In the year 2020, with over 50 million people across the world affected by COVID-19 thus far, life as we knew it has changed. Masks have become part of our dress code, and many businesses and public spaces across the globe continues to remain shut. And people are being urged to stay home-bound whenever possible to prevent the spread of the virus.
Against this backdrop, a series of humourous advertisements by the German government is winning hearts on social media. The adverts which urge people to be "lazy as racoons" and do absolutely nothing is set in a futuristic time and place, The message of the series is simple: "Laziness can save lives".
Perhaps the most popular of the adverts is one which shows an elderly man reflecting on the "winter of 2020" when he had been a mere 22 years old. And while he, like most others his age, had wanted to go out and have an active life the need of the hour was rather different. As the background score becomes increasingly dramatic, he explains that the fate of the country was now in their hands. "So, we mustered all our courage and did what was expected of us, the only right thing. We did...nothing," he explains.
"Absolutely nothing. We were as lazy as raccoons. Day and night, we kept our arses at home and fought the spread of the virus. Our couch was the front and our patience was our weapon," he adds.
Two other similar clips have also gone viral on social media now. In one an elderly woman, one half of a couple recalls how, she had just met her partner and was curious about life and their future together. "Suddenly everything changed...and the whole country put their hopes in us young people. We plucked up all our courage and did...nothing," she recalls. In the ensuing days they would laze around at home, met as few people as possible and with that, stopped the spread of COVID-19, she adds.
The third advert shows an elderly man telling the audience about the medal he had received in the year 2020 for his "extraordinary efforts" to fight the virus. As he narrates, his lifestyle had not changed much, however, his laziness which had been derided by others prior to the pandemic had suddenly became heroic.