Social distancing from social traditions

Normally when April 1st comes around people use it as an excuse to pull pranks and hoaxes. However, today is no normal April 1st as people are calling for the annual event to be cancelled amid an escalating pandemic.

In light of the of the global impact of Covid-19 many people have expressed that they do not feel comfortable observing the day for 2020.

Twitter users encouraged people to ditch the jokes this year, one twitter user suggested people use the day to “try and do something good for others”. Lawyer and LGBT+ activist Brian Sims advised his 64,000 followers to consider not taking part in any April Fool’s Day traditions.

He wrote, “Absolutely no one will think any kind of an April Fool’s joke is funny tomorrow”.

“Do yourself a solid, and stop yourself before you even start.”

Not everyone shared the same views, as others wanted to celebrate with genuine, harmless intentions. Some businesses decided to go ahead with the pranks, but Google was not one of them. The tech firm announced it will skip it’s traditional April Fool’s prank.

“This year, we’re going to take the year off from that tradition out of respect for all those fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one,” Google’s marketing chief, Lorraine Twohill, wrote in a company memo obtained by Business Insider.

Google’s two-decade long tradition started when the company first pranked users back in 2000. It unleashed the MentalPlex hoax in which users were invited to project a mental image of what they were seeking while staring at a GIF — prompting multiple funny error messages.

As of late, the number of coronavirus related deaths in the UK almost follows Italy and Spain’s upward path with the UK reporting 563 deaths in 24 hours. The fact that it is April Fool’s Day does not take away from the seriousness of the pandemic, but if people can’t help but engage in some light hearted fun whilst on lockdown Twitter agreed on some rules; No fake coming out pranks, no screamer videos and definitely no Covid-19 pranks.

(Image courtesy of ProStockStudio on Shuttershock)

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