Leeds-based journalist Robyn Vinter tweeted out a simple request: “I would like to see the last normal pic on your phone.” She received thousands of replies as social media users all over the world took the opportunity to share their “last normal photo” before the pandemic lockdown.
That tweet sparked a viral trend across all social media platforms.
Vinter was inspired by a BBC piece where thirteen people commented on the last normal photo they took before the coronavirus pandemic caused worldwide quarantines and lockdowns. Now, thousands of people are joining in on the challenge.
To date, the tweet has more than 8,000 replies and countless posts associated with the challenge on Instagram. Most had the hashtag #lastnormalphoto with their posts detailing their photos taken pre-quarantine.
Vinter shared a photo of herself in a charity shop, where she’s seen standing in front of a mirror holding a mug in one hand and her phone in the other as she snaps the photo. She commented that she took the picture thinking she may go back for the mirror and wrote, “I’m assuming it’s still there.”
This is me in a charity shop, taking a picture of a mirror I thought I might go back for. I’m assuming it’s still there pic.twitter.com/XiaLGshrtX— Robyn Vinter (@RobynVinter) May 16, 2020
The photos show a different world than our new normal, from mass gatherings of hundreds to friends sitting in a crowded bar.
Twitter user @OmegaJak shared a photo at an anti-climate change protest in Bristol, England. Hundreds of people are crowding the street, standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
A nurse, @RowanKitchen, replied with a photo taken March 16 in “an almost deserted Chinatown.” She had told her friend she was being silly when the girlfriend refused to hug her. Rowan thought that COVID-19 was like past coronavirus outbreaks. She never could have imagined just how life would change in such a short amount of time as it became a pandemic.
“Two weeks later I was surrounded by more death than I’ve ever seen,” she wrote.
Colin Bestford shared a story that many can identify with as extended lockdowns have kept families apart. He tweeted a photo of his young daughter with his parents. The photo was taken two days before social distancing to protect elderly and vulnerable populations was announced.
He wrote, “I really miss my mom and dad but at least they are safe.”