Italians have a message for the US, the UK, France, and other places that are behind them in the COVID-19 progression: don’t underestimate the virus and keep safe.

Recently, A THING BY asked quarantined people of all ages and living all over Italy to record a video message to themselves from 10 days ago about taking measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus before it devastated the country.

The clips were then compiled together and published on YouTube, where they received nearly 6M views in just a few days. Hopefully, this is just the beginning and more people will see it and catch a glimpse of what their future might be if they don’t heed the warnings.

Italy is the European epicenter of the pandemic. The country reported 475 new coronavirus deaths over the last day, taking its death toll to nearly 3,000. The total number of cases in Italy rose to 35,713, with more than 4,000 successful recoveries.

Empty streets and shuttered stores have become the face of the country, as 60 million people are confined to their homes, while exhausted doctors and medical staff work non-stop at overwhelmed hospitals.

People of all ages and living all over Italy participated in the project

“We know how to respond to road accidents, train derailments, even earthquakes. But a virus that has killed so many, which gets worse with each passing day and for which a cure — or even containment — seems distant? No,” Dr. Pavesi, an anesthesiologist at the Policlinico San Donato in Milan, told The New York Times.

“All planned surgeries were postponed. Intensive care beds were given over to the treatment of coronavirus patients. Within 24 hours, the hospital created new intensive care places by converting operating theaters and anesthetic rooms. And 40 more beds were dedicated to patients suspected or proven to have the virus, though not in a serious condition.”

However, just like the people in the video, the doctor remains hopeful. “The population’s calm response to the restrictive rules imposed by the government, the experience gained in the management of critically ill patients and the rumors of new treatments for the infection are grounds for hope. Perhaps the containment measures will work, and the news at the end of the week will be good.”

But for now, they are in the thick of tragedy.

Here’s what people said after watching the video