There has been a lot of confusion out there about what has been going on in Italy and I want to give my personal experience on what it’s like living in Italy during this lock down.
I am currently in central Italy, Abruzzo to be exact and as of now there have been approximately 300 cases of the coronavirus in the region.
I work as an English teacher in a language school but most of my students come from teaching privately. As of March 3rd I have stopped all work as all schools were ordered to close until March 15th, however this date has changed to April 3rd.
While teaching some of my students earlier this month they were jokingly saying that schools were going to close down. Little did they know that a teacher at their school tested positive for the virus and over 90 students from this school were forced to be in quarantine.
On March 10th, all 60 million Italian residents were forced to go under lockdown and were required to remain in their homes and self quarantine. As for me and many others, all work has stopped. Many shops, bars, malls, restaurants and big companies are closed leaving only grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations open. And no, our grocery shelves are not empty.
Many Italians have been coping with this lockdown by coming together as a community and singing from their balconies to keep them in good spirits. There has also been a lot of cooking, baking and eating going on which is what we do best.
I used to take my dog for a walk every morning but now they have banned people from walking on tracks as you can still come in contact with people passing by. If you are stopped by the caribineri and don’t have a legitimate reason for being out, you will be fined up to 200 euros. For people continuing to work and travel, they are to have a document on them at all times (which is found online) stating that they are traveling to work.
If you are wondering if I wear a mask if I leave the house, the answer is no. While many people are wearing masks, I think it’s more important to just use common sense. I wash my hands very frequently, cough into my elbow if I need to and keep my distance.
I personally believe that Italy reacted a little too late to try and stop the spread of the virus. People are left to die because there is not enough space in the hospitals or enough equipment to treat people. Residents of northern Italy have been hit worse and are transporting people with the virus to southern Italy to get treatment.
This pandemic is something we should not take lightly. Italy’s coronavirus cases are sky rocketing week by week which means hundreds of deaths are happening each day. There have been nearly 3000 deaths in a matter of weeks. I am not stating these facts to scare you, this is just to alert you that the spread is real and it can happen in your country in a blink of an eye. Italy currently has more deaths over China from this virus because doctors are simply choosing who will live and who will die.
Please keep your spirits high during this time but also please take precautions now before it’s too late. You can meet your friends for a drink at a later date. Don’t risk your health or the health of people around you.