Lessons from Italy: Woman with Nashville ties fears U.S. is on same deadly track


PADOVA, Italy (WKRN) — A woman who used to work in Nashville’s country music industry is living in the thick of Italy’s lockdown.

That mandate amid the COVID-19 outbreak is nearing its one-month mark and she fears the U.S. is on that same deadly trajectory.

What are usually bustling streets are silent – the new normal for Penny Lazo.

“You cannot hear anything,” said Lazo.

The only sounds come from the Italian police, patrolling streets using megaphones urging residents to stay inside per the country’s mandated lock down.

“Sometimes you just want to take a walk in nature and get a breath of fresh air – you just can’t do that, they will fine you,” said Lazo.

In the distance, church bells now only ring to signify a life lost to coronavirus.

“What really hit home is one day we had 900 deaths in one day,” said Lazo.

Penny and her husband Alessandro have been taking the lock down seriously, starting a self-quarantine two weeks before the government mandate.

“When they did the first mandate, people decided they would take their vacation time, travel to ski, and that’s when the cases started exploding,” said Lazo.

That false sense of security Lazo said she sees among Americans and that has her worried.

“Just seeing the country go through what I think is going to be more deaths, more cases, watching it grow, is a sad thing for me,” said Lazo.

She hopes her new reality is a lesson for Americans.

“When I see my friends, some are not taking it seriously, it’s like ‘please, please, please,'” said Lazo. “Just stay home, just try. It’s not that big of a deal when you think of the lives that could be lost.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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