COVID-19

All of Italy is on lockdown. Here’s what life is like.

David Brancaccio Mar 10, 2020
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Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

All of Italy is on lockdown. Here’s what life is like.

David Brancaccio Mar 10, 2020
Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images
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Sixty million people have been placed on COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. You can move around for work, and trucks and delivery vans have been permitted to go about their business. And if you can show a pressing need to get around — say, for health reasons — you can also get permission.

But what about for everyone else? What is life like on the ground? The BBC’s David Willey gave us an idea. He says he and his neighbors have been able to get what they need so far.

The following is an edited transcript of that conversation.

David Willey: I now live slightly outside Rome, in a small village about 30 miles from the center of Rome. So I’m used to village life. As far as I can see, life in our village is continuing as normal.

But I noticed, for example, I went out to the local cafe and was sitting down when suddenly the local policeman turned up and warned everybody that we weren’t sitting far enough apart from each other. This was according to a new decree, you’re supposed to keep at least one meter of space between you and the nearest person.

David Brancaccio: And you saw a reference to an incident, what, today in Sicily there was a funeral procession?

Willey: In the center of Sicily, there was a funeral procession being held this morning. The police intervened and tried to stop the funeral, and issued, I think, something like 48 warning notices. The authorities are doing their best to make Italians obey the law. But I think there’s still a large uncertainty about what exactly is allowed and what is not allowed. And I think that confusion will continue during the days to come.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

New COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. How are Americans reacting?

Johns Hopkins University reports the seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday  — a record — eclipsing the previous record hit in late July during the second, summer wave of infection. A funny thing is happening with consumers though: Even as COVID-19 cases rise, Americans don’t appear to be shying away from stepping indoors to shop or eat or exercise. Morning Consult asked consumers how comfortable they feel going out to eat, to the shopping mall or on a vacation. And their willingness has been rising. Surveys find consumers’ attitudes vary by age and income, and by political affiliation, said Chris Jackson, who heads up polling at Ipsos.

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

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