San Diegan living in Italy urges others to stay inside

Posted at 6:02 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 21:02:05-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Bea Pesenti recently moved back to Italy after living in San Diego for more than a decade, now she and her fiance are quarantined in their apartment.

"I do worry about if this continues, how can we afford to live? How anyone can afford to live if you're not working," Pesenti asked.

For the last two weeks she has been unable to work or leave her home, unless it's to get groceries.

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"We’ve been on lock down since March ninth," she said. "The issue that I’m starting to feel is there’s no light at the end of the tunnel."

Italy's death toll has risen to more than 4,000. Pesenti said every hour she would hear ambulance sirens driving by her home, a painful reminder of the devastation caused by the coronavirus.

"Had we done things differently, maybe we would be looking at that end of the tunnel," she said. "As a person from Milan, I could have never imagined a city like this being shut down like that."

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Pesenti believe if they had social distancing and orders to stay home earlier, things may have been different.

"We didn't have any examples," she explained. "Now there are examples out there of what you can do that is right and what you shouldn’t do."

She's urging loved ones in San Diego to take any public health orders seriously.

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"I worry a lot about where San Diego is headed, where the United States, and where so many other countries are headed," she said. "It’s a huge temporary sacrifice for a lot of us, whether its losing our job, not seeing family, but it will only get us out of it sooner."

The U.S. State Department issued a level four travel advisory Thursday, asking American citizens to avoid traveling internationally or immediately return to the U.S. if they are already overseas, or possibly prepare to remain abroad for an indefinite amount of time.

Pensti said she and her fiance already planned to stay in Italy.

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They are clinging on to hope that their lives may return to normal, and they will be able to celebrate their wedding in September and his graduation in December.

For now, she leaves San Diegans with this message, "Just act responsibly, take this seriously, stay home, it's a small sacrifice but it's the only way."