Otto von Bismarck said, "Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”
From the online version of The Atlantic date-stamped 16 March 2020.
When the Italian media began reporting on the increased community spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, Olmo Parenti, like many Italian citizens, didn’t take the threat of the pandemic too seriously. “My friends and I were almost mocking the few people who believed the issue was serious from the get-go,” Parenti, a young filmmaker, told me.
Just days later, Parenti felt like he was living in a different version of reality—a dystopian one. The number of positive cases had spiked dramatically. The entire country had shut down. The economy took a nosedive. Hospitals, overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, were being forced to make impossible utilitarian decisions: Which critical patients would receive lifesaving artificial ventilation, while the others would effectively be left to die?
Parenti and his friends were disturbed by the fact that they had severely underestimated the situation, a perspective that perhaps contributed to the spread of the virus. “We read in the news that the U.S., England, Germany, and France were all taking the COVID-19 progression just as lightly as we had,” Parenti said. “We decided we had to redeem ourselves in some way.”
Here’s the the video they produced to encourage us to avoid the same mistakes they made. Let’s take their message to heart!