CORONAVIRUS

With Heavy Hearts, Italians Mark Year Of COVID-19 Outbreak

Feb 21, 2021, 10:41 AM
Attilio Fontana President of Lombardy speaks during a memorial for the victims of coronavirus will ...
Attilio Fontana President of Lombardy speaks during a memorial for the victims of coronavirus will be inaugurated in Codogno on February 21, 2021 in Codogno, Italy. A memorial for the victims of coronavirus will be inaugurated in Codogno, on the one year anniversary since the discovery of what was thought to be the first patient to test positive for COVID-19 in Italy. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

CODOGNO, Italy (AP) — With wreath-laying ceremonies, tree plantings and church services, Italians on Sunday marked one year since their country experienced its first known COVID-19 death.

Towns in Italy’s north were the first to be hard-hit by the pandemic and put under lockdown, and residents paid tribute to the dead. Italy, with some 95,500 confirmed virus dead, has Europe’s second-highest pandemic toll after Britain. Experts say the virus also killed many others who were never tested.

While the first wave of infections largely engulfed Lombardy and other northern regions, a second surge starting in the fall of 2020 has raced throughout the country. The number of new coronavirus infections has remained stubbornly high despite a raft of restrictions on travel between regions, and in some cases between towns. In addition, gyms, cinemas and theaters have been closed and restaurants and bars must shut early in the evening. There’s a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nationwide curfew.

So far, Italy has confirmed 2.8 million cases.

It was in the hospital at the Lombard town of Codogno where a doctor recognized what would go down in medical history as the first known COVID-19 case in the West in a patient with no links to the outbreak in Asia, where coronavirus infections initially emerged. The diagnosis was made on the evening of Feb. 20, 2020, in a 38-year-old otherwise healthy, athletic man.

Near the Red Cross office in Codogno on Sunday, Lombardy’s governor and the town mayor attended a ceremony to unveil a monument to COVID-19 victims. The memorial consists of three steel pillars, representing resilience, community and starting over. A wreath was laid, and townspeople stood in silence to honor the dead.

“Panic, total panic,” was how one of Codogno’s 15,000 residents, Rosaria Sanna, on Sunday remembered what she felt at the start. And a year later ”I am still scared because it is not over yet.”

Some of her fellow townspeople lit candles during morning Sunday Masses in Codogno’s St. Blaise Church.

The Codogno hospital patient survived, after being transferred to another hospital and spending weeks on a respirator.

But it was in the northeastern town of Vo, in the neighboring Veneto region, where Italy’s first known COVID-19 death was registered on Feb. 21, 2020.

In Vo’s memorial ceremony, officials planted a tree. A plaque has been installed, quoting a line from the Italian poet Ugo Foscolo, whose works are widely studied by the nation’s schoolchildren. The inscription reads: “A man never dies if there is someone who remembers him.”

Italy’s first known fatality from COVID-19 was a 77-year-old Vo man, a retired roofer who liked to play cards.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images)...
MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

Moderna COVID-19 shots now an option for older kids in US

There is now a second COVID-19 option for kids ages 6 to 17 in the U.S.
21 hours ago
Pfizer says it's COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in kids 12 to 15. (Justin Tallis-Pool/Getty Ima...
Jen Christensen, CNN

What are the COVID-19 vaccine side effects in young kids? Experts seek to ease parents’ concerns

Experts look at what side effects to expect from the COVID vaccine for children six months and older.
3 days ago
The Nurse Crisis and Patent Risk....
Debbie Worthen

Utah registered nurses are leaving the field, creating the ‘perfect storm’

"Without nurses, we can't have hospitals." Utah nurses are overworked and underpaid. Some say it's put people at risk.
4 days ago
Four-year-old Viola Fairfax-Panza Getting her COVID-19 vaccination, held by her mother Keke Fairfax...
Jed Boal

Salt Lake Co. distributes COVID vaccines for children 6-months and older

Salt Lake County begins COVID-19 vaccinations for children 6 months and older.
4 days ago
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about Covid-19 vaccines for children, in the Roosevelt Room of the ...
ZEKE MILLER and JOSH BOAK, Associated Press

Biden visits clinic, celebrates COVID shots for kids under 5

President Joe Biden is celebrating that virtually all Americans can now get a COVID-19 shot after the authorization of vaccines for kids under 5 over the weekend.
4 days ago
FILE (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...
MIKE STOBBE, ASSOCIATED RPESS

US opens COVID vaccine to little kids; shots begin this week

The U.S. on Saturday opened COVID-19 vaccines to infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The shots will become available this week, expanding the nation’s vaccination campaign to children as young as 6 months.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
With Heavy Hearts, Italians Mark Year Of COVID-19 Outbreak