Mr Conte’s office fee replied, according to correspondence seen by the Times, that a ministerial-level meeting would be held on Saturday two days later and that no decision would be made before then.
By March 6, law enforcement had begun setting up the hotel.
Police spent hours inspecting the roads they were about to close and holding briefings in the basement, where commanders drew maps of towns and their streets at ease.
“They knew it all by heart,” said Mrs. Arzufi, the hotel’s owner.
While they were conducting the exercise, Mr. Conte met again on March 6 in Rome with the Scientific Committee. According to Mr Spiranza, the committee told Mr Conte that closing Bergamo was no longer an issue. All Lombardy, including Milan, needed to be locked.
Two days later, on March 8, Mr. Conte did the same.
Mr Conte has called on scientists to think bigger and darker, saying, “Shouldn’t we think of more radical measures?”
Later that day, the police officers at the Continental Hotel packed up and left.
“Nothing happened,” Mr. Kensley said.
As officials decided what to do, the virus seemed to spread everywhere and touch everyone. The infection destroyed homes and partitions. People started dying.
Mr. Orlandi, the buried truck driver who once enjoyed wrestling with the children in his family with his spaced hand, contracted the virus the day after his family found out. Some of his family members became infected and died.