The former Chennai City and NEROCA goalkeeper opened up on the struggles of life in quarantine.

Mauro Boerchio played a prominent part in the latter stages of Chennai City FC’s I-League winning campaign last season, but that now feels a distant memory as he aims to survive in his home country of Italy.

Being in a nation worst-hit with the deadly coronavirus – that has taken more than 10,000 lives there, Mauro Boerchio provided an update on his own situation while speaking to The Times of India.

The 30-year-old custodian provided distressing news that his uncle succumbed to the virus. “My family is in Pavia. It is the place where it all started actually. My uncle Tonale got the virus two weeks back and he passed away. I shared a very deep connection with him and I couldn’t do anything. We left him at the hospital and that was it. We were not even allowed to see him after that. We couldn’t go to the funeral too.”

As Italy moves towards its fourth week of a nation-wide lockdown, Boerchio explains how life is going on with all recreational activities stopped. “Mundane activities like shopping, having a drink with friends and eating at a restaurant proved to be calamitous. Now, we can’t go out. If we do, the fines range from € 200 – €5000. But, no-one is venturing out. I was planning to start my own academy. But, work on my project has stopped. Now I am completing my goalkeeping coach license online.”

There remains a popular theory that the UEFA Champions League game between Atalanta and Valencia kicked off the deadly community spread in the country, but Mauro Boerchio doesn’t buy into it.

“It’s not true because people had already started to get infected by then because a few Chinese people had travelled into the country. Milan has a huge Chinese population. We didn’t realize the magnitude of the infestation initially and we didn’t take enough steps to contain the virus. There weren’t enough masks and gloves. But, when a lot of people got infected, we got paranoid.”

The Italian goalkeeper also gave a grim update on the struggling conditions of the health system because of the surging COVID-19 cases. “The health system is under a lot of stress. There is still a shortage of respiratory machines. The hospitals aren’t well-equipped and the doctors and nurses are also getting infected. So, when the system is saturated, death rates spike.”

The former NEROCA player indicated that the country’s economy could take years to recover from this disaster. He explained, “Our economy is hit because there is no work and there is no pay. But, more than that, your mental balance goes for a toss. You get to learn about so many people close to you passing away every day and you feel helpless. We sing songs from our balconies to stay sane. It is a way of giving each other power and showing unity because when all this passes, we know we will emerge stronger.”

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