An Arbroath woman in self-isolation near Milan says life has become “surreal” but moments of joy are breaking the loneliness of lockdown.
Cally Robertson, who is originally from Timmergreens, moved to the Italian city four years ago to become a teacher.
Following a wave of deadly coronavirus throughout the country, Cally has been confined to her home as part of Italy’s efforts to halt the spread of the disease.
The former Arbroath High School pupil was put on lockdown just under a week ago, and expects to be shut in for much longer.
She described the experience as “surreal”, saying: “It’s like something from a movie, like a zombie movie or something.
“The first night we were on lockdown police were out patrolling in their cars with sirens and loudspeakers on telling people not to leave the house.
“I’ve never heard the streets so quiet before.
“It happened really fast.”
While mass gatherings have been banned, Cally’s community is finding incredible ways to lift everyone’s spirits and help break people’s isolation.
She said: “On Friday this thing was sent around on social media, which basically said that if you have a musical instrument you should go out and play it on your balcony at 6pm.
“It was great, it was like a city-wide orchestra.
“On Saturday at 12pm we all went out on our balconies and clapped for the hospital staff who are doing a really great job.
“Last night I also heard lots of noise so I went out to see what was going on.
“There was loads of people all on their balconies with flashing lights and lasers and all that.
“It was like a big rave.
“I found out later that they were doing it because a satellite picture was getting taken that night.”
Neverthless, Cally is anxious for the lockdown to end and for life to return to normal.
She said:”Every day there’s something new in the news and we all get it at the same time.
“Schools are supposed to go back in April, but most people see it continuing until the start of May.
“All we really want is for this to be over so that we can leave the house.”
Cally’s parents recently visited her, and left just one day before the region went on lockdown.
They are now both self-isolating at home in Arbroath.
The 30-year-old has also issued advice to those in Scotland, saying: “People need to not panic, just be sensible.
“Listen to the advice and just watch the news.
“You have to just take it day by day.
“Everyone should just be sensible and know the facts.”