"A huge mess is about to happen." Italians have recorded messages to themselves 10 days ago.


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.”

They explain how just two weeks ago they were going out to dinner, to the gym, to the shops, not realising the long term consequences of seemingly innocuous daily activities.

Your Covid-19 questions, answered. Post continues below. 


One man considers that perhaps if they hadn’t continued to go about their lives as normal, they wouldn’t be in this position right now.

But ultimately, the video communicates a message of hope for countries like Australia who still have time to act.

“You’re not the only person in this world,” a woman says, before another adds, “You’ll live moments of unity you never would have imagined.”

The video concludes with the words: “We underestimated this. You don’t have to. Stay at home.”

That choice – and for most Australians, it is still a choice – could make all the difference.

Feature image: Courtesy of ‘A Thing By’. 

The Australian Government Department of Health advises that the only people who will be tested for COVID-19 are those with symptoms who have either returned from overseas in the past 14 days or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days. 

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000. 

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.