In the part of Italy hit hardest by the coronavirus, the crematorium has started operating 24 hours a day. Coffins have filled up two hospital morgues, and then a cemetery morgue, and are now being lined up inside a cemetery church.

The local newspaper’s daily obituary section has grown from 2 pages to 10, listing more than 150 names, in what the top editor likens to “war bulletins.”
By death toll alone, the coronavirus has landed in the northern province of Bergamo with the force of a historic disaster.
But its alarming power goes even further, all but ensuring that death and mourning happen in isolation — a trauma in which everybody must keep to themselves.

All across Bergamo, people are being picked up in ambulances, rushed to the hospital and dying in sealed-off wards where even their closest relatives are not allowed.

Many funerals are taking place with only a priest present, while family members face restrictions, remain in quarantine or are too sick themselves.
So many have died that there is a waiting list for burial and cremation.

“I think it’s worse than a war,” said Marta Testa, 43, who is in self-quarantine and whose father died Wednesday of the virus at age 85. “Dad is waiting to be buried. And we are here waiting to tell him goodbye.”