Hour by hour we are hearing scary news out of Italy where the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak has caused lockdowns and residents are quarantined to their homes. Some think that where Italy is now, the US will be in two weeks. 

As a reminder to please, please take this pandemic seriously, here are actual stories from people in Italy affected by Coronavirus right now:

27 Coronavirus Stories About What It’s Like In Italy Right Now
27 Coronavirus Stories About What It’s Like In Italy Right Now

The situation here is very critical. The number of infections rises hour by hour as well as that of the dead.

Hospitals are full. There is no more space. Doctors and nurses work long and exhausting shifts. All hospital wards have been converted to deal with the Covid-19 emergency. All possible health professionals have been recalled from retirement. There are no more masks. The countries of the European Union, which has very little of “Union”, have blocked the export of sanitary material to Italy. The only country that came to our rescue was China.

Life is hard. You only go out for issues of necessity such as food, work or medical urgency.

Every day is a war bulletin. Covid-19 is not a simple flu. For the elderly, immunosuppressed people and all those with pre-existing diseases such as cancer, HIV, asthma, etc., can be lethal. For others the symptoms are very high fever, excruciating muscle pain, dry cough and severe sore throat. The duration is several days compared to a normal flu.

Personally the men in my family are all at risk. My three older brothers suffer from asthma and my younger brother is HIV positive. My father is old and with a poor health.

Schools and universities are closed, such as pubs, restaurants, shops etc.

Nobody can go out. We organize flash mobs on the balconies every day. We sing our national anthem and other songs that have made the history of Italy. We filled Instagram with memes. We entertain ourselves in this way to try to survive this situation.

I conclude with a thought, which I hope will make you think: my people are full of flaws, full of stereotypes, poor and with questionable governments, but while other countries wait for the aberrant “herd immunity”, that is to sacrifice the weakest to save the stronger, in my country the strongest are fighting with every possible means to save the weakest. Every single one of them.

We will come out on our knees and injured, but we will go out with our heads held high because we Italians have put people in front of economic interests. These is my people, my country, my Italy.

“It’s really depressing. We can’t even leave the house and have a walk unless we have a dog. I live near Venice and for the first time you can see fish swimming in the canals since there are no boats functioning, so there are some good sides to this. But I feel like I’m going crazy and my peers feel like that too.” — margherit4

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“I live in Tuscany. The covid 19 virus has arrived in my town. The local supermarket is empty, just like the streets. Since My cousin was diagnosed with cancer recently, I am deeply worried for his health, because contracting the coronavirus would probably kill him. All schools are closed, and you can find covid 19 awareness ads everywhere.

The situation looks surreal. There are riots in prisons, and the economy is falling apart. There are circa 7000 cases of coronavirus. You can find hand sanitizer bottles on amazon.it for 90 euros. Hotels and restaurants are going bankrupt and you can’t find almost any tourist in Florence, that was previously flooded with tourists. I hope that this coronavirus outbreak will end soon.” — _YourAverageRedditor

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“I don’t live in Italy but live in another part that’s in quarantine. So here the situation gotten pretty bad they shut down the schools until the 8th of April and because of that I’m gonna have to spend my birthday in quarantine and the only stores that are open are pharmacies and grocery stores.

“Hi, I am from Rome. I wanna be as much honest with you, this Covid19 Pandemic is pretty terrible and I’ve never seen Rome so dead during winter. As far as it goes, we are not allowed ro leave home without certain reasons (Taking out pets, buying groceries, I even heard u can go for a walk but have to keep a certain distance from others) Tbh I am positive about this, Rome has only 100 cases and we are staying home, I’ve never seen Italy so united. But please, Foreign people, don’t say that this virus is nothing, because that thought lead to people in Milan going out as if there was nothing wrong.” — Aosoderomaa

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“We only have a restricted number of intensive therapy units spread all over Italy, but especially in the North, so if the south gets a number of infected as high as the North does now people would die because there are not enough equipments.

We have to stay at home for the safety of everyone. If I got the COVID, I would probably be safe and just suffer the flu symptoms at home, but if a vulnerable person got it they would have to go to the hospital. And if there isn’t a place for them? The doctors would have to choose who dies and who survives.” — sofytofy

27 Coronavirus Stories About What It’s Like In Italy Right Now
27 Coronavirus Stories About What It’s Like In Italy Right Now

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“I am from Slovenia and we have 96 people that are sick as of today our population is older, our borders with italy and Croatia are closed everything is slowly closing. People are in panic and scared…To any European redditors THIS ISNT A JOKE Get as many things as u can and go inside away from society.” — lemisa7

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“I’m here, at my study desk, trying to concentrate My mum is outside crying, praying that my dad will be okay

It’s the 19th day of quarantine, I can’t hold my tears back anymore.” — V4lent1n4

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“Both my parents are now in ICU because of the virus. I’m now living completely alone and I eat just thanks to my neighbours. I can’t. I just can’t continue like this.” — V4lent1n4

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“In my town, if you go around by car, you will most likely stopped by police because they think you’re going out of town, and might spread the disease. The roads are empty, and so are the parks.” — LordEssential

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“I live very near to the (it has changed) red zone. Our hospital is full, people keep talking about 25 year olds tubed to keep them from dying to asphyxiation. All our stores and shops are shut down, only pharmacies and food markets are still going. There are now some regulations we must follow (fines and jail time up to 3 months are the consequences to those who refuse to comply) :

People in food markets are welcomed, but only one member per family group, we (the staff) must wear masks and gloves (even if it is just to show customers that we are “prepared”) and no human interaction closer than 1 meter. Police are controlling the streets, to make sure only people that must go to work, shop for food (then you must send them the receipt), visiting family members who are unwell. Everyone else, if caught, gets a fine, at least. It’s a bit concerning now because our lives are impacted so much, this I am becoming a little anxious.” — giovannireds

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“My grandfather cried for hours as funerals are banned until further notice and he fears, in the unfortunate event of his death through COVID19, he would not have a proper funeral.” — ivoryart

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“Everybody is turning fucking crazy and from today on we’re forced to stay at home no matter what.” — loveforlana

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“I was already in quarantine because I went to a class with a girl who has coronavirus now, if I go out I can be arrested and spend 3 months in jail.” — jackb26

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“If you watch the Italian tv you’ve probably seen dozens of ads on how to either stay home, wash you hands and keep the “safety distance” from one another. I receive almost everyday updates via email from university about how bad the situation is and how important is to follow the new laws and just stay home, it gets boring at first but none of us wants to get sick so you gotta do what they tell you to do.” — mbd777

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“Not Italian but stayed there for the past one and a half month

We only intended to stay there for two weeks but because of the coronavirus in Hong Kong we stayed longer (Italy was safer at that time)

But we rushed back to HK three days ago cuz Italy was going out of control

People still hug and kiss (the Italian greeting) on the day we leave

People don’t wear masks. As a HKer I really don’t understand… people here in HK literally wear masks every time go out now, that’s how the increase rate of cases slow down here

People look at you when you wear a mask We wore masks at the airport, wow, the security check guy sounded so pissed off I don’t know why

Italian, please, be alert and stay safe. Masks are useful…” — daehwing

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“My days go like this: -I wake up around lunch time -I have lunch -I go for a walk in the fields (sometimes I call my best friend to sit next to me in the field and share a cigarette) -I play videogames and spend time with my sisters -I have dinner -More videogames until I fall asleep” — AleksZag

27 Coronavirus Stories About What It’s Like In Italy Right Now

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“A great fear around here is also how the southern part of italy (as of now the bug majority of cases are in the north) will face the virus, because they have something like half the number of intensive care units – it’s not like two separate countries, but a difference between the two parts does exist, at least on an economic level.

Here in the epicenter where are already struggling a lot, turning ambulance garages into hospital spaces, calling pensioners back to work. We lack the resources and the people. If the virus were to strike the southern regions in the say way it happened here, it will probably do worse. Our hope is that the actions taken will bring to some results in a couple of days (they have been pretty strict – people are being stopped and reported by the public officers for being outside without a certifiable reason, schools have been and will say closed for at least a month and a half, queues outside supermarkets are hours long because of regulation, streets are empty). Honestly, looking at the numbers of other countries, it just feels like we are the test case for Europe, ahead of a couple of weeks.” — lucreziaray

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“I live in the southeast point of Sicily(souther than part of north Africa) here it’s all calm all the streets are empty and the only shops open are the one for strict necessities and even if on paper it sounds cool to be home all day watching youtube or tv, it’s really not fun we don’t even have video lessons and the PC I currently have at home can’t even play Minecraft so I literaly have nothing to do and I think that when this ends I’ll go to school with more enthusiasm” — Marco11_11_11

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“Im Italian, and the worst thing being on quarantine is that we can’t go to any city close to us, and if we do so, we risk to get arrested for 6 months. Also, i live in a very small town with only 5,000 people living in. It’s not the best situation, but it’s ok. There are many police cars and streets are desert, even locals, before they were full, now they’re empty. I know lots of people and friends that have a girlfriend in the other small town attached to our town, and they can’t even go and give her a kiss. Everyone now is a little bit depressed because of this, and that’s what i call being lucky of being single lol.” — T0mmy_D3mo

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“I’ve spent the past two months locked in my house to prepare my exams, so let’s say it’s no big deal for me to stay home. Virtual lessons from uni are a mess since they had to put up a platform for it in a week or so and the servers are going down every two days. I pay my respects to the IT technicians because they must be working like crazy to make it work.

The have been very serious protests in jails because visitations have been suspended, sadly resulting in some inmates taking their lives.

Right now I worry for the elderly of my family, especially my grandma since she hasn’t understood the dangers of the situation and she doesn’t like being locked home with my grandpa, and also for my bf’s mother since she already has serious health issues. Also, I cannot see him since we live in different cities, and it sucks.” — grev_dawndiver

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“it’s mostly just very depressing. i’m a high school student going to an international school, which means my school day is longer compared to normal italian public schools- which means i sit on my ass from 8 am to 3:40 pm, 5 days a week- and then continue to sit on my ass for every hour after that including weekends because i’m not allowed to go anywhere.

today is the 18th day in quarantine- i live outside of milan and we are not allowed to leave the town or even go outside unless it is for food, some kind of medical emergency or to walk our dogs (even that though, you won’t see anyone walking about for more than 30 mins).

it seemed cool for the first few days- my friends would come over to my house and we could actually see other humans aside from our own families. however, they’ve stopped allowing that as we all live in different towns. during “school”, it can get very lonely, especially if our teachers do not decide to do a video call type of lesson.

my friends and i sit in a discord call all day and play background coffee shop sounds to make it seem a bit less quiet. i feel for my older friends who are living alone and have no choice but to stay at home with no one to talk to.

our hospitals are full and we do not have proper equipment- neither do the actual doctors and nurses working there. my family has managed to find one ffp3 mask- which was 40 euros, which is an insane price, but you know.

i just hate how quiet everything has become, at least in my town. i see people on twitter saying to take advantage of cheap flights and such, and it makes me scared- please refrain from doing that. the only way to stop this from spreading is if we limit the amount of people going outside and doing nothing who might get infected.

that was a long ramble, but that’s pretty much it. i’m really starting to feel like shit over not being able to go outside- and i’m not someone who leaves the house often anyway. i feel bad for my dog, too. i wish i could take him outside properly.” — italian-rabbit

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“I’m a university student and all schools and uni are closed until April 3rd. Many professors are trying to keep up by streaming online classes or giving homework. Since usually it takes me 90 minutes to go to uni, I appreciate doing it from my bedroom while having breakfast. I think of what shows I’ll watch on netflix or what games I’ll play next. In my personal experience, it’s pretty chill (although it will surely get boring very soon).

There are a lot of new notifications and info and rules from the goverment every day, so it’s a bit difficult to keep up with everything. As for today, everything is closed, except for first necessity shops (grocery stores, pharmacies, places that sell newspapers, and a few more). Everything else is closed. Every shop, bar, restaurant, cinema, pub, theatre etc. all social events are also cancelled such as weddings and funerals.

You can leave home only for buying food or medicine or to go to work (since every shop is closed though, all office jobs are trying to go 100% smart working to keep people from going outside). I think pretty much only doctors and nurses are allowed to move freely at this point.
If you want to go outside you need to write a module where you state your motivation and it must be valid. I think you need even if you’re walking by foot and as for today even ‘just wanted to walk around’ is not considered valid enough anymore. There are high fines for people who go outside not caring about this. (I just read an article of people getting arrested for having a birthday party with 20 people). A few days ago when total lockdown was announced (but it was not as strict since some shops were still open) supermarkets were raided and the President had to make an announment yesterday saying that food resources will not be a problem and not to go all together at the grocery shops. Now there are lines outside where people must be 1 meter from the other and they let only 20ish people inside at the same time.

So if you’re not sick, it can be difficult to adapt to this new lifestyle but we can manage ok.

The real problems is in hospitals, especially the ones in the north were the virus started first. There are too many sick people and not enough resources for everyone. Almost 2000 new people get diagnosed every day. Not everyone has deadly symptoms and must go to the hospital but many, too many, have. There isn’t enough space, enough beds or enough breathe supporters for all the patients. Hospitals must decide who to treat first, and those are the ones with the highest change of living. That is the scariest part I think. Nurses and doctors are overworked and have been working 24/7 for days because there are not enough of them.

So yeah, even if it’s annoying being closed at home, I think it’s necessary for us to be responsabile and keep the virus from spreadind further and further and hit people who can’t make it. I don’t know anyone in my close group of friends and family who has the virus but I’m scared for the elderly in my family. My dad is a doctor and goes outside for work everyday and we live with my grampa who’s very old so I really hope nothing happens to him.

I hope our situation helps other countries too. It’s not ‘living in fear’, it’s just being aware of what can happen. I don’t think we’ve fully realised what’s really going on either. It’s just day 3 of quarantine and April 3rd is far. At least we have memes.” — 14383421

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“I’m an American. I know everybody wants to hear from Italians, and I think that’s really important, but I think some information needs to be shared.

I’m from Florida. I “work” in a hospital. I’m a 3rd year medical student who is fighting to keep my position since they are trying to get everybody to stay home and away from potentially infected patients. That being said, most of us want to continue our clinicals since we need a certain number of hours, and what better time to learn crisis management than now, right? That being said, people are robbing our hospitals of masks, gloves, and sanitizer. It’s disgusting considering we need every bit of supply possible.

The number of cases being reported isn’t even close to being true. I can’t speak for all 50 states, but in Florida there are known cases that don’t make the news. They sit those patients on the same ICU floors as everybody else. People aren’t getting tested because: 1. We don’t have enough test. 2. They haven’t been traveling within the last 2 weeks. 3. They aren’t dying yet. I’m sure it’s happening across the country, but you only hear so much about it. Patients could be dying, or have died, of pneumonia but weren’t tested because of either point 1 or 2.

I hate the people who were complaining of their classes being moved online. The schools aren’t trying to stop the spread, they’re trying to slow it down so hospitals aren’t flooded at once like Italy. The response rate of the US is that of see no virus, hear no virus, then there is no virus. A lot of younger people are goofing around knowing they aren’t likely to die from it. You’re not, but your parents, grandparents, diabetic friends, and anyone else who has a weak immune system may very well die.

Also, don’t cough or sneeze into your hands. That’s gross. Face plant into your elbow like you care about infecting other people with whatever disease you have. And why are the shelves bare of soap? Do you guys not wash your hands already? Do you really need 20 bottles of it, or are you panicking because you know you cough into your hands and then go shake someone else’s.” — Rzees

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“Normal high school student here, third year of “audiovisivo e multimediale”, basically I study how to edit photos and videos (that’s not the only thing I do, it’s the main one). Im in one of the regions that were on lockdown since the beginning. I’ve now been locked in my home for almost a month. School is now online, and I can’t do the manual work, as I used the computer at school, and I don’t have all of the softwares and projects here at home. The teacher keep giving us work. I will soon begin the video lessons, and I don’t really want to. I haven’t seen my boyfriend for a month (he lives close to where the infection first begun), and I’ve come to realize how active my social life is. I’ve been getting weight, and even if I have all of this free time, I’m just lazy and never do anything.

But let’s not talk about me now. The Italians here are either listening to our prime minister and staying at home (all Italy is in lock down until the 3rd of April, and it will probably continue for a few months more), or spreading the hashtag “I’mNotStayingHome” because..Italians are dumb. A lot of ppl are convinced that the virus isn’t gonna do anything, the government is just lying to us and we should live as nothing is really happening. They started giving out these papers for when you exit your house, where you basically write down why you’re going out, where, and from where to where. If you don’t have it, even if you’re going for a walk (which is still forbidden) and you don’t have that paper, you can get a fine of 200 euros (for my American and English fellas, it’s like 222$ and 181£), though the fine can get higher or lower, depending the situation, or you can get arrested up to three months. It might sound a bit “too much”, but the prime minister was wise to take such decisions. All of Italians, up until a week ago, just didn’t care about the spread of the virus, and continued their life as nothing happened. Now not a lot of people are out, only who works and those who have to go help their elder relatives, go to buy groceries etc.

Oh, for the groceries, only a certain number of people can enter the super market, and only one per family.” — meancing

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