- Christina Higgins, who lives with her husband and three children in Bergamo, Italy, told NBC News the coronavirus lockdown in Italy is "dystopian" and "surreal."
- Italy has ordered all of its 60 million residents across the country to remain in isolation in an attempt to stop COVID-19 from spreading.
- Higgins shared a Facebook post about what her life is like "at the heart of the coronavirus crisis" in hopes of having more people take the outbreak seriously.
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An American woman who's on coronavirus lockdown in Italy said the situation is "dystopian" after her Facebook post warning others to take the pandemic seriously went viral.
Christina Higgins, who lives with her husband and three children in Bergamo, Italy, told NBC News that she and her family have been cooped up in their apartment for nearly two weeks, with only occasional trips to the supermarket.
The Italian government ordered home isolation for its 60 million residents across the country on Tuesday, in an attempt to stop outbreaks of COVID-19. Almost all stores have been closed, schools have shut their doors, and large gatherings have been canceled. People have been told to stand at least three feet apart to minimize the virus' spread. (The US CDC recommends staying 6 feet apart to prevent getting the virus.)
"It's surreal. It's dystopian," she said of the current situation in Italy, where there have been more than 12,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 827 deaths.
Italy is facing the one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 127,700 people and killed at least 4,700. The US has reported 38 deaths.
'The only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today'
Higgins and her family have not been sick, but she did share a Facebook post about what life is like "at the heart of the coronavirus crisis" in hopes that Americans would take more precautions regarding the virus.
"Each of you, today, not the government, not the school district, not the mayor, each individual citizen has the chance, today to take actions that will deter the Italian situation from becoming your own country's reality," she wrote. "The only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today."
She said on any given day during the lockdown, her family has breakfast together before her kids start their online homework. Her husband goes to the supermarket if needed, and the family plays Monopoly in the evenings.
"We have friends who are getting sick. It's very stressful," Higgins told NBC News. "I am nauseous all day long, because every time I look at the news or talk to somebody else, something terrible has happened. And I don't know what's going to happen next."
Higgins told NBC News that she made the facebook post in an attempt to "get through the disbelief phase faster.'
"The only way to stop this virus is to lift contagion," she told NBC News.
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