The Brief: People are sharing memes parodying how large crowds are gathering in public places, even as people are supposed to be practicing social distancing.


Large crowds vs. social distancing memes are about how many people appear to be flouting lockdown and shelter in place orders and congregating at the beach and in parks.

As many states are well into their second month of lockdown orders and the weather starts to heat up, photos have been released that appear to depict people breaking social distancing rules by congregating in large crowds in parks and on beaches. While there is debate as to how accurately some of these photos portray these situations, meme-makers and jokesters have taken the liberty of posting commentary about these social distancing rule-breakers on social media.

Memes about people gathering in large crowds despite COVID-19 often pretend that a work of art, illustration, or movie scene is evidence of people ignoring social distancing measures.

One viral post by Michael Hartney on Twitter read “DISGUSTING THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN TODAY IN BROOKLYN STOP BEING SELFISH AND STAY HOME” along with an image of the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. This meme inspired similar posts and jokes about how other art classics might be read in the age of Coronavirus.

One Chicago resident photoshopped Mayor Lightfoot into the painting, referencing her strict enforcement of social distancing.

Photoshop challenge by Ann McGregor

Posted by Josh Fontenot on Friday, 3 April 2020