The Epoch Times shall refer to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus* owing to its origin.
An elderly Italian couple who were married for 60 years died just hours apart from the CCP virus on March 11, 2020, in Bergamo, Italy.
Bergamo is a city in the heart of the virus-affected areas in northern Italy. Luigi Carrara, age 86, and Severa Belotti, 82, had been sick and in self-isolation for eight days in their home in the nearby town of Albino, their son Luca Carrara told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Both parents reportedly had fevers as high as 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) March 12, 2020
The younger Carrara was tragically unable to be with his parents for fear of the contagion when his father and mother were first hospitalized in Bergamo. “They died alone, that’s how this virus works,” the heartbroken son said to the paper. “Your loved ones are left alone and you cannot even greet them, embrace them, try to bring them some comfort, perhaps even with a good lie: everything will be fine.”
“It is true that they were elderly, but they were fine, my father at his age did not know what the doctor was for,” Carrara added.
Yet, despite the bleakness of the situation in Italy, where medical services are currently overwhelmed, Carrara recalls words uttered by his parents, “‘Let’s carry on,’ my father always told me.” He noted his parents’ resignatory view of healthcare due to their religious belief. “If you end up in the hospital, either you go out alive or you go out dead,” he shared.
Carrara, his wife, and children are also in quarantine, while some 37,860 Italians are infected, as of a recent Italian Ministry of Health report.
Italy has the second-oldest population in the world, after Japan, and the large number of elderly cases requiring hospitalization has swamped the Italian healthcare system.
To explain the disparities between Italy and another highly affected country, South Korea, Oxford University demographer Jennifer Beam Dowd has released some findings on Twitter from a study to be published in the journal Demographic Science. She notes: “COVID19 fatalities are hitting older age groups hard. Case fatality rates for 80-90 currently 17.5 percent in Italy. While these numbers will hopefully be overestimates, the burden on older ages groups is frighteningly high.”
Carrara explained that when his parents were taking a turn for the worse, they couldn’t get a doctor to come to their apartment, and the emergency medical services weren’t coming when they were called. He said that he has no anger toward the delayed medical care but only gratitude for trying to save their lives.
The strain on the system has caused the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care to prioritize their resources on patients with “greater likelihood of survival and secondly who have more potential years of life.”
“People have to understand that they have to stay at home,” Carrara emphasized, “because it’s all well and good that they keep saying that the victims are old, but then when it happens to your parents it’s really hard.”
He also acknowledged how difficult it is to be in quarantine, separated from loved ones. Yet Carrara takes some comfort in the thought that his parents, who were very attached to each other in life, will remain together in death. He shared in a message to his parents posted on Facebook, “Hello, mom and dad, this awful virus took you both away on the same day, will you continue to bicker up there too? I think so, but then it always ended in an embrace.”