Douglas Adams has been credited with anticipating the iPad and the internet. When I read Translate this tweet! I feel the Babel Fish in my ear.
But I thought he was wrong about the Telephone Sanitizers: The Golgafrinchans tried to get rid of the useless third of their population: Hairdressers, account executives, management consultants, insurance salesmen, jingle writers – and telephone sanitizers (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, volume 2 in a trilogy of five)
In the coming weeks we’ll see how the lack of hairdressers will play out – it has already been noted that selfies of male home office workers show a dramatic increase in facial hair. However, the lack of telephone sanitizers might have catastrophic consequences.
But I checked the source – and Douglas Adams got it right again:
It was, however, a descendant of one of these eccentric poets who invented the spurious tales of impending doom which enabled the people of Golgafrinchan to rid themselves of an entire useless third of their population. The other two thirds stayed firmly at home and lived full, rich and happy lives until they were all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone.
Two weeks ago I might have sent overly cheery social media managers to B Ark, too. But it turns out we need stories, rituals, and symbols now – badly.
A Twitter uses asks police accounts if he has to take his mask off in the bank. They reply: If you want to rob the bank, better take it off, so we can identify your face on video footage. But keep proper social distance to avoid infection!
Wenn Sie vorhaben, die Bank auszurauben, nehmen Sie bitte die Maske zuvor ab, man kann ihr Gesicht dann besser auf den Überwachungsvideos erkennen. Halten Sie aber dennoch Abstand zu anderen Personen, um eine Ansteckungsgefahr zu minimieren.
— Polizei NÖ (@LPDnoe) March 16, 2020
This might have been Austria’s most shared Facebook video yesterday evening: Police in Vienna thanks people at home by playing our inofficial national anthem, I am from Austria, holding up signs reading “Thank you”: