The coronavirus crisis is personal for Arizona Wildcats point guard Nico Mannion, whose family hails from Italy, where COVID-19 is devastating the country.
As of now, there are over 35,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy, and nearly 3,000 deaths. There are roughly 3,500 new cases per day, and though more than 60 million Italians are in lockdown, the rate of infection continues to rise at an alarming rate as the healthcare system is being stretched beyond its limit.
The United States has not been hit as hard, currently sitting at just over 9,000 confirmed cases (that’s only 28 cases per a million people compared to 591), but naturally that number has risen sharply as testing has become more widely available, with over 2,800 new cases (and counting) being added to the ledger Wednesday.
The pandemic has forced local governments to implement policies that encourage social distancing, closing gathering spaces like bars, restaurants and gyms until further notice.
Some—like these unruly beachgoers in Florida—aren’t taking it seriously. Mannion is urging them to.
“For the ones out there that think the USA is overreacting, please pay attention to the numbers!” he wrote on Twitter. “This virus has greatly affected my beautiful country. I have isolated loved ones over there that have been in isolation for two weeks now. I just want to create awareness.
“Remember, we have the ability to control the spreading of COVID-19. Please, everyone try and do their part by staying inside or making sure to keep your distance from others if possible. Even though you know you will probably survive this virus, there are many people that will not. Let’s work together and help put an end to this by social distancing and remembering to always wash your hands! Stay strong Italy! Forza Italia!”
In addition to social distancing and washing your hands, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking people to:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.