A former San Diego woman who has been living in Italy for the past year is describing her new normal amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, which includes a countrywide mandatory lockdown in an effort to reduce the number of cases in the nation.
“We have a lot of space,” said Krizia Ocejo, who lived in San Diego prior to her move to Anzio, Italy. “We can go out, but we just cannot go inside businesses. You have to go in groups of three and leave one meter of distance between people.”
For Ocejo and many other residents, living with the outbreak has become the new reality that everyone has to deal with. Popular tourist spots have been deserted and grabbing a cup of gelato is served by workers clad in protective gear.
“Since we received the news, my husband said the metro, the subway was empty,” she said.
Due to the government-mandated lockdown, Italy now requires a special permit for essential travel.
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“They have to check your paperwork if you’re supposed to be outside, so today was scary,” Ocejo said.
As of Wednesday morning, the number of COVID-19 cases in Italy surpassed 10,000 – the worst in Europe. More than 600 fatalities were reported in the country and travel and social restrictions were extended nationwide as a result.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the worldwide outbreak as a pandemic.