‘It can happen quickly’: U.S. nurse volunteering in Italy warns Americans


BOONE, N.C. (CNN/WTVD) — A nurse from North Carolina volunteering in Italy has a warning for Americans taking the coronavirus pandemic lightly.

We don’t want to see what’s happening here happening in the United States. It can happen and it can happen quickly. It literally was three weeks before Italy, from day one to where we’re at now has been about 3.5 weeks—and happened very fast, and it multiplied. The restrictions placed on the United States aren’t for panic or hysteria, it’s a public health strategy.

Kelly Sites

Sites is volunteering with the North Carolina non-profit Samaritan’s Purse. The group brought medical volunteers to Italy to battle the spread of COVID-19.

“We hear the sirens from when the ambulance picks up the patients and brings them to the hospital. All day, all night, it’s constantly.”

Kelly Sites

Sites says she’s been a nurse for more than two decades and has volunteered across the globe. She arrived in Italy Tuesday and says she’s never seen anything quite like COVID-19.

“The streets are mostly a ghost town, because everyone is staying home,” Sites adds.

When asked if she needed anything else from Americans, she urges people to do the right thing, and asked for prayers.

“That helps us be able to come home and take care of our families,” she says. “It’s hard to leave a disaster to come home to a disaster.”


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