1. And going nowhere. Is Mr. Greenshirt going to get into the horizontal hamster wheel with her?

  2. Why are we bothering to discuss these abortive attempts at non-humor? This is simultaneously unworkable(*), ineffective(**), ugly(***), and not funny(****).
    P.S. (*) – That contraption would never fit through a shop door, let alone in a car or bus.
    P.P.S. (**) – As Bill said above, the kids pick up the virus at the perimeter and share it with mom later.
    P.P.P.S. (***) – See the signature in the lower left corner.
    P.P.P.P.S. (****) – Ditto.
    P.P.P.P.P.S – But wait! Perhaps there was a reason for Bill to post this panel! Now we have a name for McPherson’s ugly space alien (to the right of the girl)! Let’s call it “Corona“!

  3. I (ironically) like the fact that Helen is an idiot who doesn’t get the idea of a 2 meter separation. She should be using a 4 meter diameter fence circle, and standing at the center, moving it using those horizontal braces. If you stand at the edge of the circle, you accomplish nothing.

  4. @ Carl – Actually, the braces make it clear that her upper body is standing in the center of the circle. The reason that her feet are poking through underneath is that McPherson’s perspective is as defective as his inking: the distortion of the cage doesn’t conform to the tilt of the sidewalk.

  5. She’s not at the edge; the hub of the circle is around her waist. You can see her feet underneath it because it’s raised off the ground.

    As for the kids, they’re no worse off than they’d be without the hamster wheel. They just have to maintain their own separation without benefit of the wheel.

  6. I don’t see it as a “hamster wheel” in that it probably doesn’t rotate (much). It’s circular just because she is trying to maintain a radius from other people.
    Agreed, the perspective is off. Both Helen and one of her kids are shown with their feet near (or even poking under) the circumferential fencing, but you can see from their upper bodies that they are near the center (Helen) or just part way along one of the arms (the boy).

  7. The kids aren’t being used as human shields; while it’s hard to tell by looking at their feet, by looking at the center of the contraption you can (sort of) tell that the family is close together.

    The cartoonist is employing the idea of a portable fence as a visual gag. That’s really all there is to it.

  8. She is supposed to be at the center of the circle. The horizontal poles are presumably supposed to be diameter lines that go through the center of the circle, and they attach to her waist, so that she’s automatically always at the center. It’s just the perspective is really badly done, particularly the depiction of her attachment to the central poles.

    With the three week lag time, I think putting masks on her and her family was supposed to make you think “what a bunch of paranoid weirdos,” rather than “why isn’t anyone else wearing masks?”

  9. I wonder if this code will actually embed the video. A fellow in Toronto made a “social distance machine” like this to demonstrate that it is impossible to keep such distance, given our ridiculously small sidewalks. There are calls to close some streets to allow people to move and maintain distance. As always, however, our idiot mayor isn’t going to do anything that might inconvenience cars even if there are so few of them that they’re already making great time. https://www.blogto.com/city/2020/04/someone-toronto-made-social-distancing-machine-prove-sidewalks-are-too-narrow/

    Made a Social Distance machine to show why @cityoftoronto needs to close major streets like Yonge during COVID-19. Our sidewalks are too narrow to keep a safe distance.Tell @JohnTory and your local councillors: #streets4peopleTO!https://t.co/uUmYOxOGZv pic.twitter.com/ZiCwuSECx9— Daniel Rotsztain (@theurbangeog) April 13, 2020


  10. She’s keeping her kids away FROM EACH OTHER. This way she keeps her sanity. That’s also why her kids are wearing masks, so that they don’t bicker — nothing to do with social distancing. (She has been doing this got YEARS but the comic artist added a mask on her and a timely caption to repurpose it for coronavirus, since he had a deadline.)


  11. But …. it’s not funny.

    I mean we all are supposed to keep an imaginary 6 ft border between people so why is it funny if someone makes a physical tangible barrier? It’d be funny if they did it in a clever way, of in an unyieldy and ackward way but, impractical and unrealistic as it may be, it’s not really funny to have an “I wish I had a permanent six foot fence around me” made flesh.

  12. I saw a news bit where I guy made a wire framework (his sat on his shoulders) just to demonstrate in public what the six-foot spacing really means and how many people weren’t following it.

  13. I think the cartoon device is halfway funny because it’s so impractically cumbersome and ridiculous.

    While we’re at it, here’s what XKCD has to say about the 6 foot circle rule:


  14. W00zy, well yes HELEN isn’t being clever or funny, for the reasons you point out. But I don’t think they apply equally well to the cartoon.

  15. And the hovertext for that xkcd included “…and that technically makes it a 34 foot zone…”

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