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Amsterdam man speaks about conditions in Italy during coronavirus pandemic

Emily De Vito and WNYT Staff
Updated: March 24, 2020 03:13 PM
Created: March 24, 2020 01:43 PM

A man from Amsterdam, New York is living through the coronavirus pandemic in Italy.

Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries during the pandemic.   

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Peter Farina owns a company called italyMondo! They have offices in Amsterdam and Southern Italy -- and when he went there at the end of February he said he never expected he'd be stuck in the house for a few months.

"Just yesterday they put a total lockdown on movement so you can't even leave the town where you are right now unless it's for emergencies," said Farina.    

Farina took a video showing the empty streets in Italy. Farina and his wife, along with their two sons, traveled there to visit the offices of his company italyMondo! -- a cultural heritage company.    

He would normally be doing heritage tours right now -- but they've been postponed.

“My friends that own B&Bs, that are private drivers things like that they've seen basically 100% cancellation all the way through the summer,” he added      

Farina also sent NewsChannel 13 video of workers, all wearing masks, at pharmacies, grocery stores and a butcher shop.      

Farina says he has concern over what is happening here in America with the number of cases skyrocketing daily.

“I still have my employees at our Amsterdam office. I have my 103-year-old grandmother at home in Fultonville, New York, so it's concerning to say the least.”      

He said what's most concerning -- is he feels America isn't uniting during this time. He says they aren’t realizing it takes a community to fight this pandemic. 

“I don't think I've heard the Italian national anthem more than I’ve heard in the last couple of weeks. There is a true sense of patriotism and that we are all in this together. I don't see that sort of solidarity in the US and that is what concerns me.”

Farina says as of now -- he's not planning to come back to Amsterdam until around August.

To hear more about Farina’s experience, click on Emily De Vito’s report. 


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