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West Virginia woman stays in Italy through lockdown

When COVID-19 forced Italy into lockdown, Kaitlyn Duribin had to decide either to go home or stay in a closed country. (Courtesy of Kaitlyn Durbin)
When COVID-19 forced Italy into lockdown, Kaitlyn Duribin had to decide either to go home or stay in a closed country. (Courtesy of Kaitlyn Durbin)(WSAZ)
Published: May. 24, 2020 at 6:54 PM EDT
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For native West Virginian Kaitlyn Durbin, the beginning of Italy’s nationwide lockdown was a moment she'll never forget.

“It was honestly the scariest moment of my life because I was like 'oh my god what am I going to do?’” Durbin said.

After growing up in Morgantown and starting at WVU, Durbin decided to move to Italy to study and eventually got a job in Rome as a digital public relations assistant promoting fashion products.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Italy in early March, it came to the point where she had to make a decision, come back to the United States or stay in Italy alone.

“Very hard because, the hardest decision I ever made was to go home or not during all of this,” Durbin said. “It was super hard because I wouldn't know what would happen with my family. What would happen with my job if I left it and everything it was just very, very hard.”

She decided to stay in Italy, figuring it was the best way to keep her family safe.

Staying in Italy meant had to endure the lockdown that created some of the more puzzling sights anyone living in the country have seen.

“It's so weird. I went past the Vatican the other day,” Durbin said. “There was nobody. It's just very surreal to go around Rome. You see these sights that you're used to seeing full of people completely empty, completely bare.”

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