“A lot of it is the fear of the unknown,” said Abbie Synan, 37, from Pittsburgh, a full-time traveler and writer. “I’ve not really seen something that has gotten people so nervous since maybe 9/11.”
Synan was spending time on the Sardinian coast as the outbreak erupted in Italy, with plans to make her way slowly to Sicily for a conference. Instead, she decided to retreat and take short flights through Spain and toward Paris, staying away from any hot spots, hoping to make it back home without interruptions before her sister gave birth.
Italians have stressed that most of Italy is safe
Many Italians, as well as foreigners living abroad, have stressed on social media that the most of nation is safe, and have tried to portray a country that is calm and managing still to enjoy its aperitivi. For those who still make it to the country, they find an Italy that is more Italian than ever, stripped of the Disneyland crowds in Venice and central Rome. Some in the tourism business make the argument that Italy is potentially safer than other European countries, because its testing for coronavirus has been so comprehensive, and the scale of the outbreak is better understood. [read more]