Since when is Sloth a Virtue?

«Stop eating out, cook at home and you’ll lose weight»
Quarantine determined that was a lie

A few days ago, the German government released some advertisements celebrating “heroes” of the COVID-19 second wave — those who stayed at home and “did nothing”. You find a sample video here:

If you don’t understand German, it’s set in the future with people looking back at the epidemic of 2020 and reminiscing about haven done nothing and thus being a “hero”. And yep, it’s in the style of WWII and holocaust survivors interviews.


It’s not (only) the swollen tone of the videos, the faux pathos. It’s the whole idea: celebrating doing nothing, hanging around on the couch watching TV.


I’m not a Christian, but since when is sloth a virtue? There’s a reason it’s a deadly sin. And since when is hanging around on a couch something we are known for? I mean, Germany was once called the country of poets and thinkers, and that’s what we’re celebrating now? The couch potato?

It’s not only against values, even worse, it tarnishes the very idea of values. By putting mediocrity on a pedestal, by making everyone a hero, nobody is. It reminds me of Rand:

For instance, Ike? Well, for instance, suppose I didn’t like Ibsen——”
    “Ibsen is good,” said Ike.
    “Sure he’s good, but suppose I didn’t like him. Suppose I wanted to stop people from seeing his plays. It would do me no good whatever to tell them so. But if I sold them the idea that you’re just as great as Ibsen—pretty soon they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”
Rand (1943)

Treating “doing nothing” as heroic is … distasteful … and insulting for those who are actual heroes, before and during the pandemic. And yeah, you can argue that it was meant to be ironic, but that would only work if the message would be to not stay home and do nothing. And that isn’t what’s the idea here. I might be wrong, but this stinks off a wannabe-cool ad agency who thinks you must be different (instead of useful) and that was likely selected because someone in the government is or wants to be friends with ’em … or something.

And really, how much can you detest “the average” German citizen to create such an advertisement? To think you have to make spots to have them stay at home. Indoors. Like nice little drones. Docile.

And how can you give up on humanity and waste the incredible chances that exist at the moment?

We had a first wave, and many people had to work from home. And we found out that while we did save some time (commute), we likely did not use that time that … well. Personally, I am an introvert. Avoiding social contact, hell, even no longer having to shake hands, yeah, me like. But even I detested the lack of autonomy. It wasn’t my choice any longer to work from home, to avoid people. I had to — and I did not deal with that incursion into my freedom well. But I learned and adapted. But I did not use that phase well.

And now we have a so-called second wave. What a chance to try again, with the knowledge of the first wave. To perhaps yeah, stay home, but to do something constructive with the available time. To bring ones house in order and to improve oneself. To learn that language, read that book, write that book, start that instrument, do that further education course, get that qualification or certification — heck, whatever. Just don’t lie around on the couch and watch TV or play games.

How about supporting that?

How about a spot that says: “We know you can deal with it and you know best for yourself, but if you want to do a (further education) course, here are some offers that can help you finance it.”

How about collecting some best practice examples, some tips and tricks, on how to achieve that goal and not fall into the same rut again? To stay off the couch and off the TV (and games, and the other usual distractions).

But that would lead to citizens who are self-educated, who don’t let themselves be influenced by the state media, or the latest outrage porn on social media.

And where would that lead?

BTW, my assessment of COVID19 has changed over the year. In the beginning I took it very seriously. Not much was known and it seemed to be quite deadly. But after more numbers came in — and with it the knowledge that almost all will survive and only a few risks groups being strongly affected — I began to take how our government dealt with the pandemic much more seriously. Turned out, they can’t handle the additional power. Two days ago they even gave themselves more powers to make their power-trips legal. And many others on the levels below have no balls. They uncritically accept whatever is proposed. Everything is fine as long as there’s a “hygiene concept” and there are lists. Yeah, that’s Germany. A law for everything and everyone in his place. Well, the mind is still free. Time to add some new furniture — and clean the windows.