COVID-19 in Rome: Away From Home, Keeping Busy the Only Solace

Rome is deserted like never before.

My Report
3 min read

Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati

I’m a student and Mechanical Designer staying in Rome. I would like to share how the COVID-19 lockdown has changed Rome and affected us. The first case in Italy was found out in February and cases started to increase rapidly, after which the northern regions started to enforce a lockdown.

Owing to an increasing number of coronavirus cases, a state of emergency was declared.

Click here for live updates on COVID-19. Also visit Quint Fit for comprehensive coverage on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.)


Living in Rome During Lockdown

During the lockdown, essential stores like grocery shops and pharmacies continue to remain open. We are only allowed to go out of the house if we have to buy these items.

I live with four other people in an apartment close to the centre of the city. The roads are deserted as ever. The Colosseum and Vatican City, which are tourist hotspots, stand empty.

The streets near my apartment are deserted.
The streets near my apartment are deserted.
(Photo Courtesy: Sarvpriya Raj)

Each week, one of us goes to the supermarket to bring the groceries.

Apart from this, if we have to leave our house, we have to carry a self-attested document stating the reason for the same and anyone found violating the law will be fined between 400 to 3,000 euros.

When the cases started to increase at a rapid rate in Italy, I started getting calls from my extended family in Mumbai asking me to come back to India as soon as possible.

Fearing spread of the virus to my family or someone for whom it could become a life threatening situation, I decided to stay back.

Light exercise and distraction has helped me maintain a positive state of mind. I have been fortunate enough to have two projects before the lockdown started. My team and I have utilised this quarantine period extensively. I go to the balcony or window to get some fresh air whenever I don’t feel well. My cooking skills have improved, I have also been working on improving my Italian.

No rail or transport services.
No rail or transport services.
(Photo Courtesy: Sarvpriya Raj)

With regards to studying, classes are being conducted online. Working as a Teaching Assistant helped me to participate in this unique method of teaching and gain new experience.

Fortunately, the Embassy of India in Rome has constantly been in touch with Indian citizens, especially the Indian students, and has helped and guided us in every possible way.

Now, it is on us to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. It is a challenge that can be overcome as one, by following the guidelines laid down by the government. Everyone from health workers, media professionals, sanitisation workers are working so that we stay safe indoors. It is our responsibility to value the effort of all these people by staying at home and practising social distancing.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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