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German ad campaign salutes the lazy couch potatoes saving the country from COVID-19
via antoni_UK / Twitter

COVID-19 has upended a lot of conventional wisdom as it pertains to fighting back against a deadly crisis. These days, for most people, the best way to step up to protect the health of yourself and others is to do as little as possible.

This flies in the face of the old adage that "evil happens when good people do nothing."

2020's heroes are embracing the old Taoist proverb, "When nothing is done, nothing is left undone."


The German government is commending those who've had the courage, persistence, and bravery to do nothing during the pandemic in a new ad campaign. The country is currently in the middle of an emergency lockdown to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The three-video series starts with an old man recalling his "service" to the nation in the winter of 2020, "when the whole country's eyes were on us."

"I had just turned 22 and was studying engineering when the second wave hit," Anton Lehmann says during an interview conducted decades in the future.

"At this age, you want to party, study, get to know people, go for drinks with friends…Yet fate had different plans for us," he said.

The video then cuts to footage of Lehmann as a young man indulging in aggressively unhealthy snacking with his eyes glued to the television.

"Suddenly, the fate of this country lay in our hands," Lehmann said. "So we mustered all our courage and did what was expected of us, the only right thing. We did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Being as lazy as raccoons."

"Day and night we kept our asses at home and fought the spread of the virus," he continued. "Our couch was the frontline and our patience was our weapon. This is how we became heroes, back then, during that corona winter of 2020."

The German government has produced two follow-up videos. The second follows the story of Lehmann's future wife, Luise. In the video, she says that she was feeling great about the couple's future before COVID-19 hit.

"The whole country put their hopes in us young people. So we plucked up all our courage and did nothing," Luise Lehmann said as the video shows the pair lying in bed while eating a bucket of fried chicken.

"We lazed around in bed, met as few people as possible, and with that stopped the spread of COVID-19," she added, saying they were "special heroes."

A third video follows the story of an elderly Tobi Schneider who became an unlikely hero in 2020 due to his extreme laziness.


"Before the pandemic, I was, without doubt, the laziest person to tiptoe through this country, I almost never left my flat, played computer games without any kind of ambition, and ate cold ravioli straight from the tin because I was too lazy to heat it up," Schneider says.

"My friends called me Lazy Tobi but I was too lazy to get annoyed about that," he says.

"And when the virus spread, I remained the same lazy sack of potatoes that I was before," he continued. "But unlike me, the world had changed: to contain the virus, people were urged to stay at home, doing nothing suddenly became a public service, laziness could save lives and I was a champion in that."

The campaign is a great reminder to anyone who ever just wanted to chill out without feeling compelled to achieve anything for a few months, that now's your time to shine. There will be no other point in your life when you can get away with doing absolutely nothing without being judged. So what not take advantage?

Think if it as taking time to rest up before life returns to normal when the vaccine becomes available.

Ready to be a hero?

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