On the evening of 24 March 2020 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared the UK to be on "lockdown" as part of the battle against COVID-19.
Since then there has been an explosion in tweets with #Lockdown, #LockdownNow and #LockdownUK hashtags.
Everyone has been told that they must stay at home, only leaving for one of four reasons:
*UK #COVID19 #LOCKDOWN*— M. A. E. (@MElmaazi) March 23, 2020
4 reasons to leave the house:
1)Shopping for basic needs
2)1 form of exercise
3)Medical need/provide care
4)Travelling to/from work
PM's address 23 Mar
Key workers can still use public transport and their children can still attend school:
The government has also co-opted the telecoms companies in order to issue everyone lockdown related text messages:
Some felt the lockdown should have come sooner:
Boris Johnson locking down the country is a month too late. If he’d done this right at the start, we would have nipped it in the bud like Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.#lockdownuk— James Melville (@JamesMelville) March 23, 2020
A chronicle of error—Britain had a head start on Covid-19, but our leaders squandered it | Devi Sridhar https://t.co/WodPz1CWfO— richard horton (@richardhorton1) March 23, 2020
Others saw parallels with the British political satire In The Thick of It:
Meanwhile comedic video mashups of the UK government's stay at home guidance are already being posted:
There are the predictable jokes, perhaps masking genuine concerns, over potential police harassment whilst enforcing the one excercise per day rule:
There are the inevitable satirical references to police overkill targeting those who leave their homes for the shops:
Some people will clearly try it on:
And there are also those expressing their frustration and surprise that many construction workers are still expected to go to work:
Michael Gove has just been on BBC saying that construction workers of all kinds may continue working. Why? Why have all those unnecessary journeys on public transport to get to work, all those close interactions on site? Shows how seriously the Govt is REALLY taking #LockdownNow— TheLockdownHeron🌍 (@LuckyHeronSay) March 24, 2020
I wish I had enough reach to start a full protest for construction workers out there. EVERY #construction worker should wear full high visibility on #londonunderground to show just how many are still being forced into work. Please RT. #shutthesites #LockdownNow— Josh Mullaney (@JoshM1994) March 24, 2020
Pretty disgusted at my industry and still sending frontline construction workers to work whereas i've been WFH for 1 1/2 weeks now. Rediculous. Putting peoples lives at risk to deliver projects to meet deadlines and make money #LockdownNow #EnoughIsEnough— FI_Ash (@AshleyW12654024) March 24, 2020
Gove has obviously never been on a construction site. Can be 100s of workers, very limited hand washing facilities and people passing each other tools etc. These workers should be protected too! #LockdownNow #COVIDー19 https://t.co/eDNIOGfCKY— Nicholas (@njaycozy) March 24, 2020
As the days turn to weeks it is expected that social media will be awash with tragic, comedic, and banal posts as men, women and children seek to cope with the unprecedented reality of a global pandemic induced lockdown.
According to the UK Department of Health and Public Health England as of 9am on 23 March 2020, 83,945 people have been tested for COVID-19, 77,295 of which were confirmed negative and 6,650 were confirmed positive.
As of 1pm on the same day 335 patients who tested positive in the UK for COVID-19 have died.