“#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.
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.
Why are the messages from Belgian authorities so ambiguous? This is not psychosis, staying home is one of the rational measures to protect public health against #COVID19. #StayHomeBelgium
“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.