Wisconsin man living in Italy staying put amid Coronavirus fears

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MILAN, Italy (WMTV) -- A Wisconsin native living in northern Italy says he is staying put, for now, despite the spread of the Coronavirus in the region.

Trevor Olson

“Well, it’s just been panic from everyone. They’re going to the grocery story to get their food to stock up for the weeks to come,” said Trevor Olson.

Olson is a native of Black Earth, Wisconsin and lives and works in Milan, Italy as a fashion model.

“I’m not too worried. I’ve heard that it is mostly elderly people that have died from it, which is sad of course, but for myself, I’m just trying to take care of myself,” said Olson.

According the Associated Press, Italian officials have reported 11 deaths and 322 confirmed cases of the virus. The majority of the cases are concentrated in northern Italy, where Olson lives.

Olson says he’s been taking extra precautions like washing his hands thoroughly and often. “I’ve also been avoiding going on public transportation, I’ve been going around on my bike around town,” he said.

Officials believe the Coronavirus originated in China, but Italy is the first European country the virus has hit relatively hard.

“I guess I wouldn’t say I’m surprised because there is a lot of tourism in Italy and Milan so I’d imagine that contributed to all the cases that happened here,” said Olson.

Olson says around Milan a lot of people are taking the spread of the virus seriously, while others tend to have a more laid back attitude.
“There’s quite a few people who have the face masks on and there’s also a lot of people who joke about the virus, too” he said.

While the virus continues to spread in the region, Olson says the thought has crossed his mind that the time may come when he should leave the country.

“I have thought about it,” Olson said. “I guess if it gets to the point where it would be better for me to return back to Wisconsin, I would do that. But for the most part it seems over-exaggerated, everything,”