MagAO-X 2020A Stay at Home Day 10: On memes, cats, and the merits of ISO 7010 Registered Safety Signs

When every weekend is spent at home having a mild time, one must find one’s own diversions. After the cooking is done and the phone calls to friends and family concluded, I scroll idly through the daily output of internet meme-makers. This usually provides a few minutes of distraction, eventually running aground on reposts and old memes.

Person in full protective gear below text. "bae: come over" "me: can't, in self isolation" "bae: my parents aren't home" "me: but they SHOULD be"

To avoid doing chores, I have been plumbing successively more obscure sources of memes to waste my time. First, there were the Spanish-language memes.

Three panels showing the letter (translated in caption), letter tucked into dog collar, and dog outside with cheetos in mouth
Translated: Hello Mr. Store Owner. Please sell my puppy some ORANGE Cheetos. NOT RED ONES because they’re too spicy. In her collar she has $20. Warning: If you don’t take care of my puppy she’ll bite… Attention: the neighbor in front.

Eventually those ran into the same problem: reposts.

Person in full protective gear below text. "Ven conmigo" "No puedo estoy en cuarentena" "Mis padres no están en casa" "Pues deberían"
Translated: see first image.

We had to go deeper. How about… Spanish-language wild-felid social-distancing memes?

Cartoon depicting an Andean cat as a delivery driver on a moped, handing a viscacha to a hungry Andean cat emerging from its burrow to accept its delivery
Translated: Stay home. Mirrored from this Instagram post, which is captioned: “Stay at home and enjoy your favorite meal just as the Andean cat and its viscacha.” (@andeancats & @alonsolonchosalazar)

My sister, future wildlife biologist, sent me that one. It’s from the Instagram account @andeancats, a “not-for-profit project [seeking] to develop the first Andean cat documentary in order to raise awareness to people around the world.”

Jared really wants to see an Andean cat at Magellan, if we ever get to go back. He went trawling through their past posts and found this:

Mirrored from by @andeancats.

Isn’t that just the cutest?

However, even the deepest veins of obscure internet amusements ran out eventually, so I went to work on my DIY fabric masks. But, because I refuse to do anything simply, I had to design my own fabric for social distancing chic.

Which led me, in a roundabout way, to the ISO 7010 standard for registered safety signage. Which, after a month at home, seemed like yet another collection of funny internet pictures.

Sign indicating "Not for people in the state of intoxication"
Do not have a good time.
Sign for "Warning: Incoming tides"
Warning: Instagram influencer.
Sign indicating "No leaning against"
Cool dudes posting up here prohibited.

Eventually, I decided on the following motif for DIY textile crafts in the age of COVID-19:

Repeating pattern with alternating rows of blue mandatory action icons and red prohibited icons
Wash your hands, wear a mask, don’t touch anything, and stay home if you can!

Happy to report that the fabric and mask project has been a success. Perhaps not in terms of viral particle blocking, but aesthetically. And isn’t that what counts?

Handmade mask photographed on a table
Mask design adapted from this YouTube video with extra-large elastic hair ties for ear-loops and a stiff piece of baling wire for over-nose fit. (It really helps with glasses fogging!)

Your song of the day is “The Spot” by Your Smith: