Chicago woman shares her experience of lockdown in Venice, Italy

As the COVID-19 emergency has escalated dramatically, Chicagoans abroad in Italy have shared their experience of life on lockdown.

Gichele Adams has called Milan home for the last three and a half years.

Gichele runs, a travel site offering Chicago accommodations and is grateful for Italian healthcare.

She returned from the hospital with her newborn, Juno, just before the Italian coronavirus infection rate skyrocketed. Soon after, the whole country was on lockdown.

"Before the shut down I went out, I was walking and it was just the beginning of everyone being nervous about people with colds and things and I saw a man coughing, not covering his mouth, and and I was just like 'how are you in the streets like this?'"

"We haven't seen our family now in weeks and generally we get together every Sunday and have lunch together," she said.

She warned Chicagoans back home to brace themselves.

"Take this seriously," she said. "Do the quarantine. Suck it up. Order some Lou Malnati's, I miss that pizza."

Bottom line, she said, "stay inside and do your best to stay positive."

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A Chicago woman is one of roughly 60 million people on lockdown in Italy.

Shannon Wysocki has also been stuck in her apartment with only views of the outside world. Adams and Wysocki are among the roughly 60 million people on lockdown in Italy.

"We are completely quarantined to our homes with the exception of getting food, going to the bank or going to or from work or going to the pharmacy," she said.

Wysocki realized that she needed special papers to walk around after police stopped her on the street.

"This is a red zone," police told her. "You cannot leave your apartment."

These efforts are meant to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has already reportedly pushed Italy's healthcare system to the limit.

Wysocki was unaware of the severity until Venice changed and the carnival crowds began disappearing.

She had a message for Americans.

"Stay home, please. We need to protect each other," she said.
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