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Dubai: It’s difficult to take the case of the sniffles seriously enough to put a damper on your social schedule, but these days, with the harsh and easily transferable virus known as COVID19, it’s time to stop and take stock.

Globally, the coronavirus, which has a variable shelf life depending on which surface it’s on; plastic for instance, can play host for up to 3 days; has claimed more than 234,073, as per World Health Organisation numbers (March 19, 2020).

The virus is difficult to recognize – for some it results in complications such as pneumonia; in others, it’s just mild body pain; but what is certain is on average, one infected person infects about 2.5 others.

As the numbers in Italy soars – on Saturday, the death toll rushed past 4,000 – a video has emerged of Italians speaking to people as ‘someone from the future’. In it, they warn of the dire consequences of not taking the disease seriously, which includes living in a city that is under complete lockdown and people you know are losing their lives.

Of course, Italians also went onto their Instagram profiles and shared messages of support as well, while calling for caution. Teresa Bencini, for instance, explains the importance of staying home and safe by explaining that there just aren't enough hospitals to deal with the kind of numbers this virus is racking up.

The clips come fresh on the heels of another well-shared video that shows a coronavirus patient Tara Jane Langston, a healthy 39-year-old, who found herself in the ICU after contracting the virus. In pain and struggling to breathe she sent a WhatsApp message to her relatives that has since been viewed many, many times.

Another COVID survivor, Elizabeth Schneider, from Seattle, Washington, spoke about the need for social distancing. She explained that while she had a great time at a house party, three days later she found herself feeling unwell. She continued to go to work and to another get together – where she infected a number of others. She said a steady dose of vitamins and keeping herself hydrated help her get through the ordeal. In the video, she urges people to stay calm. She calls on people who may suspect being infected to speak to their employer about working from home, or taking time off. She also encourages staying away from others so as to not become the reason for someone else’s illness. She also mentions the need to not stockpile things like toilet paper.

Another YouTuber, who hails from Egypt, is also calling for caution and care. In a 5-plus-minute clip she says that she has contracted the virus and experiencing mild symptoms, but asks that others be careful – stay home, listen to what the heads of state are saying so they do not contract the disease.

It isn't a time to flout rules and take health for granted they all say.

So take each sniffle seriously - stay home, stay safe.