Despite what most of us have written on job applications, human beings often aren’t at their best during times of great stress and there have been some shining examples of this during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 pathogen continues to sweep across the globe, governments worldwide have been advising their citizens on how best to respond to the crisis in order to "flatten the curve".
Despite instructions directing people to wash their hands, keep a safe distance from others and, ideally, stay at home, it seems some people have had a hard time doing that. So, sit back smugly in the knowledge that you’re doing your part compared to our roundup of some of the most SMH moments that have happened since the outbreak began.
This Hands-On Prime Minister
It’s dead annoying when a throwaway comment you made in the past comes back to bite you, so we can only imagine how Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, must have felt to have his coronavirus publicized after expressing in a conference to the entire nation that he’d been shaking hands left, right, and center. In an unfortunate bid to put minds at ease, the politician told the country of his visit to a hospital "where there were a few coronavirus patients" that he "shook hands with everybody!" We, of course, wish the Prime Minister a speedy recovery and would like to remind you all that handshaking is officially off the cards.
The "Coronavirus Coughers"
Dante’s inferno states that the deepest circle of hell is reserved for those guilty of treachery and betrayal, but I can’t help feeling a bonus rung could be added for a small group of people who have been claiming to have COVID-19 and coughing on paramedics and police. Two men in England have already been arrested for the offense, one of which is now in prison. Ye be warned.
This Guy Who Claimed He Had A Cure
Californian actor Keith Middlebrook took on the role of his life when he told his 2.4 million Instagram followers (on his now-suspended account) that he was sitting on the cure for coronavirus. His miraculous discovery was unfortunately patent-pending, so Middlebrook went in search of investors to help bring his wonder medicine to fruition. The self-ascribed “super entrepreneur” was caught out by the FBI, who picked up on his Quantum Prevention CV Inc (QP20) company during his attempts to fraudulently attract investors. Safe to say, his entrepreneurial spirit didn’t pay off, and he’s now been arrested and charged with wire fraud, which could see him jailed for up to 20 years in federal prison. Ouch.
The Toilet Lickers: Part One
But when it comes to throwing basic hygiene caution to the wind, (we hope) nothing can top the bizarre “Coronavirus challenge” which first launched on TikTok when this influencer took it upon herself to lick a toilet by way of some bizarre variety of dirty protest against the outbreak which, in an interview on Instagram, she said was “cockblocking” her Spring Break. The only challenge we want to see you taking part in is the #SafeHands challenge, expertly demonstrated in the below video.
The Toilet Lickers: Part Two
It might’ve been meant as a joke from a private jet, but the trend picked up and saw another TikTok influencer lick the rim of a public toilet… three times. The stunt unfortunately ended poorly for the guy who later posted on Instagram that he’d been “diagnosed with coronavirus”. There’s no knowing if it was this incident caused him to pick up the disease, but we can tell you, in no uncertain terms, that licking any surface right now is a bad idea. This leads us to our next story...
This One Guy Licking Everything
Yes, the licking continues! Justice had been swift for one man in America who decided to film himself licking products in Walmart in a video captioned, “I’m a nasty moths f*cker!!!”, which is as much as we want to know about that. Fortunately, the City of Warrenton Police Department swept in to remind us all that if it’s terror you wish to spread it’s a terror charge you’ll get, and our moth lover has since been charged with carrying out a terrorist threat in the second degree. Please, we beg of you, stop licking things.
This Group Who Threw A "Coronavirus Party"
In America, against the advice of the World Health Organization, some people chose to host a coronavirus party, which unfortunately led to people going home with more than a party bag. A gathering of an unknown number of party-goers in their 20s in Kentucky resulted in several confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease, as the local Governor Andy Beshear urged, “this is one that I hope I never have to report on again.”
The same degree of rule-flouting was seen as Spring Break raged on in some parts of the country despite repeated advice about keeping gatherings to no more than 10 people. Florida saw a wave of students flocking to its beaches in search of a good time despite the warnings, which sadly led to a group from the University of Tampa all contracting the disease.
Those who are still under the illusion that this outbreak isn’t as serious as everyone’s making out must be careful not to assume they’ll be in the "mild disease" category. None of us know how the virus will affect us and foolish actions could lead to fewer resources for those who desperately need them. Sing it with me now: Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.
Know of anyone who still needs some convincing? This Mayor is serving up a heated dose of reality.