SoCal student who sang opera from balcony for quarantined neighbors in Italy shares firsthand experience staff KABC logo
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Local student studying abroad now home describes lock down
A Southern California student who was studying in Rome when the coronavirus pandemic broke out helped keep her neighbors' spirits up by singing opera from the balcony.

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- You've seen the videos of Italians coming together to sing their hearts out from their balconies and windows. They're making the best of it as the country remains quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They sing, but uncertainty is everywhere.

One local student, who spent her last few days singing and sharing her opera-singing talents with her Italian neighbors while studying in Rome, has now made it back home to Southern California.

Lauren Lugo describes what it was like being on lockdown during the coronavirus outbreak.

"They kept telling us the pharmacies will remain open. That is the one business that will stay open."

She says that was not that case for long. The pharmacies shifted to servicing customers through small windows.

Lugo has been studying for the past few years at American University. The aspiring opera singer and broadcast journalism student loves Rome and feels like an Italian at heart.

"When you didn't hear an ounce of sound. And for Rome that is very ominous because Rome is just hustling and bustling with noise and vivacious."

Lugo remains hopeful. She sees people pulling together and keeping their current life in perspective.

"I think this is where the phenomenon of music is coming from because people are going back to how they got through years in history when they went through crisis."