'Our couch was the front line': German virus parody goes viral

·1-min read
Does being a couch potato make someone a hero in fighting the spread of the coronavirus?
Does being a couch potato make someone a hero in fighting the spread of the coronavirus?

A pair of tongue-in-cheek German government videos hailing couch potatoes as "heroes" in the fight against the coronavirus were proving a surprise hit on social media on Sunday.

The short videos in the style of war testimonies were trending with the hashtag #Besonderehelden ("Very Special Heroes") and had garnered a slew of comments online.

In one of the clips, an old man sitting in his living room recalls: "It was winter 2020. Everyone's eyes were on us. I was 22 years old, a mechanical engineering student in Chemnitz, when the second wave hit.

"The fate of the country was suddenly in our hands. We mustered all our courage and did what was expected of us -- the only thing we could do," he continues.

The dramatic music then cuts out for the punchline: "We did ... nothing."

The clip then shows a young man slumped on his sofa in front of a screen, eating junk food.

"Lazy as raccoons, we stayed at home on our butts day and night and fought against the spread of the virus," the old man says.

"Our couch was the front line, patience was our weapon. And so we became heroes, in the coronavirus winter of 2020."

The clips, shared by Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert, were welcomed by many internet users who found them a rare example of German humour.

But others found them to be in poor taste, with one Twitter user commenting that they give the impression the pandemic "is all about baking bread and Netflix & Chill".

"For many people it means existential fear, short-time work, domestic violence, loneliness," the comment said.