Amidst the growing fears of a global pandemic, many European nations are taking drastic measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Austria has closed its borders, Spain has shut down schools, and teams of Swiss engineers are currently sawing through the upper boot bit of Italy to set the whole country adrift into the Mediterranean Sea.
Meanwhile, the governments of France and Belgium, afraid their people won't stop kissing each other on the cheek ten times at every meeting, have enacted bans on gatherings of over 1,000, effectively canceling most major public events. But this hasn't stopped the folks of the sleepy French town of Landerneau, who've already seen 33 of their compatriots die from the coronavirus, from completely ignoring the instructions of their Health Ministry and come together en masse for an important French cultural tradition: to dress up like Smurfs.
On Tuesday, 3,549 of the town's biggest smurfing smurf-headed smurfholes donned their blueface, put on caps that conveniently double as a plague doctor beaks, and congregated in an empty parking lot. Aside from making sure someone will be burying their grandma this month, what possible goal did could they have for this? To win the Guinness World Record of "Most people dressed as Smurfs" in one place, beating out the previous (non-quarantined) record-holders by 787, though you can probably shave about two percent off their number in about a week.
But the Smurfs of Landerneau, who'll be spending the next few weeks constantly touching their faces to scratch at itchy flecks of blue paint, don't give a flying smurf. When asked about the infection risks, one Typhoid Smurfy responded that "the coronavirus is no big deal, it's nothing." Supporting that statement was the town's Papa Smurf, the mayor, who defended his town's Smurf gathering as an act of bravery, that defying a quarantine to go breathe and spittle on each during a global plague was an important message to the word that "[w]e must not stop living" and that "it was a chance to say we're alive."
Speaking of dumb irony, did you know that Peyo's first-ever Smurf comic was a (slightly racist) horror story about the dangers of viral infections? How one stubborn Smurf was infected by a cross-species carrier and then unthinkingly spread the illness to his countrysmurfs through skin-on-skin contact? And that the rest of the story deals with Papa Smurf unable to create a vaccine on time while all of his wandering sentient blue M&M children succumb to the plague? If only these dumb mothersmurfers would've stayed at home and read their comics instead.
For more smurf smurfs and his smurf on smurfs, do smurf Cedric on Smurf.