Perfect storm: Lombardy’s virus disaster is lesson for world

ROME (AP) — As Italy prepares to emerge from the West’s first and most extensive coronavirus lockdown, it is increasingly clear that something went terribly wrong in Lombardy. That was the hardest-hit region in Europe’s hardest-hit country. Italy had the bad luck of being the first country in the West to be slammed by the outbreak, and its 26,000 dead is second only to the U.S. Its first positive test was recorded Feb. 21, when the World Health Organization was still insisting the virus was “containable.” But there also is evidence that demographics and health care deficiencies combined with political and business pressure to expose Lombardy’s 10 million people to the virus in ways unseen elsewhere.