PUTIGNANO, ITALY (WWNY) - A couple from Ogdensburg is in Italy, a country that's in lockdown because of COVID-19.
Virginia and Nicholas Serio are in southern Italy, where they live for a few months of the year.
Since March 8, the entire country has been in lockdown. Italy has the world's second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases - more than 74,000. Hospitals are overwhelmed.
While the Ogdensburg couple is allowed to go for walks within short distances from their home, they can't leave town and the only places open are grocery stores and pharmacies.
“When you go through the grocery store, there certainly is raised anxiety. Everyone has a deer in the headlights look,” said Nicholas.
They say only one family member is allowed to go to the store and you have to wait your turn to come inside.
"There's yellow and black tape on the ground so that you don't stand next to another person, you abide by the 1 meter rule and you take a number like you do at a deli counter and the police will call your number," said Virginia.
When your number is called, they say you have to sanitize your hands and put on gloves before entering.
They say the stores there are pretty well stocked. They don't have the same problem with toilet paper.
They too have had trouble finding hand sanitizer and masks, so Nicholas has made his own for when he goes out. They say about 90 percent of people are wearing masks all the time.
While precautions are being taken, when the Serios return from the store, they are sanitizing everything.
"Credit cards, car keys, money. The bags that the vegetables were in were quickly taken out of those bags and put into clean bags and Nick washes his avocado with antibacterial soap, oranges, antibacterial soap, because you don't know who else has touched them," said Virginia.
While the Serios haven't been able to spend time with extended family that live nearby or travel like they planned on doing, they say at least they're quarantined in beautiful Italy.
"It's nicer than just any place I'd wanna be if I was gonna be in quarantine," said Nicholas.
The couple had planned to return home on April 30, but right now they are unsure if they will be able to get back to the U.S then.