April 8, 2020 / 8:51 PM / 4 months ago

'This is very real': from their window, New York couple sees refrigerated trucks remove bodies

(Reuters) - A New York couple has seen the cityscape outside their Brooklyn apartment change dramatically in recent weeks, as refrigerated trucks line up in the lot below to receive the remains of COVID-19 victims as they exit the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.

Healthcare workers wheel the bodies of deceased people from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Alix Monteleone, a 28-year-old account supervisor, who lives in a trendy part of Bushwick with her 33-year old fiance, Marc Kozlow, described what the two have witnessed peering out their window.

“We have a bird’s eye view,” Monteleone said, during a recent interview conducted by Reuters via Skype.

“We’re seeing so much chaos manifest outside of our home that we can’t imagine how bad it is inside. You know, we stopped counting how many bodies came out,” she said. “This is very serious. This is very real.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has now claimed more lives than did the attacks of September 11, the city has been forced to take over new spaces to absorb the loss.

Emergency field hospitals have been set up in Central Park and other locales. And refrigerated trucks have fanned out across the city to process the pileup of corpses.

As of Wednesday, New York state has had nearly 150,000 reported coronavirus cases and over 6,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

In her interview with Reuters, Monteleone recounted how she and her fiance discovered their front-row seat to the pandemic.

When Kozlow was walking their dog last week, he called to tell her that he overheard two doctors saying the trucks would be coming in. Shortly after, Monteleone said she “turned around on the couch and peered out the window and saw it.”

“This is what they were saying online was going to be mobilized throughout the city.”

The following morning the couple awoke to workers setting up a platform and a ramp to serve two refrigerated trucks.

It wasn’t long after that the couple saw “a pretty serious string of bodies.”

Monteleone commended the head of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Ramon Rodriguez, for checking in on the neighbors.

She said the couple were staying put - for now.

“Everybody in my personal and professional life has urged us to leave. They don’t think this is a good place to be,” she said.

Reporting by Dan Fastenberg; Writing by Diane Craft; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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