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German 'Sheeple' Ridiculed for Wearing Pool Noodles on Their Heads to Comply With Social Distancing

Commenters on social media ridiculed patrons of a German cafe who over the weekend wore pool noodles on their heads to comply with coronavirus “social distancing” guidelines.

A social distancing stunt: The owners of Cafe Rothe in the northern German city of Schwerin reopened their establishment on May 9.
  • As part of a news segment, a reporter asked Cafe Rothe customers to don the wacky headgear, which would ensure they followed the six-foot distance recommended by health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The reaction: Video and photos of the staged scene were widely mocked as “ridiculous” after being shared to Twitter. Many social media commenters described the participants in the social distancing stunt as “sheep” or “sheeple” and some characterized them as “dorks.” Despite the staged nature of the photos and videos, some applauded the pool noodle hats, saying that looking ridiculous at times was the "price" citizens must pay to go out in public in a post-COVID-19 world. Journalist Katy Lee even declared that the people wearing pool noodles on their heads had nothing to be ashamed of. Social distancing warriors: The issue of compliance with social distancing guidelines has become fraught politically.

Liberals have accused conservatives of flouting measures intended to stop the spread of coronavirus – such as lockdowns and the wearing of masks – to downplay the severity of the disease for partisan reasons. Meanwhile, many on the right argue that some of the measures are excessive or unnecessary and mask the state’s true purpose behind implementing them: restricting American’s freedoms and flexing control over a pliable populace.