Saturday 5 December, 2020

Jamaican in Italy outlines 'intense situation' amid coronavirus crisis

Anderson... Things are really kinda grim

Anderson... Things are really kinda grim

A Jamaican fashion journalist living in Milan says that he is adjusting to the new curfew-like reality of living in Italy since the government declared a lockdown of the country of 60 million and implemented draconian nationwide restrictions on movement aimed at slowing the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"Things are really kinda grim, Milan is on lockdown until April 3rd, and the police are everywhere outside, walking around and checking people, all the businesses except for supermarkets, hospitals and pharmacies are closed, it's getting really intense," Jordan Anderson told Loop News.

He said that the mood on the streets of Milan remains uncertain, as people are unsure as to how they will cope stuck at home for days-on-end and with many anxious about their next paycheck. Media reports say that some Italian residents are being fined up to 70 euros if they are caught outside without the correct permission to leave their homes.

"The lockdown is feeding fears, people are afraid and the coronavirus is spreading fast. Everyone is trying to stay as calm as possible. I have four Jamaican friends and none of them have it (coronavirus), everyone is pretty OK, and staying with their families," he said.

Italy is the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, with over 15,000 infections and 1,000 deaths.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 12, 2020, a woman gets out of a deli meat and cold cuts shop in Codogno, Italy, the northern Italian town that recorded Italy’s first coronavirus infection.

It has already affected the Italian economy, which saw stocks slide almost 17 per cent on Thursday, the biggest one-day loss in value on record. The Italian government was due to approve Friday a plan of how it will spend the first package of around US$13.5 billion out of US$28 billion set aside to tackle the economic impact of the virus.

Anderson is a freelance contributor to Vogue Italia, and he also does freelance work with a US publication, the Document Journal. He has lived in Milan for three years and is now near-fluent in Italian. The Italian city of Milan is recognised internationally as one of the world's most important fashion capitals, along with Paris, New York and London.

"The stock market is hurting and people are worried about their income. A lot of my assignments have been cancelled because of event cancellations,"  the 21 year-old who graduated from Ardenne High school, said. 

"There is some amount of panic-buying, but the government has the capacity to deal with it as there is no shortage of goods," he continued. "There are lines outside the supermarkets but it is pretty orderly, as they don't let everyone in at one time. There are no masks, but there is no price gouging on other items like hand sanitizer , but certain items are more expensive in the Arab and Chinese shops."

Anderson praised the community spirit (spirito di solidarietà) of the Italian people who have rallied together at a difficult time in their history. 

"Several persons have set up GoFundMe accounts; one Italian celebrity raised over 3 million euros for a hospital in less than 24 hours. Dolce and Gabbana partnered with a medical agency; Elizabetha Franchi made a huge donation; Giorgio Armani has donated over 1 million euros to a range of Italian hospitals and institutions involved in fighting the coronavirus spread in the country. That has given hope and everyone is rallying around and working together," Anderson said.  

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