In March, 2019, 900 people died in the province of Bergamo. The Italian researchers also checked out the previous three years to be sure they were getting a representative year.
In March, 2020, this year, 5400 people died there. Six times the normal deaths. To give an idea of what conditions were like in Bergamo in March:
For only 2,060 of them, the «official» certified deaths as caused by Covid-19 in the local hospitals (data as at yesterday), do we know everything: age, gender, pre-existing conditions. We do not know anything about the other 2,500. Many of them are old people, who died at home or in assisted residential homes. In spite of the unmistakable symptoms, as recorded by physicians and relatives, they were never tested for the disease. On their death certificate you can just read: interstitial pneumonia.
The very reasonable conclusion of the researchers is that the real death toll for pandemic related causes in Bergamo, in just one month, was 4,500. As Sailer sums up, that means that in just one month 0.4% of the population were carried away by the pandemic. That should suggest to you just how overburdened their healthcare system became--virtually overnight.
And it's not over in Italy, not by a long shot. Presumably with strict social distancing they will turn a corner of sorts, but people are still dying and nobody knows what will happen when they try to go back to "normal." As we saw in Herd Immunity In Northern Italy? Not So Much, the idea that all this death achieved herd immunity is not at all certain.