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Inside the Red Zone: An Interview From Italy During COVID-19 Lockdown

Avatar for Samantha Biggers Samantha Biggers  |  Updated: March 10, 2020
Inside the Red Zone: An Interview From Italy During COVID-19 Lockdown

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Since COVID-19 appeared in the news, I have paid even more attention to some of the preparedness forums and social media groups that I am part of. People have a lot of questions about preparedness and I have been making an effort to help them figure things out whenever possible.

In one group I saw a picture where a fellow was showing what he had bought to prepare himself and his family when the first cases in Italy appeared in his area. I private messaged my thoughts on what he had procured and sent some links to articles at Backdoor Survival. This was the beginning of a conversation that has kept going as the crisis has escalated in Italy.

A Brief Time Line Of COVID-19 In Italy

In order to see how the virus progressed, I have recreated a brief timeline of Covid-19 spread in Italy. After doing this research it is clear that it follows what Chris Martenson over at Peak Prosperity has been telling us for ages. With an outbreak like this, it goes, cluster, cluster, cluster, and then BOOM.

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January 30, 2020- Two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy reported among Chinese tourists. All flights to China are suspended.

February 24, 2020- Total confirmed cases 229 and 6 fatalities.

March 8: 16 million people under lockdown in the red zone. Confirmed cases jump 1,300 and total 6, 387 and deaths rise from 133 to 366.

March 9: All of Italy is on lockdown. Quarantines are being enforced and those that break it are subject to criminal charges.

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Prisons are the scene of many riots after prisoners learn that they will not be allowed visitors. They are fearful that they will have no protection from the virus and no help.

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March 10, 2020- 10,149 confirmed cases and 631 deaths so far.

My friend wanted to tell his story to others so that they could be better prepared and understand the truth of what the people of Italy are dealing with. I offered to help him with this. I sent him some interview questions and told him to add anything he thought we should know. He has chosen to not give his real name or exact location within the red zone.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live in Italy? Age? Occupation? Do you live alone or with others?

I live in Italy, 25 years old and I live with my parents.

Are you staying entirely at home? Are you allowed to leave your home at all?

At the moment, we are called to stay at home. People can go and walk outside, bars are open from 9 am to 6 pm but people have to maintain 1 meter minimum of distance. A crowd outside and inside is forbidden. For using a car inside and outside the territories a permit is needed: only for work and medical reasons one can move, otherwise, it is strictly forbidden.

Do you know anyone that has the virus or has recovered?

Luckily no. I hope no one will get it.

How is the community dealing with this? Are people helping each other at all?

There is fear and also a lack of civic sense. I am glad for the new restrictions, at a certain point, if the people are not able to guard themselves by themselves then the State has every right to force people to stay inside. I am thankful for the job of our doctors, army, and police.

Are people in your area observing the quarantine or are they sneaking out?

We have had cases of people sneaking out, people escaping from Milan to reach to their original regions and families a few hours before the “Red Zone” was declared. We are Italians after all, we are known to be social, touchy and family-oriented; isolation is something we never think about.

Still, this is no excuse to not observe quarantine. I am using this time to cherish my relationship with my family and re-discover the value of time and relationships. I can always play games with my PS4 or read books.

What is the punishment or fine for breaking quarantine? Have you known anyone to get punished for this?

Yes, there are jail terms for those breaking quarantine. 3 Months, or even years if the person is infected and causes deaths. It would be treated like a case of homicide.

Is there a lot of civil unrest?

Currently, we are dealing with 27 cases of jail riots, 6 inmates have died, police officers have been taken as hostages and 20 even managed to escape from Foggia Penitentiary. Also, markets are being assaulted and we had cases of racism towards Asian people. I witnessed it just in my street with a man shouting horrible things to a Chinese woman.

I am so angry, as I worked in a Chinese restaurant and have many Italian friends of Asian origin and their fear is legit. This is what I fear, civil unrest, that is I not only have to protect myself and my family from COVID-19 but also from other people.

Are there shortages of food or anything else? Are people blaming others for shortages? Are you getting supplies delivered or are you going out to shop still?

I have witnessed just today that vegetables and fruit shelves were almost empty, yet canned food was not. Perhaps Italians are not very keen on preparation and keep buying fresh food which is great, but perishable. We’re not relying on delivery right now, but I wonder what will happen when the pandemic will be declared.

I will not thank my American friends enough for their suggestions and support, you guys are so into preparedness, while we are still thinking about fresh tomatoes for our pasta. TBH, I would not mind buying canned ravioli, unfortunately, we do not have such food, although it would come handy.

How is your government handling this? Do you feel like they are doing what they can? Do you think they are hiding a lot from the citizens?

Nice question. Let me tell you our situation: we lack doctors, we lack places in hospitals, and people managed to escape from the quarantine. I have relatives who work as medical personnel and they are going crazy with exhausting shifts.

Our government could have done better and we feel abandoned. A woman died at home yesterday after waiting a day for the test kit that was forced on her by her brother, Luca Franzese from Naples.

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She was epileptic, yet he had to perform the mouth-to-mouth breath to let her stay alive. She later tested positive for COVID-19.

Are the numbers of infected and the total fatalities that you see being reported by the American media and WHO fairly accurate in your opinion? Does it seem that more men are infected or dying than women?

Yes, they are pretty accurate. There are also few sites collecting precise information about each country, even on YouTube.

Have you seen an increase in racism since COVID-19 cases started appearing?

As said before, yes, we have had an escalation of crimes related to racism against our fellow citizens of Asian origin.

Are you making some of the things you need at home?

Yeah, luckily we are passionate about making our things at home, especially bread and pasta and care for our plants.

What is a typical day like now that the virus has infected so many?

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Almost empty streets, but you can still see people going outside, at least for work or to grab a coffee. I have seen some footage from Milan, and I never witnessed such scenes.

Imagine New York with just 3 or 4 cars moving and very few people outside.

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What are you doing to keep your mind healthy? Are you exercising at home or anything like that?

Usually, I would wake up early, pull out my rug and pray, then workout. Then what more, listening to the news, help mom with home cleaning and looking outside onto the streets.

I am an introvert, so I am actually enjoying my time at home. But I will surely miss my time at the gym and friends, but at least I am with my family.

I am curious to know how people are talking about COVID-19 with their children. How are the kids doing?

Interesting question. There are parents and educators who do not want to scare their kids. They teach them to wash their hands as often as possible and to not touch things. But on the other hand we have witnessed parks with many children inside playing, this is not safe for them. Again, this is Italy, so go figure…

What advice do you have for the people of the United States? Our case numbers are rising but some still are of the belief that this is similar to the flu. What do you have to say regarding that?

Guys, this is no joke. Think not only about the seriousness of the virus but also about the social and economical frame surrounding it.

Our countries are not prepared for a pandemic, and when we lack medical personnel and places, who is going to care for us? Are we going to sacrifice the oldest ones to save the younger that have a greater chance of healing and recovering?

Do not be selfish, do not spread the risk of getting the virus and stay home.

This mess is happening in a nation of the so-called “1st World”! It is Europe 2020, not a place under war or else. A healthy country after all, yet all the nation has just become a one, big Red Zone with restrictions.

No more soccer games, no more theater, cinema, nightlife, all churches, mosques, temples closed. Even the Vatican has cases of Coronavirus!

I also have friends who have lost relatives in this battle against the virus.

So please, I beg you all, be mindful. The situation is critical, it could happen to your own state, county, city, or family. You can see fear and anger in our eyes. Please, be responsible.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just that I am praying God every day for us all and I hope things to get better as soon as possible. Hope that my testimony will be a sign for other people to wake up. And I am not saying that we have to panic but to treat this thing with seriousness and act accordingly.

Thank you so much for the interview and for your support. Hugs and kisses from Italy, ciao belli!

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Italy


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7 Responses to “Inside the Red Zone: An Interview From Italy During COVID-19 Lockdown”

  1. Ciao a tutti seguo da molto queste pagine che sono una fonte di preziose informazioni ed esperienze e per questo vi ringrazio, sono un Prepper Italiano mi chiamo Alpha5819 e ho un gruppo preparato qua a Genova , quello che temevamo è successo veramente e sicuramente stiamo vivendo un brutto momento . Eravamo preparati con scorte alimentari, mascherine FFP3 e disinfettanti per una pandemia ma la realtà ci ha insegnato che non si è mai preparati totalmente e con molta umiltà stiamo correggendo i nostri errori. vivere in una città blindata senza la possibilità di muoversi ci ha confermato che la comunicazione tra il gruppo è fondamentale. Anche con una BOL preparata è stato impossibile raggiungerla e questa esperienza deve farci capire che bisogna ai primi segnali di pericolo raggiungere la BOL immediatamente. Il governo ha commesso gravi errori e se molte persone sono morte per i loro errori mentre altre persone si sono salvate solo per il loro buon senso e la capacità di adattarsi a queste situazioni. Siamo tutti in pericolo se non siamo preparati r anche preparati dobbiamo continuare e alzare il livello di attenzione e preparazione. Grazie grazie grazi per i vostri consigli e sui vari articoli scritti in questo sito. In questi ultimi due mesi abbiamo imparato che la famiglia e il gruppo fanno la differenza con il resto della popolazione e che tutto quello per cui ci eravamo preparati è accaduto. Speriamo di uscire presto da questa situazione ma credo che dovremo vivere e abituarci ai virus che sono comunque un controllo sulla popolazione.
    un caro saluto a tutti

  2. No Catholic Italian pulls out a rug and prays. no one, it’s laughable. I’m a Venetian Catholic.

    do you know anyone that has the virus or has recovered?
    – Luckily no. I hope no one will get it.

    also have friends who have lost relatives in this battle against the virus.

    You were unimaginative, lazy and incompetent in your fake interview, with the non-existent Moslem “introvert” leftist.
    I didn’t see any “hateful” comments about Italians, and if I see I don’t give a damn. Grow up, american social justice warrior

  3. incompetent lying piece of excrement. this ludicrous “interview” with a Moslem in Italy is the most obvious fakery I have seen in months

    • Actually he is not a Muslim. He prays daily sure and is a devout Christian. It is amazing to me the automatic assumptions people make. Kneeling on something to pray automatically makes you a Muslim? I am sure that even if I had taken out the part about the rug you would have found some other incredibly hateful thing to say. This article inspired a lot of racists to come out of the woodwork too. Very hateful comments about Chinese and Italian people on top of the assumptions about religion. My interview subject is not Middle Eastern. Keep on trolling and thanks for reading!

  4. I believe we can expect the same here in the USA. I’m not sure if I want to venture out. I know that is a bit irrational at this point in time. My wife and I are in our 70’s and very good health, but we have one grown son who is diabetic so I have some concerns.
    No one I know of is panicking (yet) but there is a ton of conversation going on.

    Thank you so MUCH for posting what people have been experiencing in Italy. The data showing how their virus ‘exploded’ in short order is reason enough to take precautions: avoid close contact with others as much as possible…and, of course, hand washing after touching ANY doorknobs, railings, store products, etc., used by the general public.

    There will be a HUGE economic toll throughout the world. I expect to see business failures, bank failures, stock prices continuing to tank, and perhaps thousands of other repercussions as a result of Covid 19.

    Most of the problem is panic. If people simply responded as though this were another flu epidemic, the illness would run its course and all systems would eventually ‘normalize’ and people could get back to work and daily life. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case and a lot of overreaction will make matters MUCH worse. Too bad.

    I won’t get all preachy now, but I have no fear of death. Why? Because I know in Whom I have believed. And He is able to keep me until that day when I reach Heaven’s gates. This world is not my final destination, as I am only passing through it. Keep the faith people. Or…if you haven’t trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, perhaps NOW is the time to do it?

  5. Australia has a few cases of Covid 19 at the moment. Very few people in the city are eating at cafes and restaurants.
    Fear and panic spread faster than the corona virus.

    Last week on Saturday night, I was shoved roughly in the back. I got the message loudly and very clearly: it meant get a move on and continue prepping, I don’t have much time. So I am getting a move on and getting as much as I can before we get to level 2 restrictions.

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