MN native people living in Italy see more COVID restrictions | Instant News


A Minnesota native living in Italy experiences more severe restrictions due to a coronavirus outbreak than what they experienced in his hometown. Wallis Di Matteo experienced a “we are together” attitude in which some complained about being told that they could not even walk in the park without wearing protective masks.

“It seems like Italians are almost bound together like this and this is what they do to save their country,” Di Matteo told Dave Lee at WCCO Morning News.

Italy is the earliest hotspot in the pandemic, running a large number of confirmed cases and deaths, surpassing the epicenter of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Government leaders in Italy locked several countries on March 8, expanding orders throughout the country two days later. Nearly a month later, the restrictions were increasingly stringent, with Italian health leaders reporting more than 94,000 active cases and more than 16,000 deaths.

“That number seems to be a plateau, maybe down a little, but we haven’t come out of the forest,” said Matteo, who grew up on the Red Wing and now lives on the outskirts of Milan in northern Italy. “We can go out one person per household at a time to get supplies,” he said, noting that there were queues to enter the grocery store and the number of people allowed to enter at one time was very limited. “There is a lack of flour,” Di Matteo said. “Which makes sense here, because everyone makes pasta.”

When someone goes out in Italy, they are required to wear protective masks. They must also have personal documents filled out every day, and it is common, almost automatic, for officials to stop anyone on the road to ask for their purpose. Leaving the city is not possible unless asked for a job or medical appointment.

Related: Have a story about someone who helped your community #StayConnectedTogether? Nominate them here

The restrictions apply until April 13, and Di Matteo hopes the rules will be extended.

“I really don’t see the argument here,” Di Matteo said of full compliance. “Everyone unites and does what they have to do to keep everyone safe.”

Listen to all of Wallis’s interviews with Dave Lee here:



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