A young New York City EMT has died by apparent suicide. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, John Mondello, 23, was found dead by the river near Astoria Park with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Mondello was found around 6:45 p.m. on Friday, according to the New York Police Department.
"The loss of this young EMT who chose to bravely serve others in a tragedy for our entire department," Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said to PEOPLE. "We all mourn his loss and our prayers are with his family." According to authorities, Mondello did not leave behind a suicide note. The young EMT started working for the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services in January and he was assigned to Station 18 in the Bronx.
According to one of Mondello's friends, Al Javier, the pandemic really took a toll on him, telling the New York Post, "He told me he was experiencing a lot of anxiety witnessing a lot of death, he'd feel it was a heavy experience when he'd fail to save a life." His fellow FDNY EMS Academy friend added, "We don't have the same union benefits as other city workers. It's really stressful to work long hours and not get paid as much." His friend described Mondello as "always very peppy, very happy" but didn't fail to mention the heartbreaking emotion that comes along with the job. With "people passing away right in front of you" the two friends couldn't help but to feel the chaos.
While every state in America has felt the wrath of COVID-19, New York has been one of the hardest hit states due to high population. The state has seen at least 292,027 cases and 17,303 deaths according to a New York Times database. While the numbers are high in the states, other countries have seen bulk numbers of loss during this time as well.
Mondello wasn't alone in feeling the stress of the circumstances though. One nurse in Italy died by suicide after she tested positive for the coronavirus. Daniela Trezzi was just 34-years-old and was working at a hospital in the Lombardy region, which at the time was one of the worst-affected areas of Italy. It was reported that she had fear she would spread COVID-19 to her peers and patients. The National Federation of Nurses in Italy confirmed her death by releasing a statement to the Daily Mail, saying, "Each of us has chosen this profession for good and, unfortunately, also for bad: we are nurses. The condition and stress to which our professionals are subjected is under the eyes of all."