An interview and photos from family in Italy

The Bianki family, who are close friends of some local Texas residents, agreed to share their story and photos of what they’ve seen first-hand in their community in Italy.

Doctors in Italy are comparing the situation at hospitals to “war-time” triage, where they are having to focus on helping the ones they can, because they cannot help them all.

“It’s not just the lethality of this virus but the fact that many people need to be hospitalized in ICU and/or hooked up to mechanical ventilators,”Bianki stated.

Bianki, who is one of the many people on lockdown with the rest of her community stated, “We had “patient one” (first Italian to be infected in Italy) on the 21st of February, and in a little over 2 weeks we are over 15,000 cases.”

She adds, “Until Monday, people weren’t really taking this pandemic seriously…people made a lot of jokes about the virus, and went out with friends. “

“Now we are in total lock down…” Bianki adds, “It is forbidden to exit your town/village, police are now enforcing this ban, you will find patrols that can fine you or even arrest you if you don’t comply. You should have a valid reason to be walking in the streets: work for example, if you are employed by some of the business places still open since all non-essential goods’ shops have been forcibly shut down and only some factories are still operating.”

This is a photo of an emergency triage outside Pisa’s hospital, taken by the Biankis just days before the lock down. Photo credit: Shigita Bianki
This photo was taken at the local grocery store where the Bianki family lives. As Bianki says, you can see “people are complying with the strict but necessary laws that put the whole country in lock down… in this case staying a mandatory 1 meter distance from each other.”
Photo Credit: Shigita Bianki