With the coronavirus making its way around the world, many people are concerned about friends and loved ones overseas. Jerry Stanfield, pastor of Childrey Baptist Church, has had concerns for the safety of the church’s missionaries, including Gladys native Jillian Nash.

Nash works in South America with an indigenous people group in Colombia. She has been under an enforced quarantine for almost seven weeks. “You can only leave your house or apartment once a week, depending on the last digit of your ID number, to go to the grocery, doctor, or pharmacy.” They are allowed to walk their pets and go to work with a special permit if they are considered essential.

Nash said she is “more concerned about my family in the U.S., where there are far more cases.” When asked about penalties for breaking quarantine, she says that most people are subject to a “$300 fine, and up to 4-8 years in prison.

The laws, however, are different for the indigenous people, as they are often self-governed. In cases of breaking quarantine within the local Zenu tribe, “they use stocks as a common punishment, so indigenous leaders are also putting people who have broken lockdown into the stocks for a few hours.”

According to Nash, avoiding quarantine is common among the indigenous people, because the Zenu “work day to day for earnings and are unable to provide for their families during lockdown.” If they are not allowed to go out and work, then they are not able to feed their families. She says Brookneal’s Childrey Baptist Church, Baptist Global Response, and individual donations have been sending funds to help with food costs, once quarantine is over and she is able to get to the reservation.

Cheryl Devlin Fredrichs, owner of Everything Under the Sun in Brookneal, has been concerned ever since she heard the virus originated in Asia, where her son Cody Fredrichs teaches English in Daegu, South Korea. Their family has lived in the Nathalie area for over 25 years, and Cody moved to South Korea three years ago. The mother said she was “was scared to death,” because he had never been very far from home, and with the coronavirus, she was worried for his safety. Thankfully, she says, he has been safe and avoided the virus.

Brookneal native Travis Watson is a basketball coach at a private school in Milan, Italy. He says they have been locked down since the end of February, and the country has been “locking down in steps.”

The Italian government initially limited flights, travelling, and closed most businesses, and by the beginning of March issued a stay at home order, so people could only go out for essentials. Watson says, “just like Americans, Italians didn’t take it serious at first.” Breaking quarantine restrictions now includes “a fine and jail time.” He says that he lives on a smaller street, so he hasn’t seen it being enforced first-hand, but people are required to have “a paper downloaded off of the internet to walk just to get out of the house.”

Watson said they are not able to hoard the same types of food as people can in the U.S., because their refrigerators and freezers are smaller. The local stores require gloves and masks for anyone coming into the store, even when there was a shortage on masks. He has been thankful to live directly across the street from a good store, so he has been able to find everything he needs.