SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- One country that was hit especially hard early on during this coronavirus pandemic was Italy.
A former San Diego resident living in Milan said things have finally started returning to normal after a strict lockdown that lasted longer than two months.
“There’s a feeling of hope,” said Bea Pesenti. “Obviously now it’s in a rebuilding phase.”
Pesenti and her fiancé, Wilson, moved from San Diego to Milan in August of 2019.
10News first interviewed Pesenti in March when Italy was struggling with the spread of COVID-19.
“We have been in the heart of it,” she said. “When I spoke to you last, the situation felt really dramatic because we really were in ground zero.”
The couple was holed up in their Milan apartment for more than two months.
“We were in a very, very severe lockdown,” she explained. “You heard the sirens, and you really just felt this heavy energy.”
Fast forward today, Pesenti said she finally sees a return to a sense of normalcy.
“The lockdown has ended, the businesses have reopened,” she said.
“We immediately saw family because that was the priority for us. Kind of enjoyed being able to take bike rides and going to the park but still limiting our contact.”
She said businesses have new safety guidelines in place, and face masks are required in public.
There were 70 deaths reported in the country on Thursday, a drastic drop from the 919 reported on March 27.
“I think people really needed to have this easement and get back to life,” she said. “Not only from an economic standpoint but being locked in your house for 80 days is just unnatural.”
Pesenti hopes things will go smoothly as more of the country begins reopening.
“We haven’t had this second wave, so to speak, so hopefully it continues this way,” she said.
And she has a piece of advice for San Diegans as our restrictions start to loosen, “I hope people really, really think hard and make the right decisions even as things ease up, still be mindful and considerate of other people’s comfort level.”
A restriction on travel between Italian regions is expected to be lifted in early June, however, officials warn that could change if there is a spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.