He and others left the US Navy base adjacent to Naples airport to explore the Amalfi Coast.
“Very beautiful,” said Reinert, Duluth Reserve in the world-centered Duluth who has spoken with the News Tribune from Afghanistan in the past. “The cliffs fell into the Mediterranean Sea. We were on a hiking trail, Path of the Gods, and it was amazing to finally get out and see a little of Italy and travel through a small community.”
Reinert, a former state legislator representing Duluth, is a lieutenant commander and communications specialist. He was deployed to Italy in April to lead the COVID-19 crisis action team for the Navy’s Sixth Fleet. The team reports on local and international pandemic renewals for four and three star admirals in command at a pair of bases in and around Naples.
“This is a gift,” Reinert said of his placement. “I feel we have made a very productive contribution, and the appreciation from Italy is huge.”
After a brutal winter that overwhelmed hospital facilities, Italy, with 32,330 deaths due to COVID-19, has abolished restrictions quickly because the number of cases and deaths has decreased.
Reinert said the restrictions in the United States were nothing compared to Italy. Travel continues to be restricted to the province – the equivalent of a county of the United States – and anyone who goes out needs to have official papers to show the authorities.
“This will never happen at home – police checkpoints and must carry papers,” Reinert said.
Before relaxing restrictions, Reinert, an avid runner, “prison training” on Google and “how to cut your own hair,” to hang on to the base.
“Both of them proved to be needs,” he said.
On weekends, he was allowed to take the shuttle to a larger inland base, where Reinert would run along an interior fence line. It was there that he could see the family walking outside their home one day in early May when some restrictions were lifted.
“I will always remember it,” he said. “You can feel their excitement from something as simple as taking a walk on a Sunday morning as a family. Seeing them out for the first time in three months only made the heart see. ”
Traffic that only includes shipping and commercial vehicles returning to the highway. After a long period of not exercising outdoors, such as running or cycling, that limitation is now lifted.
Reinert spoke with local residents who worked at the base. They are people who like to get along socially and like to watch the conversation, he said. They also don’t take it for granted.
“You can feel it, like,‘ We sacrificed a lot to get to this point and we won’t mess it up by ignoring things like wearing face masks, or breaking long-distance restrictions or physical travel, ‘”he said. “They really adhere to the guidelines.”
Because the restaurant has closed without takeout or delivery, Reinert has eaten the 7-11 version of the Navy at 7-11, he said. The dining room and food court were closed in honor of Italy’s restrictions, although the Navy was not required to do so.
“We want to be good neighbors,” Reinert said.
That left him in the position of wanting to get things back home. He is targeted to return in the coming weeks.
“I’ll eat,” he said, acknowledging the irony of being in Italy and not being able to taste the food. “I can’t wait to go to Love Creamery, Johnson’s Bakery. I will spend some serious money at our local restaurant. ”
On June 3, Italy is scheduled to lift travel restrictions, allow transfers between provinces and accept foreigners as tourists.
“That is the thing that makes most Italians nervous,” Reinert said, “that tourists will not comply with guidelines or restrictions if they come from places that have not implemented the same rules.”
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