Long before the first cases of COVID were registered in The Netherlands, media were already extensively covering developments, first in Wuhan and later in Korea and Italy. But even once the first cases began emerging in The Netherlands, people weren't taking it very seriously. Only when the more personal stories were spreading (both from Dutch patients and foreign, mostly Italian, personal accounts) people started taking the direct threat more seriously.
One particular account drew a lot of attention and affected me personally as well: a Dutch woman living in Italy who was basically giving an account from the future (Italy was hit by corona over a week before The Netherlands), in plain language, telling other Dutch people how corona would impact our loved ones and our daily lives, what to expect but also how to prepare.
This account from the trenches, with high credibility coming from a fellow country(wo)man, emphasising both urgency and agency, has made a significant impact.