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Italian Palomar student speaks out on coronavirus quarantine

Some foreign students at Palomar College did not get to visit their home during spring break, especially those who came from Italy.

Veronica Cristellon is an illustration major from Trento, a city near the Lombardy region of Italy where the COVID-19 outbreak started, and is worried about her family who lives there.

“When I heard about the lockdown, even though my area is not severely affected, I have felt helpless and worried,” she wrote in an email. “I am mainly worried for my grandparents. They are in their house alone, but luckily my uncle can visit them a few times and help them.”

Veronica Cristellon
Palomar student Veronica Cristellon in the Student Union. Photo by Nick Ng/The Telescope

Because her husband works in France, Cristellon decided to fly out there in mid-March. “I was scared not to see him for a very long time,” she said.

The first cases of COVID-19 in Italy came from an older Chinese couple from Wuhan who was traveling in Rome and Milan in late January. They were hospitalized after they had severe flu-like symptoms.

In mid-February, the first case of COVID-19 in the Lombardy region came from a 38-year-old man who developed flu-like symptoms, which had spread to health care workers where he was hospitalized.

Between February 16 and March 9, the number of cases in Italy shot up from three cases to nearly 9,200 cases with 483 deaths. As of April 22, 2020, Italy has more than 188,000 confirmed positive cases and more than 25,000 deaths, ranking third behind Spain and the U.S.

However, since April 20, the number of active cases has dropped, showing the lowest number of deaths in a week and a slowdown of the COVID-19 spread. It may be a sign that Italy, and Lombardy region, in particular, is starting to “flatten the curve.”

Cristellon started her associate’s degree in illustration in August 2019 and is currently on hold in her academic pursuits. Although she is still somewhat worried about her visa and studies, she is optimistic that she will complete her program on time.

“This [pandemic] didn’t stop my wish to study, and I will continue to learn, for the moment, online.”



Image Sources

  • Veronica Cristellon 2020: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • Veronica Cristellon 2020: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
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