A year after its 1st COVID-19 cases were discovered, Italy is cautiously bouncing back


Milan, Italy — Italy found its first COVID-19 infections one year in the past. The outbreak led to the primary nationwide lockdown exterior of China, and it has claimed greater than 95,000 lives throughout the nation. But as CBS News correspondent Chris Livesay experiences, it is a very totally different story there now.

Life has slowly been returning to regular, and Italians packed the streets over the weekend – even within the nation’s north, which was as soon as the epicenter of its coronavirus epidemic.

Beatrice has simply turned one year outdated, and what a year it has been. Two weeks after she was born, her mom observed a fever. 

“It used to be that when my kids coughed, we didn’t immediately freak out,” mother Marta Zaninoni advised CBS News. “But now in our family, a cough is no longer just a cough. It’s really stressful.” 

Beatrice had COVID-19 — the primary recognized case in Europe in a new child.

“They immediately put her in an incubator,” mentioned Zaninoni. “I couldn’t even say goodbye.”

As her tiny physique fought the illness in isolation, Beatrice grew to become an emblem of hope for her household’s hard-hit residence area of Bergamo.

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Many adopted her progress within the hospital, and your entire nation would quickly be a part of Beatrice in isolation. Infections skyrocketed, plunging cities, cities, after which all of Italy into what was — for a free society — unthinkable: lockdown. 

The demise toll soared, and because the illness pressured navy servicemembers to show into morticians and barns into makeshift morgues, it robbed not solely individuals’s lives, however their dignity. 

Italy’s iconic metropolis streets were devoid of individuals. Pope Francis even delivered an unprecedent lonely Easter service, nearly. In small cities like Nembro, which as soon as had the very best demise rate within the nation, Catholic Mass was held earlier than empty pews all through most of 2020. 

Pope Francis celebrates Easter Mass at St. Pe…


But in the present day, from Milan to Rome, life has been returning. On Sunday, Nembro’s church was full. 

“Last year we had 188 funerals,” the priest in Nembro, Don Matteo Cella, advised Livesay. “This year, people are planning weddings.” 

Old traditions are bouncing back throughout Italy, however with some variations. A year in the past, one thing so simple as consuming a cappuccino out within the open had turn out to be unthinkable.

Life is hardly back to regular; the legislation nonetheless requires that you just to put on a masks always in public, even exterior, besides once you’re consuming or consuming. 

Inside a Rome hospital gripped by COVID-19


It’s a sluggish recovery, and one not with out casualties — one thing Beatrice’s mom is aware of first-hand as a COVID survivor herself. The virus killed her uncle and grandfather whereas Beatrice was nonetheless within the hospital.  

“They never got to meet Beatrice,” lamented Zaninoni, including that the illness did convey the remainder of the household nearer collectively than ever.

“Finally, after 40 days, Beatrice became COVID-free on Easter Day,” the mom recalled. “It was a true resurrection for us. Despite all the death in Italy, Beatrice brought us life.” 

A year later, Italians are actually eagerly awaiting vaccine doses.

The rollout throughout the European Union has been slower than within the U.S. Many Italians of their 80s nonetheless do not know once they’ll get their first shot — a specific concern in a rustic with one of many oldest populations on the planet. 


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