What: A video from quarantined Italians, to themselves 10 days ago.
Who: Milanese filmmaking collective A Thing By.
Why we care: One of the best places on Earth to go is: Out. Have you been? It’s pretty great! There are restaurants and bars and All-Beyoncé-Day barre classes. In the dawning era of coronavirus panic, though, all of that is off the table. Or at least it should be.
Instead of social distancing and self-quarantining, some people are still trying to live, laugh, and love out loud and outside. Perhaps it’s bravado. Or denial. Maybe it’s because they heard on Fox News that it’s what they should do. In any case, whatever is driving people to ignore the advice of experts and continue the farce of business as usual during a global pandemic, it’s something they will likely regret. Take it from some people who have already been there.
Italy has been devastated by the spread of coronavirus to a degree worse than any country in the world besides China, with at least 24,747 confirmed cases and 1,809 deaths (out of a total population of about 60 million). Every day that passes tends to become the new record-holder for biggest one-day increase in fresh diagnoses. Hospitals are overflowing, and residents are now on lockdown. And it’s all because the government and its citizens didn’t take the virus seriously enough soon enough.
Like many other countries relatively late to the morbid party, America is said to be about 10 days behind Italy in terms of the spread. Although millions of Americans finally are taking every precaution, millions more would do well to heed the advice of these quarantined Italians, who recorded messages intended for the 10-days-ago version of themselves. In a video created by Milanese filmmaking collective A Thing By, several newly terrified residents of Italian cities chide themselves for their earlier skepticism and underestimation. “It’s just a flu,” one says. “This isn’t all bullshit like you thought,” confirms another. It’s disturbing to hear them describe what it’s like watching videos of Americans living their lives now as carefree as the Italians were 10 days ago, but it’s even more disturbing to think of how Americans might potentially look back on those videos 10 days from now.
Watch the full video below.