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Herriman family has sister in Italy, shares concerns about COVID-19

Posted at 8:55 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 22:55:00-04

One Utah family watches as COVID-19 continues to spread across the world— their sister lives in Italy, one of the worst parts in the world for those infected with the virus.

Jim, the Robbins’ family patriarch said it’s been a while since all of his children have been all together around the family table.

“Someday we’ll be able to unite again around this table and have our dinners and laugh,” said Robbins.

As they work on their third puzzle in the last week or so, they’re all watching and eating for their family pieces to come together after COVID-19.

Robbins’ daughter, Savannah Wassom said she hasn’t been able to visit her family these past few weeks for fear of getting or spreading the virus.

“We’re not seeing our own families, I’m shutting down my business for months and then what?” said Wassom.

Feeling the personal impacts of the virus spreading here in Utah, Wassom said what scares her the most is thinking about her sister living in Italy.

“One of the worst parts in the world and she’s right in the middle of it,” said Wassom.

Jamie Cuff has been living with her husband and kids in Italy for four years—her husband works in the Air Force.

The scariest thing for Cuff is not the virus itself, but it’s how overwhelmed the Italian healthcare system is.

“Doctors are having to choose who dies, who lives,” said Cuff.

Cuff said it’s been terrible watching so many turned away from the hospital because there is no space for them inside.

Quarantined for 16 days, Cuff said she is only allowed outside of her home for three reasons: groceries, a medical emergency or for work.

It is now required to carry documents, explaining why you are leaving your house, said Cuff.

If they don’t have proper documentation, Cuff said they could be fined up to $4,000 American Dollars and/or imprisonment for six months.

At the grocery store, Cuff said Police pull out a measuring tape to make sure everyone is properly social distancing.

Every morning, police walk down Cuff’s street with a megaphone reminding them to stay inside their houses.

Amidst all of this, Cuff said Italian families decided to teach their children that they can get through this together.

“They painted pictures with the saying, “andrà tutto bene” which means everything will be alright,” said Cuff. “We have these painted pictures on our doors.”

A reminder to hold on to hope— something Cuff shares with her family back in Utah.

“We’ll unite together as a family,” said Robbins. “The love is still great, greater now.”