Canada Saint John woman living in Rome describes life during lockdown
Why B.C. is not rushing toward a 'lockdown' on non-essential businesses
Premier John Horgan told reporters Monday that shuttering non-essential businesses during the coronavirus crisis was not an approach he preferred. After unveiling plans for a $5-billion relief package, Horgan was asked whether he was considering an order to close non-essential businesses, a course taken by Ontario and the United Kingdom on Monday to reduce human contact and slow the spread of the disease. "That, in my opinion, would create more confusion, rather than less," Horgan said. "Saying lockdown, saying shutdown, is very easy to do but it's difficult in reality.
Fawn Wilson White is used to the sound of honking horns and the lively chatter of tourists outside of her apartment window located in the centre of Rome, Italy.
But Rome, a city that never sleeps, has become eerily quiet, she said.
"You hear birdsong now, which you never heard before, punctuated occasionally by the wail of a siren," Wilson White said.
Italy is one of the places hardest hit by COVID-19. On Sunday the country reported more than 750 deaths, sending its total skyrocketing to 10,800.
Spain sheds nearly 900,000 jobs since coronavirus lockdown
Spain sheds nearly 900,000 jobs since coronavirus lockdownSpain, which has the world's second-highest death toll from the disease after Italy, has banned all but essential outings since March 14. This week it further tightened the lockdown with a ban on all but essential workers leaving home to go to work.
As of Monday, the country has a total of more than 98,000 infections.
Wilson White isn't among those infected, but she has watched the virus shutdown the city around her. She and her husband are headed into their fourth week of self-isolating.
"Every day we wake up, the statistics are much like the whole population of Gagetown disappearing overnight," Wilson White said.
Wilson White is the international chairman of Friends of the Certosa di Capri, an organization restoring a 14th-century monastery in Capri, Italy.
She returns to Saint John for about three months every year to visit her mom. She's hoping she'll be able to make the trip when flight restrictions are lifted.
For now, Wilson White can't even leave her own region.
Like many European countries, Italy has imposed restrictions on movement outside of the home. Italians can only leave their home once per day. It requires a permit with a time stamp on it. People are only permitted to leave their home to pick up groceries or pharmaceuticals.
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Those with a dog are allowed one extra trip outside per day to walk it.
"People with dogs … They're fighting over who gets to take the dog out because that gives you an excuse to go out twice," she said.
Fines are significant for those who go outside without a permit — up to €400, equivalent to about $625 Canadian.
Those who have COVID-19 and choose to leave their home face a fine of up to €3,000, or be sent to prison, depending on the severity of their symptoms.
Wilson White and other Italians have had to find ways to pass the time — like hosting virtual dinner parties and learning new indoor exercises with household items.
Wilson White said she's not sure how long it will take for Italy to get back to normal. Italian officials are concerned the virus will move down the peninsula to Naples, Sicily and Bari.
"The truth is we don't know and I don't think the government knows because when it gets down farther to the south it could change character," Wilson White said.
"I hope that Saint John doesn't have to experience anything like this."
Champions League 2020-2021: qualified and hats if the season is neutralized .
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