Yesterday, Boris Johnson began to unveil the “sketch of a roadmap” to lead the UK out of the six-week lockdown we’ve been enduring. Whilst new guidelines – such as unlimited exercise for all, and the possibility of mixing with people from outside your household – came to light, it’s fair to say that the advice given had a lot of us baffled by what we can and can’t do: a process sadly not helped by some confusing Monday morning TV appearances from Dominic Raab. With the new “Stay Alert” advice being a little open-ended, and mixed messages coming from different ministers, bafflement and bemusement was rife. Luckily, Twitter was on hand to provide a little humour.
The initial response could be summed up in a single question: “Sorry, what?”
We’ve been very clear: you can meet your mother for golf but not Pictionary. Your father can join in a game of charades but only if he shouts his answers from upstairs
— Michael Deacon (@MichaelPDeacon) May 11, 2020
It couldn’t really be simpler. You can meet up with girls who are boys, who like boys to be girls, who do boys like they’re girls, who do girls like they’re boys, always should be someone you really love. And always stay two metres apart.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) May 11, 2020
— BIG BOOGIE (@IAMSHYSTIE) May 10, 2020
Alright Simpson, let’s go over the signals. If I tuck the bill of my cap like so it means that you can exercise outside. However, I can take that off by dusting my hands thusly. If I want you to return to work, I’ll touch my belt buckle not once, not twice, but thrice. pic.twitter.com/VzLRGo0QRn
— Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) May 10, 2020
So. Big day. The day we all head out to work. While staying at home. While exercising all day. In the park. At home. While travelling on public transport. While definitely not. Staying rigidly alert. While totally relaxed. At home. In the fresh air. Outside. Inside. Upside down.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) May 11, 2020
“Maybe in June if this gets better perhaps maybe things could perhaps possibly get better but only if it gets better but maybe perhaps if not then it wont”
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) May 10, 2020
“Stay Alert” is quite open to interpretation – and interpret, Twitter did.
“Stay Alert” is a strategy for defending a corner in the 87th minute not defeating a global health crisis
— Sophie Levin (@sophielevin11) May 9, 2020
Me staying alert to avoid Miss Ronapic.twitter.com/jvYaS2BJfy
— I a n (@mccarroll236) May 10, 2020
“stay alert” is truly bizarre messaging as if the virus is going to prank you
— joe (@mutablejoe) May 9, 2020
the british government’s changing coronavirus advice pic.twitter.com/naQqmlFS2f
— alex kealy (@alexkealy) May 9, 2020
me being alert when i see the coronavirus: pic.twitter.com/W9USe0T8kW
— chlo (@rosycheeksclub) May 11, 2020
Meanwhile, people have had fun redesigning the new “Stay Alert” sign
— Dan Tappin (@oitappin) May 9, 2020
weird comms choice for a pandemic but i like it pic.twitter.com/3oRwR5HYOJ
— Abby Tomlinson (@twcuddleston) May 9, 2020
Fully expect the Government to come out with this next. pic.twitter.com/A4pmyO8tsC
— Phlegm Clandango (@Cain_Unable) May 10, 2020
Handily, here’s how to make your own catchy slogan!
Your last three actions are now your #COVID19 slogan – what’s yours?
— Natasha Devan (@natashadevan) May 10, 2020
(Mine is Eat Everything > Curl Up In Bed > Cry At TV Shows, just FYI)
There have also been whispers that the particularly spicy alert system might have been seen before…
— Rhys James (@rhysjamesy) May 10, 2020
— daytime snaps (@daytimesnaps) May 11, 2020
Being able to see one person from outside your household meant it was time to choose your favourites.
Normal People season 2 https://t.co/BCVLLEFZb3
— Janine Gibson (@janinegibson) May 11, 2020
Looking forward to auditioning my favourite parent
— Esther Webber (@estwebber) May 11, 2020
Idk about anyone else but the idea of having to pick a bubble to hang out with is giving me Bebo top friends PTSD
— Hazel Shearing (@hazelshearing) May 11, 2020
For some, Monday morning meant a swift – and frankly unexpected – return to the workplace.
Bojo’s latest “speech” pic.twitter.com/ZhKCpYS0D0
— Ireland Simpsons Fans (@iresimpsonsfans) May 10, 2020
Boris Johnson telling people to go back to work without using public transport pic.twitter.com/2DnbwQUmcz
— Abby Tomlinson (@twcuddleston) May 11, 2020
Of course, some people had other priorities…
Garden centres can’t reopen fast enough for me, I’ve been living on borrowed thyme.
— Gary Delaney (@GaryDelaney) May 11, 2020
The prospect of unlimited daily exercise has been lost on many, though.
sorry but if you were exercising twice in a single day before all this you weren’t part of any society i want to be associated with
— Imogen West-Knights (@ImogenWK) May 10, 2020
Would just like to announce that, despite recent announcements from the government, I will continue to forgo any daily exercise, so as to reduce the spread of covid-19. Thank you.
— Edi Adegbola (@Ediadegbola) May 10, 2020
“You can even play sports, but only with members of your own household,” says Boris Johnson, forgetting that not everyone has sired an entire cricket XI.
— Tom Peck (@tompeck) May 10, 2020
And, still the government has systematically failed to answer the question on everyone’s lips.
Wonder how all those gym lads are holding up now they’ve had no personality for 8 weeks
— elise (@elisegates96) May 9, 2020
If you’re wondering about the new lockdown rules, by the way, here’s what we know so far.
Also published on Medium.