At last count, 35,713 people in Italy – the young the old, the healthy and the sick, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Almost 3000 people have died. The eldest was aged 95. The youngest, 39.
Obituaries which last month took up just one page of a local newspaper, now spill out over 10.
Hospital laundry rooms have become waiting rooms, and the Lombardy region is going ahead with building a 400-bed ICU hospital at the Milan fairgrounds, despite the fact they do not have the ventilators to fill it, or the health workers to staff it.
Doctors and nurses are currently working 18-hour shifts, and some patients must be prioritised above others. The health system is so overwhelmed that the death toll will inevitably be higher than it could have been, had they the resources to meet demand.
This week, a collective of filmmakers in Milan put together a now viral video, which compiles recordings from Italians now quarantined in their own homes, sharing messages to themselves from 10 days ago.
“It is believed that the US, England and France are 9 to 10 days behind Italy in COVID19 progression,” the video begins.
You can watch the full video here. Post continues below.
“We asked people from all around Italy to record a message for themselves 10 days ago.”
They begin by sharing, “I’m speaking to you from the future…”
Another warns, “A huge mess is about to happen.”
One woman wearing a face mask remarks, “I even used to make fun of people wearing masks…”
The men and women tell their former selves, “the worst case scenario… that’s exactly what will happen.”
Just 10 days ago, one man says, filming himself on his iPhone, 2000 people were infected. Now, that number is 18,000. Since the filming of this video, that number has almost doubled.
Listen to The Quicky: Can I go to the shops? What life is really like in Covid-19 lockdown. Post continues below.
The messages piece together a story of a country that less than two weeks ago underestimated how quickly this virus could spread. It’s more serious than any of the world believes, we’re told.
Italians share pertinent insights, like, “A whole nation stuck at home. Didn’t see that coming, uh?” and “You’ll realise that even just being able to breathe air in your own house… it’s something you should already be grateful for.”