By Brian Maass

(CBS4)– From her home in Garda, Italy, Shannon Unks, a CU graduate and former Colorado resident, has a harsh warning for Colorado residents: “Don’t do anything- don’t go to the cinemas, stay home, shut it down.”

As of Friday afternoon, there were one death and 77 cases of coronavirus in Colorado.

(credit: Shannon Unks)

Via Skype, Unks told CBS4 she hoped her warning of what is happening in Italy would resonate with U.S. and Colorado residents and prompt them to follow the advice of medical authorities and dramatically change their daily living patterns for the near term.

“What you need to do is stay home. Do not look at this two weeks as a vacation. You need to stay home,” urged Unks.

RELATED: Coronavirus In Colorado: Local Governments Declare States Of Emergency

She and her family live in the picturesque town of Garda, not far from Verona. But outside of China, Italy is the country hardest hit by COVID-19 with 1,016 deaths and more than 17,000 infections.

Garda is “locked down,” said Unks, with residents prohibited from going out unless it is to buy groceries or other essentials like medications.

“We’re allowed to go to the grocery store. One person per family. Get in and get out.”

She said customers enter the store one at a time and stand about three feet apart while waiting in line. The outbreak has overwhelmed Italian hospitals which don’t have enough beds, equipment or personnel to handle the volume of coronavirus patients.

The town square in Garda, Italy (credit: Shannon Unks)

“It’s a massive overload,” said Unks. “They have triage tents outside hospitals so if you and I walk in together, they decide: ‘Is Brian going to live or Shannon going to live?’ They pick the one most likely to live. They have to pick the person they think is going to survive the most. They do not have enough beds, respirators, not enough personnel to care for everyone.”

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

So Italians are confined to their homes and Unks said Coloradans need to view what is happening in Italy as a glimpse of what might lie ahead for the U.S. if people don’t curtail their outside activities.

“Your health care system, as good as it is, is going to be overloaded.”

American medical officials have voiced similar concerns- that an influx of coronavirus cases could overwhelm U.S. hospitals and health care workers.

The line outside the grocery store (credit: Shannon Unks)

“Funerals are forbidden,” said Unks. ”Churches are closed and they don’t know where to put the bodies.”

She urged Colorado residents to heed the warnings from medical leaders.

“Get the essentials and stay home as much as you can. Go ahead and stay home. Don’t go out to movies… bars or have gatherings in your home. Anything that can be put off needs to be put off. What you need to do is do not look at this as a vacation. You need to stay home.”

Unks said her husband, who runs a factory, has been allowed to work but will soon be working from home. She said she and her daughter stay home and only leave to walk their dog or buy groceries. She said it is the only way to help prevent the spread of the disease and hopefully avoid having U.S. hospitals overwhelmed as has happened in Italy.

Additional Information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

  • Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer; use your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if you’re sick; keep your children home if they are sick. The illness can last for many days so make preparations now to work from home if possible.
  • We advise Coloradans to always be prepared for an emergency– like a large snowstorm– and have a plan for your family. Make sure to have 72 hours of key supplies on hand like medications, infant formula, diapers, pet food, etc. FEMA guidance for pre-pandemic COVID-19 preparedness is available on
  • Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email, for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.

Brian Maass

Comments (40)
  1. ava says:

    This has been proven on other websites to be FAKE NEWS.

  2. Jay Bee says:

    I see nothing wrong with spending two weeksccamping in the woods, and this chic was from Colorado? FAIL

    1. jamesx says:

      USA created virus at University of North Carolina with funding from NIH.
      taxpayers paid for their own destruction.

      1. layso says:

        Google “Boyle coronavirus university of north Carolina NIH fort Derrick”
        Look at Pub med to see studies and who funded them to increase “gain of function”.
        Fauci and many others must be arrested.

        1. Holy moley.. Is that why the outbreak began in China near its military bio lab?

          1. MisterGoldiloxx says:

            Yes, in Wuhan. The two above are spouting communist Chinese talking points and are likely Democrat voters if really American.

  3. Sgt Frank Rock says:

    In Italy, the average age of death from the new virus is 81.

    1. MisterGoldiloxx says:

      In USA per the CDC the average age of American dead is 80. In China the smoking rate is over 50% and in Italy it’s over 40%. In the USA it is much lower. Also China has horrible air. This virus attacks the respiratory system. It also affect older folks (sorry!) and those with medical conditions (sorry again!)

  4. Joe Joe says:

    What garbage. 17,000 cases crash their system? Not in Garda…in the whole country?
    Sadder are those running around like Chicken Littles.

    1. Rudi says:

      The sheople are bleeding.

      1. Rudi says:


  5. David Ross says:

    But they’re also not telling you that they have now stopped treating the elderly, so the elderly are dying en masse, quickly. Socialized medicine for you. That will be a lot of bodies.

  6. Dave says:

    hey climate change people why so worried i thought this is what you wanted to cull the heard and save the planet you said to cut the population in half well here’s your chance ,,, get r done .

    1. T S says:

      Have some respect. People are dying and more will die too.

  7. Mark Hambrick says:

    We are comparing the failure of Socialized medicine in Italy to our system here in the U.S.
    First, the Italians have allowed a flood of refugees to enter their country from all points across the globe, due to the EU open borders policies. Many of these people know little, to nothing, about hygiene. The fashion factories of Milan imported hundreds of Chinese seamtresses to make high dollar dresses at low labor cost. Remember, for Italy, this began in the regions surrounding Milan. As is their custom, the Italian governement initially ignored this virus far beyond what we have here.

    Second, like many countries that are a blend of socialism and capitalism, the Italians have long failed to adequately fund their health care system. I lived there in the seventies, and the hospital hallways had the sick lieing on gurenys waiting days for a bed even back then.
    With an overly generous welfare state (free college, free healthcare, paid sick leave, etc.), Italian politicians cut to the bone the one area they could and get away with it–their health care system. And that works…..for a time…until something like this comes along…..

    1. berthercules says:

      Italy’s government medical system has never been that great. That’s why they have private insurance and private hospitals for those with good good jobs and can afford it. Word to the wise about Medicare for all.

  8. Bob says:

    Well everyone knows all problems are solved by running around yelling HOLY SH!T WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

    1. Anybody notice how quickly the npmatter has been politicized?

  9. poetopoet says:

    They vote for the E. U. now they are P. U., and they opened up their doors and graveyards too.

  10. ECS says:

    Introverts be like, I been waiting for this moment all my life.

    1. Mark says:

      @ECS lol So true. Staying at home won’t phase me at all. I’ll enjoy it, nice n’ cozy.

    2. Jim W says:

      Plenty of DVDs, popcorn, and beer!

  11. A J says:

    TRUMP AND THE GOP ARE A DANGER TO ALL OF US!…It is Trump’s fault he cut the budget and fired key CDC players back in 2018! Trump has and keeps down playing, even to this day, so STOP BLAMING OBAMA, IT’S HERE AND TRUMP IS NOT DEALING WITH IT, INSTEAD HE BLAMES OTHERS FOR HIS OWN DOWNFALLS AND DOINGS! U.S, Italy, Iran Have The Deadly forum of C-19. Trump really is the most incompetent President this nation has ever had known. TRUMP.. UNSTABLE NON-GENIUS NARCISSIST KNOWN LIAR! American Hospital Association “Best Guess Epidemiology” for @ over next 2 months: 96,000,000 infections 4,800,000 hospitalizations 1,900,000 ICU admissions 480,000 deaths vs flu in 2019: 35,500,000 infections 490,600 hospitalizations 49,000 ICU admissions 34,200 deaths ……This is not “the flu”, “a flu”, or any type of flu! Coronavirus and Influenza are two entirely different viruses. People don’t freak out about getting the flu, because it has been around forever, we know how it works, and how it is treated. The population has antibodies to most flu strains, herd immunity, vaccines, etc… This Coronavirus is a new (novel) virus, that has never been in the human population. We don’t have any antibodies, no herd immunity, no treatment, no vaccines. We don’t even know how this virus really works, the incubation period, the way it’s spread, are all still very much unknowns. The virus has mutated multiple times already and will likely continue to do so. That is why people are concerned, and why such extreme measures are being deployed to slow the spread of the virus. Panicking doesn’t help, pretending its just a flu doesn’t either…..

    1. SocialistsSuck says:

      your TDS is flaring up pretty bad. Id get to the doc stat and get it treated.

    2. eshults5 says:

      If 4 other countries didn’t have it far worse in a shorter period of time, your point would be more significant. We’ll see what happens.

    3. J Scott says:

      Trump didn’t fire anybody at the CDC you moron.

    4. gimphole says:

      Smoke a bowl of Ganja

    5. Bean Counter says:

      The corona virus also has been around for some time. Blaming anyone is counter productive. As far as President Trump goes, any fault with the CDC has to do with those before him. His cuts have not hade sufficient time to make the impact you speak of. You simply hate the man and are taking the opportunity to dis him.

    6. Jim W says:

      This is great! You appear to have a solution to the CoViD-19. I am sure the CDC would be more than happy to hear from you; unless, you’re just a crackpot who couldn’t pour water from a boot with instructions on the heel and a spigot in the toe!

    7. snakcake says:

      Your mama slurps poopy juice.

  12. Silver Score! says:


    1. A J says:

      WRONG! You need wake up Cup Cake! It bad, very bad! Folks like yourself are the problem, you sit back do nothing until it’s to late, then you pose a danger to everyone, including yourself!

      1. Burt says:

        There are 1700 deaths in Italy and she is claiming “they don’t know what to do with the bodies”… she is fear mongering to get attention

    2. T S says:

      This is not the flu. Its worse. Its also not the black plague but we need to take this seriously. This video shows an interview with, Michael Osterholm, is an internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology. He talks about how we are basing a lot on data from the Chinese population, which does not have the obesity problem that we have here. He equates obesity to smoking, as far as the toll on the bodies’ immune system. Expert after expert keeps saying that we have very limited data, we just don’t know yet 100% what this thing can do to us.

    3. T S says:

      I don’t know what’s wrong with this site but its not showing the viedo and I can still access it other places. Try once more otherwise google “Joe Rogan Experience #1439 – Michael Osterholm”.

  13. Walter Cox says:

    No, she is not. She is speaking to the reality of the situation…unlike you, who cannot even spell “breeding.”

    1. A J says:

      Agree! These type are a danger …..

  14. RED ALERT says:

    She is breading more fear, hysteria and paranoia. Wake up!

    1. A J says:

      Educate yourself…It’s here, you need aspect the facts!

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