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An Indiana family living in Italy describes life under lockdown overseas

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Posted at 9:37 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 09:37:53-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As people in the United States begin to adjust to the new reality of COVID-19 restrictions, some Americans who live in Italy have already spent more than a week in self-quarantine.

An Indiana woman, Sarah, and her husband are stationed in Italy for the military. The couple and their five children have been on lockdown in their Naples town for more than 10 days.

The family has lived in the country for two years, traveling and making friends. It's felt like home. But this past week has been a challenge.

"Right now we're at a point where nothing is open publicly except for pharmacy and grocery stores," Sarah said.

If the family needs groceries, Sarah said she has to carry a certificate stating why she left her home in case she is stopped by police."

"We really can't leave our homes at all," she said.

Which is not a huge challenge for their family. The kids, all between ages 3-11, are typically homeschooled, so they do schoowork in the morning. However, the family has to get creative in the afternoons and evenings.

"Last night my husband camped out with them in our yard," Sarah said.

Sarah said her family paid attention to the spreading coronavirus, but she said they didn't think it would get to this point.

"Honestly, I don't think many of us took it seriously until the decree was announced, until the lockdown was announced," she said. "People were still exercising their freedom as much as they were allowed."

Sarah said the issue they hear the most about is that hospitals in Italy are overburdened, so she is glad to see the emphasis on flattening the curve in the United States to hopefully slow down the impact of it happening here.

Asked if she had any advice for friends in the U.S., Sarah said to take the situation seriously.