BOLOGNA, Italy — A Virginia mother living in Italy issued a warning to Americans after living nearly two weeks under COVID-19 quarantine.
Lauren Frye, her husband, and their 20-month-old son have been under mandatory quarantine since March 8.
The family lives in Bologna, located in Italy’s northern region, which has seen thousand of confirmed novel coronavirus cases.
“We are staying sane,” Frye said via FaceTime. “We try to keep a routine. It also helps to have a young one because we are focused on making sure he’s fed and keeping some sort of routine. That’s helping us a lot.”
The Virginia native moved to Italy after graduating from James Madison University several years ago.
She teaches English to students in China through video conferencing.
“Coronavirus has been more relevant in my life for the past few months because I’ve witnessed my students stay inside for days on end,” Frye explained.
Italy, a country of 60 million, registered 2,978 deaths Wednesday after 475 more people died. Italy was likely to overtake China’s 3,249 dead — in a land of 1.4 billion — upon the release of Thursday’s figures, according to the Associated Press.
In order for Italians to leave their homes they must get permission from the government.
“If I need to go to the store or get medicine I have to have a signed permission form kind of like a hall pass,” Frye stated. “You sign it and you have to take it with you because [police] are patrolling and stopping people who aren’t supposed to be out.”
She hoped her country realized the potential impacts of COVID-19 weeks ago.
“We’re not scared. We just wish people would stay inside so we can fight this thing together,” Frye said.
Frye and her family are healthy and their home is well-stocked. But, she advised Americans to take social distancing seriously - the act of staying at least 6 feet away from each other.
“I think that people in America need to kind of wake a little bit because it’s not going away. The more you go out then the more it’s going to be around,” Frye said.