Coronavirus: #StayHomeBelgium gains traction on Twitter
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    Coronavirus: #StayHomeBelgium gains traction on Twitter

    A Twitter hashtag has been slowly gaining traction in Belgium as concerned individuals speak out against the country’s current coronavirus response.

    Messages urging to #StayHomeBelgium began being shared on Wednesday evening after the hashtag was first used by Brett Kobie, Creative Director at Bump.

    #StayHomeBelgium is meant to be a simple, clear message when the Belgian government can’t seem to muster one,” Kobie explained to The Brussels Times. “People see what is coming and know what to do to help flatten the curve but they need to be told it’s ok to do that,” he added.

    This hashtag and pink card are similar in style to ‘Stay The F**k Home’, which presents itself as a “movement to stop the Covid-19 pandemic”, complete with a “self-quarantine” manifesto.

    Belgian Measures

    Currently, Belgium is in an “enhanced Phase 2” of a 3-phase national risk containment plan, which aims to keep the virus from spreading further among the population. On Tuesday, Interim Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced a new set of “complementary” but non-compulsory “social-distancing” measures, as previously reported.

    Belgium’s reaction to the outbreak – which at the time of writing has killed 3 and infected 314 within the country – has been facing criticism on Twitter, and is now beginning to be shared alongside the hashtag.

    “I’ve heard people around Brussels tell me for weeks they are uncomfortable on the metro and in the office, but because employers are not being given clear direction by the gov, they are not giving clear direction to their employees,” Kobie explained. “Because the gov is so slow and has so many layers, it is literally up to individuals to take this into their own hands.”

    As with previous days, an update on the most recent infection numbers in Belgium is expected during Thursday morning.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times