While the United States is still in the early stages of its widespread response to COVID-19, Italy is in a tough spot as it works to respond to the pandemic. Outside of China, no country has been hit harder by coronavirus than Italy, which has seen more than 10,000 confirmed cases and just under 650 reported deaths. It’s gotten to the point that more than 60 million people have been placed under lockdown while the country works to find a solution to the ongoing issue.
While all of this is going on, Oklahoma City Thunder forward and Italy native Danilo Gallinari is taking the floor every night with an eye on the postseason. But Gallinari is an Italian first and foremost, and during a media availability on Tuesday, he took some time to speak about what’s going on in his country.
Danilo Gallinari on the coronavirus, and the impact it’s had on his family in Italy: “Having that situation in my country … I’m just trying to make sure that all my teammates understand the situation …” pic.twitter.com/MN4GwOicPL
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) March 10, 2020
“Every day, we talk every day,” Gallinari said when asked about keeping in touch with his family. “We do that normally but especially now, multiple times a day, actually. It’s a tough situation, and hopefully we’ll be able to manage it and manage it right. The hospitals and all the health care institutions have done a great job right now managing the virus. We need all the people and the citizens to do the same thing and behave in the right way. Because that’s going to be crucial in order to not have too many people in the hospitals and have doctors not be able to handle all the pressure. It’s a tough situation, but just looking at the stats with the China situation, getting better. We can do the same thing.”
Gallinari also discussed how this is impacting his family back in Italy, mentioning that they can only leave their homes to go to the store and that his mother and uncles are unable to go see his grandmother, citing the fact that older individuals are at the highest risk to contract and suffer from the most serious side-effects from this virus.
“It’s a weird and tough situation for everybody,” Gallinari said. “And my family, too.”
According to reports, the NBA has a call with teams on Wednesday regarding coronavirus and has already advised them to have plans in place for playing games that only have essential staff members in attendance. As a precaution, the league has already announced that it will join a collection of other major professional sports leagues in closing off locker room access to members of the media.