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Quarantine memes put a new spin on ‘viral’

Updated March 24, 2020 - 1:44 pm

When Shakespeare was quarantined because of the plague, he wrote “King Lear.”

With much of the world quarantined because of the coronavirus, most of us are content to just create memes.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some of those memes are quite good — like the one about Shakespeare, the plague and “King Lear.” A lengthy Sunday piece by The Guardian, whose reporters know a thing or two about the Bard, failed to corroborate that little nugget. But who among us couldn’t use a little inspiration right now?

Even if we’re just inspired to waste time, like with some of these quarantine memes that put a new spin on the word “viral”:

Hand-washing songs

Singing “Happy Birthday” twice to mark the recommended 20 seconds you should spend washing your hands got old, fast. Other recommendations started pouring in, but thanks to washyourlyrics.com, which generates custom posters based on the lyrics of pretty much any tune, your song choices are endless.

Celebrities as hand sanitizers

Spend enough time searching for hand sanitizer — or, if you’re lucky enough to have found some, using hand sanitizer — and everything starts to kinda, sorta look like the most in-demand product aside from toilet paper. Find an image of a hand sanitizer and, odds are, your favorite celebrity has been photographed wearing the same color scheme. Stars ranging from Post Malone to Ariana Grande and Jennifer Lopez to Timothee Chalamet have been “honored” this way. But perhaps the greatest example is this Twitter thread dedicated to Chris Evans.

Working from home

Whether it’s expectations versus reality, maintaining your daily routines or the unexpected challenges of telecommuting, social media has plenty of jokes.

Those musicians in Italy

Italy was the subject of one of the earliest lockdowns, which inspired singers and musicians to perform from their balconies for their neighbors. That, in turn, led to numerous attempts to replicate the same heartwarming effect, none better than this one from Patton Oswalt:

Show us your pets

This may be the best public service of them all, as people are just posting photos — some random, some posed — of their pets while they work from home.

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