A FORMER Hillfoots rugby player living in the country hit hardest by coronavirus has shared his advice on coping with life during lockdown.

Martin Edgar lives with his wife and two children in Italy, where the virus – also called Covid–19 – has been linked to more than 7,500 deaths and spread to 74,000 people.

The 43-year-old recently spoke to the Advertiser, and warned Wee County residents of how quickly the virus can spread.

Speaking about his experience in Italy, Martin said: "So, it's not a case of if someone close to you catches it, it's more a case of when.

"We live just outside Torino in a village called Chieri, and we all thought it wouldn't affect us out here – how wrong we were.

"Slowly, as case by case is revealed, you find people you know have been infected with it and slowly the realisation is there: If you don't take action you will get it."

The action people should take is simple: Follow the government's advice and stay at home.

For Martin in Italy, that means complying with the Italian government's ban on all non-essential travel.

The same now applies to everyone in Clackmannanshire, with residents only allowed to leave home for essential work, shopping, medical reasons, and one form of exercise per day.

Stressing how important these measures are, Martin said: "You just can't ignore the advice to stay in, you need consider not just yourself, but everyone around you.

"You may not be in the vulnerable age bracket or have underlying health issues, but plenty of people around you are, and you are putting them at risk if you don't follow the lockdown rules."

And no matter how hard lockdown may become, Martin urged people to keep in mind that there are a lot of others who are unable to remain safe in their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "When you're on lockdown stick by the rules and give a thought to all these others who can't go on lockdown, because they are there to serve you and look after you."

Those people include shop workers, National Health Service workers, police, cleaners and many more.

Martin said: "They are on the front line of this pandemic, day in, day out, so do your bit and stay in.

"Most of all, stay motivated and make the most of your family time.

"If we stick to the advice it will be over a lot quicker with a lot less people affected."


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