Dying in Solitude: First-Hand Accounts of the Coronavirus Horrors in Italy
More than 6,000 people in Italy have right now died by COVID-19 along with in Bergamo, city on the southern slopes of the Alps which has been hardest hit. The city’s crematorium has been operating around the clock, yet the idea still can’t keep up. The army recently had to transport dozens of caskets to nearby cities for cremation. In some places, burials are taking place one after the additional, with priests quickly blessing one victim before moving on to the next.
The government has banned conventional funerals. The country’s civil protection organization, Protezione Civile, is usually keeping watch on cemeteries to make sure which families don’t come close to each additional or exchange hugs. Usually, they can’t attend the funerals anyway because they are quarantined at home. The following are accounts gathered by a few people: family along with friends of the deceased, a priest along having a funeral home director.
“Everyone here has friends along with family who have died by COVID-19”
Michela Zanchi, 34, lost her uncle to COVID-19. She lives in Zogno, a smaller town of 9,000 residents not far by Bergamo. Six to seven people die of the novel coronavirus from the town each day. Normally, the church bells are rung in town whenever someone dies, yet given the number of people passing away, the local priest has begun ringing the bell just once a day for all of them.
Everyone here has friends along with family who have died by COVID-19. As do I. My uncle, Angelo Lazzarini, is usually right now dead. He was 80 years old thereby at high risk. We are forced to sit at home as our loved ones die. We weren’t able to be with my uncle; we couldn’t even visit. Once a day, a doctor would likely call by the clinic. Shortly before my uncle died, the doctor actually had not bad news for us, saying which Angelo could Yet again breathe without the help of a respirator. yet one day after which, he was dead.
The crematorium in Bergamo is usually overloaded, so my uncle was cremated 0 kilometers away in Padua. the idea’s crazy. When my cousin’s best friend died, he was even brought all the way to a crematorium in Turin.
The ashes of the dead are then brought back home, where the remains are interred. Only the closest family members are allowed to be present when the priest delivers last rites. There is usually no dignified burial, no funeral procession.
The catastrophe simply won’t stop. My mother has had a high fever for a week, along with right now she has developed additional symptoms, like a strong cough along with breathing difficulties. We called the outpatient corona emergency hotline, yet the doctors told my mother which she had to stay home in bed because there wasn’t a bed available for her from the hospital. They gave her an oxygen concentrator along with some pills along with told her which she needed to remain completely isolated by the family. I live two kilometers away, yet I can’t go visit her. We don’t even know for certain if my mother is usually actually suffering by the coronavirus because she wasn’t tested. Only the most extreme cases are tested here.
The pharmacies are sold out of everything: They have no face masks, no gloves along with no alcohol for disinfection. Ambulance sirens can be heard all day long. Three of the a few family doctors in town have been infected by coronavirus themselves, which is usually why military doctors have arrived to help. The church publishes the names of the dead each day on its Facebook page.
“In their final hours, they can’t look anyone from the face. Everyone is usually wearing masks”
Monsignore Giulio Dellavite is usually general secretary of the Bergamo Bishopric. Sixteen priests in his diocese have already died by the coronavirus since March 1, with 20 more currently from the hospital. The survivors along with the healthy are extremely busy tending to the dying along with their families, under the most difficult conditions. For weeks, Dellavite has been trying to somehow keep up with all the deaths in his parishes.
We have a huge problem with the dying. They are isolated from the hospital along with strictly off limits. Our priests are not allowed to visit them. along with the families of the sick are quarantined at home, so our priests can only visit them wearing protective clothing. This specific caution is usually a gesture of brotherly love: Otherwise our priests could become infected or unwittingly spread the virus themselves.
yet they can’t be everywhere, so our bishops have proposed allowing children along with grandchildren to bless their sick parents along with grandparents for as long as they remain at home. When someone dies at home, a priest wearing a face mask along with gloves could theoretically perform the final rites. yet which only rarely happens.
along with in hospitals? The dying only see doctors along with nurses in protective suits. In their final hours, they can’t even look anyone from the face. Everybody is usually wearing masks. doing telephone calls from the intensive care unit is usually also not possible. the idea is usually deeply distressing.
Doctors have told us with tears in their eyes of mortally ill patients pleading for last rites because nobody else is usually allowed to come see them. right now, they along with the nurses aren’t just responsible for their medical treatment, yet also for their spiritual well-being. The Lord uses all hands in times of need.
In families, the idea often goes like This specific: Someone gets sick, a family member calls the Red Cross along with the patient is usually then picked up by ambulance. The family members often don’t know to which hospital their mother or father has been taken. Then, at some point, they receive a call with news which their loved one has died along with are told which the sealed casket will be delivered to This specific or which morgue. Or they are told where the victim has already been buried. People can’t even see their mother or father after they have died. They just disappear. the idea is usually terrible. In response, we have set up a telephone hotline from the bishopric where 70 priests, nuns, laypeople along with psychologists can offer sympathy along with support.
At the cemeteries, our priests can only bless the coffins at the graveside along with briefly pray with family members — if any are there at all. When somebody dies of coronavirus, the idea is usually frequently the case which the entire family is usually quarantined. In those instances, no family members are able to attend the burial.
“They cannot say goodbye to their loved ones”
On March 4, Guiseppe Acerboni, who lives from the mountain village of Vendogno, not far by Lake Como, called his family doctor. He told the doctor which he’d been suffering by a high fever for several days along with which he wanted to be tested for COVID-19. He was taken to the hospital in Gravedona. A week later, he was dead. He was 84 years old. Acerboni’s nephew Fabio Landrini reports how difficult the idea was for him to lose his uncle, especially because the family didn’t definitely have a chance to say goodbye to him.
For me, coronavirus is usually the illness of solitude. As long as my uncle was still at home, we brought him food everyday as he lay sick in bed. We saw him one final time before he was taken to hospital, yet after which, we never saw him again. He died alone. What hurts me most is usually which we weren’t allowed to see him after he died. which we weren’t even allowed to say goodbye to my uncle. He was cremated. Without burial. All he got was last rites.
which kind of thing is usually difficult to accept for family members. I understand which doctors don’t have any time for the fates of each individual; they are working day along with night. yet for the families, the idea is usually horrible which they cannot say goodbye to their loved ones, or cannot see them one final time. We don’t even know on what day my uncle was cremated. the idea was probably on Wednesday, yet in This specific situation, families are unable to get precise information.
“As many bodies in one week as in a normal year”
Vittorio Natangeli is usually a funeral home director in Rome. He is usually monitoring with concern what his colleagues in northern Italy are going through. yet his daily life has also changed dramatically.
Funerals of the kind we used to celebrate are forbidden. Open caskets, church services along with then ceremonies at the cemetery: For the last three weeks, none of which has been possible anymore. The authorities have given us precise rules to follow before we are able to bring the deceased to the cemetery.
right now, we drive the hearse directly to the morgue, along with then we take the casket directly to the grave with no ceremony, with just one or two relatives at most. Once we have lowered the casket into the grave, we immediately leave. Cemeteries across all of Italy have been closed, with families not allowed to visit their family graves even after burial.
In contrast to northern Italy, relatively few people have died of coronavirus in Rome. Thus far, we have picked up two deceased COVID-19 patients by hospitals. They handed over the bodies to us in a shroud or in a container of biodegradable material. One or two family members said a prayer at the hospital, along with then we drove off. Those thought to have died of COVID-19 in Rome have to be brought to the coroner to determine the precise cause of death. Once the body has been released by the coroner, the idea goes straight to the cemetery.
Our colleagues by the north have begun calling us to ask if we can help them out with hearses along with drivers. They are, of course, having a much tougher time of the idea than we are. In some places, they have had as many bodies in one week as in a normal year.
“He died alone, along with he will be buried alone”
Fabio Fancoli died a few days ago of coronavirus at the age of 62. He lived from the town of Sondrio from the province of Lombardy along with worked for his entire career at the agricultural association Coldiretti. Domenico Incondi recalls his last telephone conversation with his co-worker along with friend.
We worked together at Coldiretti for 35 years, along with we of course grew close in the past. We shared so many days along with so many experiences. Fabio was a not bad person. He taught me a lot. We often went skiing together or played tennis.
I spoke with Fabio on the phone one last time before he was hospitalized. I didn’t hear by him again after which. which’s unfortunately how the idea is usually with the coronavirus: As soon as an infected person is usually taken to the hospital, you can’t visit them anymore. Not even when they die. which is usually the reality in Italy at the moment, along with the idea is usually terrible for everyone. Fabio died from the hospital in Sondalo. He was there for 10 days, completely alone. There won’t be a funeral for him either. He’ll be buried on Saturday. He died alone, along with he will be buried alone.”
Mitarbeit: Alessandro Puglia