VITERBO, ITALY (WALB) - Italy’s been on lockdown for almost three weeks due to COVID-19.
They’re nearing 100,000 cases.
WALB spoke with a Moultrie native who’s been there during it all.
“There are lot of even small communities near this city who have had cases because it spreads so rapidly. No one’s ready for this,” said Melissa Kent Sensi.
Living in Viterbo, Italy for 25 years, Kent Sensi is originally from Moultrie.
She said where she lives is around the size of Macon.
“It’s like an hour north of Rome. It’s a pretty area,” said Kent Sensi.
A pretty area, on lockdown, with rising deaths from coronavirus.
On March 10, the prime minister put the entire country on lockdown, according to NBC.
“Everything is closed. You know all the restaurants and coffee bars. Everything, everything is closed down so. You really have no reason to be around unless you’re going for groceries or medicine at the pharmacy or something like that. Necessities basically,” said Kent Sensi.
Kent Sensi said she only goes out once a week to stock up on food.
She said she has to keep a form with her when leaving her home for these necessities.
“You’re attesting to the fact that you’re going out for a real necessity and you know if you don’t have a real reason. You will get a fine. Anywhere between 500 euro and 3,000 euros," said Kent Sensi.
Living in a big house with land to explore, Kent Sensi said she’s lucky.
“You know, I’m lucky, but I do have friends in the city who I think it’s something that for them it’s a lot more difficult. Especially friends who have kids that are stuck in apartments," said Kent Sensi.
She said her husband is stuck in Rome where he works, her son lives in Canada, so it’s just Kent Sensi and her two daughters, finding ways to be creative each day.
“My land has a patch of woods that all enclosed, it’s only ours and it’s isolated, so I’ve been able to walk in the woods quite a bit and, luckily it’s the season of picking wild asparagus so we’ve done that a lot of days,” said Kent Sensi.
Kent Sensi said she was planning to fly home to Moultrie just before the lockdown, but decided to cancel as to not put her family at risk of infection.
“We just don’t know much about this because they believe it can live longer in asphalt and surfaces. I did hear there were some communities where they were spraying disinfectant on the streets,” Kent Sensi explained.
She had some advice for us in the U.S. as we battle this crisis.
“If we all do our little part and stay isolated and home no matter how hard it is, and then in the long run, it’ll end quicker, but it’ll just keep going if people don’t do that. There’s nothing else we can do except for that,” said Kent Sensi.
Kent Sensi said she’s learned a lot over these past few weeks of quarantine.
“All of us tend to take for granted the ease with which we can move about and do whatever we want. The basic freedoms, and I think after this, none of us will take for granted even being with friends that you care about and family obviously. Because when you’re prohibited, you sort of realize that’s something very special," said Kent Sensi.
She said through all of this, she’s thankful to not go through this alone.
“I’ve been really impressed with the way people seem to bond and pull together under some instance like this,” said Kent Sensi.