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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020

'We're going to stick it out': Irishman and family in self-imposed quarantine in Italy during coronavirus lockdown

“Myself and my wife are lucky because we can work online most of the time,” Vincent Healy said.

File photo. A man wearing protective gloves in an Italian supermarket
File photo. A man wearing protective gloves in an Italian supermarket
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

AN IRISHMAN SAYS he and his family put themselves into a voluntary quarantine in their Italian home before the Government introduced a lockdown in parts of the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Vincent Healy from Baldoyle, county Dublin now living in Paderno d’Adda, in Lombardy, said he agreed with the decision made to close schools, universities and museums.

There are around 50,000 people on a supervised lockdown in another region and he says this means people in that region face prison if they leave their homes.

It comes after Irish citizens were advised to avoid travelling to areas in Italy that are affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus. Five people have died from the virus in Italy and over 200 have been diagnosed.

Vincent, his wife Paola and their two young children live around 30 minutes drive from Milan and he said that before the number of cases rose quickly at the weekend, “we had decided to quarantine ourselves anyway”.

“So for the weekly shop in the local supermarket we thought let’s fill it up a bit more, so we got extra rice and pasta, the non-perishables.”

They have been in a self-imposed quarantine since Saturday night and he said, “we are going to stick it out.”

Their motivation was to keep their children, aged 3 and 4 well, and he said, “the worst thing you can do is think everything is okay when it is not. It is not a problem yet but if people do not stay at home they are going to create a problem.”

“We know there is a 2-14 day incubation period so what we are going to do is sit it out for a minimum of 14 days if we have to, until the Government lift the ban.”

“We are in unsupervised lockdown, it is just voluntary, all the schools in the region of Lombardy are closed so our kids are home from school. Myself and my wife are lucky because we can work online most of the time.”

He said anyone who can work remotely is doing so and as a result in Milan, “there are skyscrapers that are completely evacuated, anybody who works on a computer with access to the Internet is staying at home.”

He has heard stories of people panic buying and “saying their fridges are at bursting. A lot of the Irish are saying it was completely crazy, that the supermarket shelves were cleared out on Sunday afternoon.”

He supports the moves by the Italian government to contain the virus and said, “that is not panicking, that is being sensible.”

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Elaine Keogh

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