On March 25, 2020, a widely shared video supposedly showed bodies being dumped into a mass grave in Italy amid the COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic.
One popular posting on Facebook was accompanied by the message: “Dead bodies of Corona victims in Italy!”
This is not genuine footage showing mass graves in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic or anytime. The video actually comes from a 2007 television miniseries called “Pandemic,” starring “Saved by the Bell” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Tiffani Thiessen.
The fictional content was posted on YouTube by “Movie Central” in February 2020. The scene in question can be viewed around the 60:00 mark of “part 2”:
“Pandemic” was filmed in 2007. It featured Thiessen and “3rd Rock from the Sun” star French Stewart. Here’s a synopsis from Sonar Entertainment:
What happens when the deadly strain of an unknown virus multiplies second by second, person by person? What happens when an entire city is put under a government sanctioned quarantine? What happens when the source of the virus is as elusive as the cure? What happens is a Pandemic.
At the Center for Disease Control, epidemiologist Dr. Kayla Martin (Tiffani Thiessen, Beverly Hills 90210) and her partner Carl Ratner (French Stewart, 3rd Rock from the Sun) receive a frantic call from a flight attendant high above the Pacific. A nineteen-year-old male passenger, en route to Los Angeles from Australia, has died following a raging fever and violent convulsions. Vehemently concerned about the symptoms, Kayla orders all passengers quarantined upon their arrival at LAX—a decision at odds with Mayor Richard Delasandro (Oscar and Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts, Runaway Train) who suggests the only outbreak will be one of panic. The CDC considers the frightening possibilities—the reality of the bird flu, the probability of a biological attack, or worse, a new virus they can’t control.
While this video does not show mass graves in Italy, it is true that the country was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
At the time of this writing, more than 8,000 people had died as a result of the new coronavirus in Italy.