A town in Derbyshire, UK has come up with a wacky way of staving off loneliness and boredom while at home due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions — they moo like cows from their doorsteps and windows.
Every evening from 6.30-6.32 pm local time, residents in Belper bellow out in unison, taking part in “The Belper Moo”.
“The mission statement for the Belper Moo was straightforward: to fight stress, anxiety and loneliness with a collective moment of pure silliness,” creator Jasper Ward, 44, told Euronews.
An education consultant, Ward said he initially used a two-minute moo on a wet, rainy break-time as a way of mitigating the cabin fever of cooped-up young people.
He decided to roll out round two when the Prime Minister placed the UK on a police-enforced lockdown on March 23, ordering people only to leave their homes under a list of “very limited purposes”, among other strict measures.
Ward estimates that hundreds now take part in the nightly performance and “when the weather is warm, it feels like it could easily be in the thousands judging by the volume and frequency of moos”.
Videos of people participating in The Belper Moo are featured on the event’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Residents are also encouraged to make “mega-moo-phones” to further amplify their calls.
“Some people have megaphones, some have used strange electronic devices, some have improvised strange chimera instruments out of bagpipes and (worryingly) plumbing pipes,” said Ward.
There is just one rule participants have to follow—they must stay at home, respecting the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The town’s residents are fans of the eccentric practice: “Good fun. Belper coming together doing what they do best: community spirit. Keep mooing!” said Hel Andrew.
Such is the power of the moo-vement, it has even spread to different parts of the UK, including Essex and Lancashire, and Ward said he’d received reports of international moos in the USA, Spain, New Zealand and Australia.
“The Belper Moo was conceived as a way to help this community through the challenges of lockdown but, of course, the challenge of COVID-19 stretches well beyond this community.
“If something as silly as two minutes of bonkersness can help, then go for it,” Ward said. “If you’ve never mooed, you should. It feels goooood!”
In the future, he “can’t wait” to meet some of his fellow mooers in person.
The UK had a total 98,476 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on April 15 with 12,868 COVID-19 associated UK deaths in hospitals, according to government data.
Derbyshire had 755 total cases on April 14.
The foreign secretary told the nation that the government did not expect to make changes to coronavirus lockdown restrictions this week.
Dominic Raab on Monday said the UK’s plan to combat the pandemic was working but that the country was “still not past the peak of this virus”.
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday described the global economic decline brought on by the pandemic as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.