Europe

Italians send powerful messages to the world about what they wish they'd known 10 days ago

Residents in Italy have filmed messages, hoping the rest of the world will learn from their mistakes by taking preventative action in the COVID-19 outbreak. Source: The Atlantic

Italian residents have recorded messages to their past selves about what they wish they had known about the novel coronavirus 10 days ago, before the entire nation was put into lockdown and the death toll surpassed 2,000.

"I am you in 10 days."

"A huge mess is about to happen." 

"And I'm also pretty sure you're underestimating it." 

Italian residents, confined to their homes as the country tries to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19, have given powerful messages to their past selves that they want to be heard around the world. 

Italy is the epicentre of the Europe outbreak, where nearly 25,000 people have already been infected with the virus and more than 2,000 have died. In Australia, 375 cases had been confirmed on Tuesday and five people had died.

In the video posted to The Atlantic, 10 residents talk about what they have learned during the outbreak and what they wish they had done differently. It was created by young filmmaker Olmo Parenti, who said like many Italian citizens, she did not take the threat of the pandemic too seriously. 

"I know you're busy, but wait a second," a young man said in the video.

All 10 residents have a sense of urgency. 

"I'm speaking to you from the future," another said. 

"Up until 10 days ago, I went to meetings for work, I'd go to dinner with friends, to the gym," a woman tells the camera.

A health worker at the front line of the pandemic featured in the video.
A. Italian health worker at the front line of the pandemic featured in the video.
The Atlantic

"What is happening is much worse than you thought it was... You'll realise that even just being able to breathe air in your own house is something you should already be grateful for." 

According to The Atlantic video, the United States, England, and France are believed to be about 10 days behind Italy in virus progression.

In the video, ten residents ask the rest of the world to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously to avoid being in lockdown like their country.
In the video, ten residents ask the rest of the world to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously to avoid being in lockdown like their country.
The Atlantic

The Italians in the moving video talked about overcoming adversity to band together, encouraging other countries to do the same. Their key message was "you're not the only person in the world", and if people have to self-isolate, take the time to relax, read a book, enjoy a movie or learn a new skill. 

"So maybe re-think your Saturday night plans," one of the 10 residents said in the clip.

"And who knows? Maybe had you stayed at home then, I wouldn't have to be home now." 

In another message for the world that has gone viral, "love letter from Italy", author Maris Garreffa says coronavirus is the world's chance to learn what it means to take something seriously "while, at the same time, refusing to panic or be pulled into excessive fear".

The virus is an opportunity to face a crisis as one, she said.

"Our politics will change after this, our economies will change after this, our ideas about what it means to be a global citizen will change after this," Ms Garreffa said. "Let’s allow it to bring us closer together, rather than further apart."

As of Tuesday afternoon, only Australians who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are advised to be tested.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

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