Metro Detroit natives living in Italy, San Francisco share experiences

Shelter in place -- the term used around the world for cities on coronavirus lockdown as people are forced to stay inside their homes until further notice.

In Italy, it's been this way since March 9.

“The region I’m in - the state I’m in, there have been 385 deaths,” said Richard Kidder.

Metro Detroit native Richard Kidder lives near Naples in southern Italy with his family. The typically busy streets are empty, and checkpoints are manned by police.

“It is possible to leave the house and to go shopping but you must take a self-certification with you,” he said.

Kidder says the paperwork explains why citizens are outside - the only reasons allowed are work, medical and to buy groceries. Without the form you can be fined. His family is keeping their sanity for now, but the mandate could extend weeks, even months.

“Well it's only been a week, a week and a half, so when it gets to a month you can ask me the same question,” he said.

A world away in the San Francisco Bay Area, the first U.S. city to take the drastic measure of shelter in place, lives Lauren Brandin.

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“It's a ghost town - it’s really, really bizarre,” she said.

Brandin, FOX 2’s Jessica Dupnack’s cousin, lives in a small apartment on one of the busiest streets going into downtown San Francisco.

“There are literally no cars and normally all of these spots are taken,” she said.

On Monday, the order came down - only leave for medical reasons or groceries. There was a mad rush for food when the news broke.

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“The entire stores - both stores - were completely ransacked; there was not one item left on the shelves,” she said.

Brandin is only stepping outside when it’s absolutely necessary. She says most people are listening to the strict order -- working from home and coming up with ways to pass the time.

“We set a game night with our friends tonight virtually so all of us are going to tune at 7 p.m. and play a bunch of games,” she said.

The order in place until April 7, but officials in San Francisco warn it could be longer.

“It's scary, it’s uncharted territory,” Brandin said.