‘Everyone is dying alone’: Italy’s coronavirus crisis taking double toll on families – National


The final time Roberto Giacomoni noticed his 80-year-old father Enrico, he gently helped him up from mattress, put his socks, footwear and jacket on, and walked him out to the paramedics who had come to take him to the hospital as a result of he was having bother respiratory.

Two weeks later, from the confines of his personal coronavirus quarantine, Giacomoni sits at his father’s desk and organizes the difficult forms to have his father’s physique transported to the crematorium.










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“It’s the helplessness. Helplessness not to have the ability to do something,” Giacomoni, 50, mentioned via tears on the ultimate day of his quarantine. “He was there alone. He suffered alone. He died alone. And we couldn’t be with him.”


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The coronavirus pandemic has claimed extra victims in Italy than another nation, and greater than 45,000 worldwide. However all over the world, the virus is taking a double toll on the members of the family left standing, a lot of whom are both sick themselves or in preventive quarantine. Neither they nor the wholesome get to say goodbye as a result of their family members are remoted, usually in intensive care, because of the contagion of COVID-19.

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“Everybody who has coronavirus is dying alone,” Giacomoni mentioned.

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Giacomoni and his mom, Giulia, had been ordered to isolate themselves at their residence in Rome’s Magliana neighbourhood on March 16, the day Enrico’s fever and abdomen bug become respiratory issues and he was taken by ambulance to Rome’s Gemelli hospital.

There, he examined constructive for coronavivrus and was instantly admitted to the ICU.

“The primary two or three days he was respiratory with an oxygen masks, so we had been in a position to see him through video calls,” Giacomoni recalled. “However then he took a flip for the more serious.”










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Enrico, who had survived a bout of lung most cancers a decade in the past, was sedated and intubated. The household, determined for updates however unable to depart their residence to even go grocery buying, needed to depend on the day by day name from the ICU physician.

The ultimate name got here at 1:30 a.m. on March 30, with the information that Enrico had died a couple of minutes earlier. Giacomoni, who moved again residence together with his dad and mom two years in the past, didn’t wake his mom to inform her. He has but to inform his kids, Federico, eight and Valerio, 3, who stay together with his ex-girlfriend.

“I need to inform them in particular person,” he mentioned in a Skype interview from his father’s desk, which is framed by photographs of his grandchildren and is the place Enrico used to play laptop chess and do crossword puzzles. As he spoke, his mom listened and wept from throughout the room.

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Giacomoni now’s caring for his mom, who’s herself recovering from the abdomen flu, whereas attempting to make last preparations for his father’s stays, all from the confines of their residence. Cash is a matter: Enrico, who owned his personal development firm, lived on a small pension, however had spent his life caring not just for his circle of relatives however his sister’s household as effectively.

“He was at all times there for us. He made so many sacrifices for us,” Giacomoni mentioned. In retirement, Enrico was lastly in a position to get pleasure from himself: He picked up the grandchildren from faculty, did the grocery buying and helped Giulia out round the home.

“I stroll round the home, and I see him in all the pieces,” Giacomoni mentioned. “Every part in the home speaks of him.”










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Giacomoni takes solace no less than in understanding that his father had been sedated for his last few days, and wasn’t aware when he died. However he’s haunted by the ultimate time he noticed him in particular person, March 16, when he helped him off the bed, received him dressed and promised to convey his private issues to the hospital the next day.

“He wasn’t anticipating this,” Giacomoni mentioned. “He was there hoping issues would get higher, and all I may do was inform him `Papa, be robust, you’ll see this can go and can simply turn out to be a reminiscence.’”

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“However his eyes had been unhappy, within the sense that he clearly knew.”




© 2020 The Canadian Press







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