European life shuts down amid coronavirus Rome – Wednesday, March 18, was the most difficult day in a series of difficult days that began less than a month ago. It was the day Italians saw a long line of army trucks leave the cemetery of the northern town of Bergamo laden with the corpses of coronavirus victims. The city’s only crematorium — which has been active 24 hours per day, seven days a week for the last week — could no longer accommodate the dead, who were now being taken, in a somber procession, to crematoriums in nearby towns. Antonio Ricciardi, the head of Bergamo’s largest funeral company, said he’s carried out almost 600 burials or cremations since March 1.”In a normal month, we would do about 120,” he said. “A generation has died in just over two weeks. We’ve never seen anything like this, and it just makes you cry.” March 18 was also the day that Italy announced a record number of deaths in a single day — 475 — a record not just in Italy but anywhere in the world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following day, Thursday, Italy’s death toll surpassed China’s. Cemetery


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