Italy is in lockdown as they desperately try to slow the spread of COVID-19. Already, hospitals are overwhelmed by patients who need emergency medical treatment. Many, many have died. And here in the U.S., we’re about one to two weeks behind them in terms of the virus’s spread. No one is exactly sure how things will develop.

People are being pressured to stay home and social distance if they can now, but that isn’t the same as government action and support. Some individual cities have made the decision to shut down businesses that are non-essential, but the federal government has not taken the steps it needs in order to stop the disease from spreading farther.

And there are also lots and lots of individuals who don’t really get what the big deal is. If they’re not sick or they don’t know anyone who is sick, they don’t believe it’s all happening or that things can get that bad here.

A man named Jason Yanowitz decided to share a thread created by someone who says they’re in Italy, because he wants everyone in America to knows what’s going to happen.

It starts, “To the rest of the world, you have no idea what’s coming.”

The thread explains the stages of the coronavirus taking over the country, starting with hearing about a few isolated cases, going up towards isolating only small areas (from which many people leave, bringing the virus home with them), the overwhelming number of people hitting the hospitals, and then mandatory quarantine for an indefinite amount of time.

In the final thoughts of the thread, the author reminds the reader that these stages all took place in about two weeks. That’s how fast things got serious in the U.S.

It’s not that the virus itself is deadly for everyone, it’s that the consequences of how it hurts families, communities, the economy, and normal life are so dire.

“Don’t act like it’s not going to get you,” it concludes. “If you can, STAY HOME.”

Someone posted the Reddit thread from where this was sourced, and it is filled with comments from others in Italy saying it was all true. There are also people from other countries commenting that they have gone through the same stages—the main difference from the U.S. is that there the government is taking things seriously instead of downplaying the threat. Protect yourselves like you want to outlive this administration.

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*First Published: March 17, 2020, 7:30 am