“In Turin I was the zero patient with the coronavirus. A hundred days later it’s like I was reborn “- La Stampa


TORINO. The day that Giuseppe will never forget is March 30, when after 38 days of isolation he went out into the courtyard to kick the ball with his son: “I felt I was reborn in ten square meters”. The man everyone calls the “patient zero” is the triumph of serenity. Giuseppe is 40 years old, with a wife and two children, a job as an employee in a multinational company. Admire the Swiss efficiency of your company. He loves basketball, which he misses so much “because it’s not like a solo race at Valentino”. Speak with a slight Turin accent. It is straightforward but calm.

On Sunday, a hundred days will have passed since his admission to the Amedeo di Savoia. It was Friday 21 February and he was (and is) the first coronavirus patient in Piedmont.

Giuseppe speaks of the disease as something that can be faced. “I believe in the concept of mens sana in corpore sana – he says – even when diseases more serious than this have affected my family, I have always tried to live them in a positive way. It is my mental approach to life and it has been with the virus “.

At the end of the day, the scenes that will impress you are the little things of everyday life: “Observing my children from the balcony, when I lived isolated in the apartment next door. Make me the first pasta dish after the hospital, where for charity we ate very well, but at home it’s another thing. Pacioccare my children after more than a month of cloister ». «After all – admits Giuseppe – my quarantine has flown away. As a social man I have enjoyed technology to relate to others. ” The first concrete “social event” was shopping in the supermarket. «I was lucky – he explains – because after all I have never been so bad. I had a fever at 38 for two days and at 37 for a month. No breathing problems. I have never taken a Tachipirina ». “But I was the first patient – he adds – and for this they kept me 18 days in the hospital, where I felt comfortable. To become negative it took 38 days, but I know it happens ». Giuseppe was also one of the first to face home isolation. “My dad lives in the apartment next to ours, I asked him if he could move to his country house,” he says smiling, and adds: “My wife and children were negative. Every day I greeted them from the window. We were far but close ».

Loneliness for Giuseppe was not there. “In 2020, getting bored is difficult – he says – just a PC. Psychologically I was calm. The only moment of discomfort was when they told me, at the beginning, that the swab was positive. I had a little bit of discouragement. But then I realized that I felt good. That I was checked every six hours. I recovered immediately ». It was February 21st, Covid-19 was an almost unknown virus. “Little was said about it – recalls Giuseppe – but who knows how many positives there were already. I was the first one who declared himself, but I read studies showing that it had been around for some time. ” The civic sense of self-denunciation as potentially “infected”, being the “first”, was something “normal” for Giuseppe. “I simply thought – he explains – on the same day the company told me that there was a positive colleague’s dad, and that the outbreak had broken out in the Lombard countries where we are located, that we had to avoid the doubt immediately ».

“The only thing I didn’t like – he concludes – is the negative approach with which the problem has been treated. It looked like a war. Yet even in past years, with other viruses, there have been increases in deaths. What I hope now is that the institutions are ready if a second wave arrives. What was, must serve for the future “.

Giuseppe’s hospitalization will be remembered by all the health workers of the Amedeo di Savoia. As Carlo Picco, head of the ASL City of Turin, says: “He was a paradigmatic patient. It forced us to review the flows from China and the exchanges between Piedmont and Lombardy. Through him we have tried to understand. And even if we didn’t see it, a relationship was created. We were interested in his family life, sport, in every detail. He was an “unknown”, but also one of the family ».


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