Saturday March 21 2020
Gabbiadini 'tormented' by coronavirus fear

Manolo Gabbiadini was the second Serie A player to test positive for the Coronavirus and reveals he had practically no symptoms. “I’m tormented by the idea I could’ve infected others and how many people felt fine just like me.”

The striker is one of several who tested positive at Sampdoria between players and staff, as the club has now stopped updating in order to avoid causing ‘public concern.’

However, Gabbiadini told La Gazzetta dello Sport that his story is important to pass on so others realise the situation.

“I felt a little rough on Tuesday March 10, but didn’t think it was the virus. I slept badly that night, felt a little dizzy in the morning, but I didn’t feel hot to the touch.

“I took my temperature just to be scrupulous and it was 37.5, so not really a fever. I called the Sampdoria doctor and my wife suggested we do the test, because we have two young children. By Thursday, I felt absolutely fine, but the doctor called that day to tell me I was positive for the coronavirus.

“I thought it had to be a joke. I didn’t expect this, as my temperature dropped back down straight away. That is when I started to reflect on this coronavirus. If the doctor had told me to wait just one day before doing the test, I wouldn’t have bothered doing it at all, as I felt fine. Maybe, not thinking I was positive, I’d have gone to the market, bought some fruit and risked transmitting it to an older person with no idea it was happening. That thought torments me.

“I realised just how many people out there could be positive and have no idea, so the battle can only be one with social distancing, respecting the rules and staying at home.

“I think everyone had underestimated the problem and didn’t predict such a serious epidemic. I have no idea how I got this illness. I have to be in quarantine for 14 days and then, before going out, have more tests with the doctor.

“Sampdoria confirmed to me during this period that the club really is a family. There were many positive cases within the club, including the doctor, who fortunately is doing better now. There are situations that bring you closer together.”

Gabbiadini is doubly hit hard by the situation, because he is from Bergamo, the hardest-hit city in Italy. This week there were so many deaths that military trucks took 60 coffins to other towns because the crematorium was overloaded, even running 24 hours a day.

“I am worried for my family and all those in Bergamo. My parents are locked in their homes, I speak to them every day, but I saw them almost a month ago. They tell me when opening a window, all they can hear is the sound of ambulance sirens.”

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