Italy has now confirmed more than 12,000 cases of coronavirus in the country and more than 800 deaths, making it the most affected area outside of Asia. In an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, the Italian government has implemented a number of measures including lockdown zones and quarantines. This week I chatted with Micol Usardi, a new mom, teacher, and resident of Pavia in Lombardy. She lives in one of the most affected regions of the country and offered to speak to us about what it’s like to live inside Italy’s coronavirus quarantine.
Micol, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.
Could you tell us a little about you and your family?
I am a 30 year old Italian and live in Pavia with my boyfriend Boris and new baby girl Summer. My daughter is just over a month old. I teach Italian to non-Italian speakers and Boris is a music teacher.
How would you describe the situation in your area?
We live a few kilometers from the Codogno, one of the cities where the virus originally started to spread in Italy. We stay at home as much as possible. If we go out it’s just for a short walk. Schools are closed. We can only enter public places like the town hall and post office one at a time to respect a minimum distance of 1 meter from other people.
What has been the response of the public to the quarantine and travel bans?
Everyone is visibly worried, especially older people as we already have quite a number of deaths.
If anyone had any travel planned, they are trying to get reimbursed and have canceled their plans.
How has your daily routine with your baby changed?
We go out very little, at most for a quick walk. I am on maternity leave so I don’t need to go to work. All schools, theatres, and cinemas are closed. We also try to avoid contact with people who might have been in contact with infected people.
Have children been told what is going on?
Children are aware that something is going on as all their clubs and schools are suspended. I am not sure they understand the gravity of the situation.
What has been the impact of the virus in the lockdown areas?
There is a real fear. Some people do not leave their house because they are so scared of the virus. Some are fed up with being quarantined. Boris’ cousin lives near Codogno and they have been under quarantine for over 20 days now; they are quite tired of it.
Have you noticed any difference in your daily life?
All events like football matches have been canceled. Cinemas, theaters and schools have all been shut.
Initially supermarkets were raided, so we now only shop online and get it delivered at home.
What type of precautions are you and your family taking?
We don’t meet with anyone, only a few trusted friends we know are not infected and always at our house or theirs, and even then only rarely.
Do you know anyone who has been infected and how have they been affected by it?
Fortunately, I do not know anyone who has been infected. But some friends of our friends are being kept in isolation at the hospital.
Since we did this interview, the situation in Italy has already changed dramatically. We got back in touch with Micol to get her latest point of view on Italy’s coronavirus quarantine and restrictions.
Here is her response.
“The Government has issued more coronavirus quarantine restrictions, asking us to avoid leaving the house except in cases of a real emergency. Only one person per family can go and do the food shopping and most shops are now closed too (food shops and necessity stores are still open).
Car movements are restricted and only permitted for emergencies and after an appropriate permission form has been issued. You could be fined up to €300 if found in transgression.
The youngsters seem to take all the advice and restrictions from the government lightly and still gather in bars and other places.
The news and newspapers only speak about Covid-19. I have to say the situation is quite scary.”
The coronavirus situation is fast moving and changes daily. Bookmark our live updated article to stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 news from around the world.
If you are interested in reading more about what life is like in Italy right now during the quarantine, and the effects on the Health System read our interview with an Italian doctor and nurse.
Need a little bit of good news in your life right now? Check out our article on all the positive effects COVID19 has had around the world.