Do you get it?
Like most people, I have been glued to the TV watching the unravelling story of the global pandemic.
Apart from being frightened and shocked, I’ve been struck by the amount of airtime taken up by Q&A sessions.
Of course, people want to ask questions about the virus and what they can do to prevent it spreading.
But when you make a rule, I think you remove some of the responsibility from the citizen. The citizen you’ve just asked to play their part in a collective effort to save lives.
For example, when you tell people to maintain a distance of two metres apart, people start asking themselves what two metres is, rather than whether they should be in the company of others at all.
The people start asking whether the coronavirus is infectious at one point five metres. And why Ireland says four people can gather when it’s two in the UK.
This has been bothering me and I’ve been wondering if there’s anything we could do to help people to think sensibly and make their own judgements.
Some message we could put out there that would be adopted as common sense.
Inspired by the words of an Italian doctor interviewed on Sky News, I came up with a poster, which you can see here.
This doctor, unwittingly, gave me the idea that changing behaviour might be a role playing exercise.
If you were highly infectious, you wouldn’t go into a crowded place. You would avoid others like the plague. You wouldn’t climb into a crowded underground train carriage. You would go the supermarket only when you needed to. You wouldn’t care what two metres was. You’d probably make it four.
This is the thinking and this is the poster, which I asked Mike Young of Mike Young Design to art direct.
Normally, a poster like this would be part of an integrated campaign and other materials would go on to give specific advice.
In this case, just as with ‘Keep calm and carry on’, one overall point is made.
If you like the poster and you think it makes sense, please share it.
If you work for the NHS and you want the artwork, just ask. Or any other health service for that matter.
If you’re a business and you want to circulate it with your own branding, we’ll pass over the files for free.
Why not print it out and stick it to the wall behind you on your next Skype or Zoom.