): we command you to leave the people of the earth. The blood of Jesus is against you. The earth’s the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and everything in it. Amen ???


I don’t have a problem with the prayer, if that’s your thing then go for it.

I do have a problem with the wasted opportunity though. We are still below Spurs in the table and if you are gonna ask your God for some miracles you could at least get own thrown our way.

Teryima Adi

Hahahaha. Ok, Bro.???



Maltese gooner

Long post, but needed to say this. Good morning. I’m an Arsenal fan and a medical doctor from Malta. I initially was one who believed the coronavirus could not possibly be worse than the seasonal influenza, SARS, MERS etc. Mass media, hysteria and all that …. With regards SARS : A cumulative total of 8422 probable cases, with 916 deaths, were reported from 29 countries during the outbreak (data current at 7 August 2003). ( The seasonal influenza is known to have a vaccine. We can actively fight it, and there are also licensed antivirals that can be used against… Read more »

Viva la prof

the only reason the Italian numbers are higher than the uk is because the Italians carried out mass testing. The Uk will be in the same position in 20 days time. Anyway thanks for writing that !


Wow, Blogs is really doing his part to battle the Trump/Boris line of “it’s just media hype”. This is not really like the flu at all. Someone mentioned the half a million or so people that die of influenza each year, which is good context; this is not catastrophic like the Spanish flu was post WW2. But the conservative estimane is 15 million deaths before this runs its course. And everyone has a huge interest in seeing that this does not go unchecked. Even if we can’t stop it spreading completely, having that many people get sick (with many dying)… Read more »

SB Still

Wow, the comments section is dominated by Coronavirus discussion, pretty useful in the main.

On a lighter note and a bit off topic, looks like it’s not just PGMOL but even God/nature is a ManU fan, the league title is so close for Pool but yet be impacted. We’ll help Pools cause tomorrow by beating ManC.


Mike Dean is always coughing up penalties for our oppositions.


Olympiacos’ owner is Covid-19 positive


For those who consider the steps being taken to be a complete overreaction, I’d like to offer a bit of perspective. Here in the states, an employee of a medical facility became ill and was tested for Covid-19. He was told that until the test results were in that he should self-quarantine. Instead, he decided to attend a function at a local university (Dartmouth) where students would be present. As it turns out, the results came back positive for Covid-19. Everyone who was at that event was potentially exposed and there has been at least one confirmed case among those… Read more »

Paul Roberts

I think more should be reported about the many many people that have caught it, recovered and are now immune just to balance things up a bit?


Here in northern italy 11,000 with the virus 500 dead, just 200 cured, it’s no party, that’s in less than three weeks


I’m an english teacher living in Monza, lombardy, I can tell you there really is a problem here. everyone seems to know someone who’s died from the virus, people are being forced to stay at home under all circumstances, I have now been off work unpaid for two and a half weeks and by the time I can potentially return it will be six weeks, they are reassessing the situation on April the 3rd. They made massive restrictions and it didn’t stop the spread, now they have applied those restrictions to the whole country, if it continues to spread like… Read more »


The Man City game has been called off and some Arsenal players are now in a 14 day isolation. No idea who, but this now has big implications for the rest of our season.


Actually big implications for the rest of the Premiership season. I’m betting the season will be ended this weekend.

I would hate to be a Liverpool fan.

Right Across Sunderland!

Coronavirus could cancel Liverpool’s inevitable title win?

Every cloud…

Public Elneny

I mean, it would be an extremely hollow form of schadenfreud…

And if the rest of the season is cancelled, they’ll likely take the table as it stands as the final standings – Lpool win the league and we don’t get a chance to make the top 4/5. Sorry, there aren’t really any positives to take from this

Right Across Sunderland!

I seriously doubt they can just ‘give’ anyone anything unless it’s mathematically certain. It might mean a month or so break or games played behind closed doors, but no way they’ll just call all the teams’ final positions as they are now. It’s not just the PL too, think about promotion/relegation.

And yes, it would be rather funny to see Liverpool have their season cancelled. They got us banned from European competition remember and have never even apologised to clubs missing out (Arsenal and Everton in particular).

Screw them, quite frankly.

Right Across Sunderland!

Our game with City is off due to some from our club coming into contact with the owner of Olympiakos, who has just been diagnosed with the virus.

I would guess mass gatherings are off for now too.

Only one thing for it really. Cancel the season and start again in August.

Sorry Liverpool.

Right Across Sunderland!

I was out working in SE Asia when swine flu hit in around 2009/2010. That virus killed up to 500,000 world-wide. There was ‘hype’ over that virus, but nothing like the media panic over this virus. I do think the growth in social media has over egged this somewhat. It is bad. Scary even. But it’s not the zombie apocalypse. Yes, it’s dangerous and yes, precautions should be taken. But do we really want to starve to death, locked away in our homes because of the (very slim) chance of both contracting it and dying from it? Because if you… Read more »

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