Local News

Morgan Pilley – Expats take on COVID-19

Originally from Yamba, Morgan Pilley has been residing in Arrone in Central Italy from the past 8 years. As a Professional Athlete, this mountain bike rider and runner gives us his take on how COVID-19 is effecting him on the other side of the world.

Describe what it’s like where you are due to the impact of Covid-19 at the moment, how is self isolating impacting on you and how you are currently spending your day?

I’m sure everyone knows how Italy is fairing and how bad it is here. I’m relatively lucky to be in central Italy, as the worse hit area is the Lombardia region in the north, although it’s only about 5 hours away. Italians are passionate people and there is a togetherness feeling. But it is heartbreaking to hear and see what is happening.

We have been under strict lockdown for over a month now and will be for at least another month. I haven’t been further than 50m from my home for the entire period, as you need a strict reason for doing so ie. Food, pharmacy, etc. I live in a small town of about 1200 people, which is fortunate as the local supermarket home delivers. The weather is really good at the moment so most days I also spend outside playing with my daughter, as schools are also closed.

I have a driveway of about 50 meters in length that I run up and down every day for training, some days up to about 20 – 30kms at a time, and I also do other exercises to keep my fitness up as best as possible. My racing calendar has been wiped until at least August for now and probably for longer. Hopefully I’ll be able to compete this year. For me professionally, this will affect me for at least 12 – 18 months.

It’s an unprecedented situation, so you do the best you can.


Is there anything different in your country’s environment, are you living under martial law? What is allowed and what’s not allowed?

In some areas the army is on the streets to help, as the manpower is needed, but there’s no issue or problem as everyone is quite unified. Some towns have been placed under complete quarantine due to large number of infected cases, which means all roads are physically blocked and no one is allowed to enter or leave, which is quite surreal.

Everyone is literally at home and the country has stopped.

Infections and deaths are on the downward trend here but the restrictions have been extended until May.


Any message for family and friends back home?

Take it easy and adhere to social distancing. Stay at home and try to keep busy. It might be boring but it really isn’t worth the risk.


Read about how others are coping around the world with COVID-19  in this series:

Donna Lobban: www.clarencevalleynews.com.au/donna-lobban-expats-take-on-covid-19

Cameron Pilley: www.clarencevalleynews.com.au/cameron-pilley-expats-take-on-covid-19

Leon Gulaptis: www.clarencevalleynews.com.au/leon-gulaptis-expats-take-on-covid-19