A grandmother has started a TikTok dance craze to encourage young people to practice social distancing.
Margaret Hansard, 78, is staging what she calls a “nantervention" to spread the message that young people who do not follow the guidelines could be at risk of passing the virus on to their grandparents.
In the video, posted on her granddaughter Lucy's TikTok account, Mrs. Hansard is seen performing actions to the song "Supalonely" by Benee, while captions read:
“I'm staging a #Nantervention to get Hertfordshire's grandkids to socialize safely… And protect your nans!"
“I've been lonely! Please keep social distancing. Lockdown = lonely nans. Please keep washing your hands. And remember the rule of 6."
Mrs. Hansard, from Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, England, said the video was initially intended to spread awareness around her local area.
She told the PA news agency:
“It's just to make the kids or the youths who are going out aware of distancing and things like that really, and making sure they know they can carry the germs and bring them home to grandparents."
Mrs. Hansard with her granddaughter Lucy (Lucy Hansard/PA)
“We thought it might go in easier that way than being told 'you shouldn't do this, you shouldn't do that.'"
Mrs. Hansard's video has since been replicated by other grandmothers in the area, starting something of a craze on an app most popular among young people.
But she said she is not a regular user of social media, and does not spend time on Facebook or Twitter.
“I'm not very good with that," she said.
“I haven't got time, I'm busy with other things."
Despite images of young people attending parties and gathering in large groups appearing on the news, Mrs. Hansard – who has four grandchildren – was clear that her video is not about judging those involved.
Mrs. Hansard said she wants to keep her grandchildren safe (Lucy Hansard/PA)
Instead, she said, it is aimed at making sure those who do go out and socialize do so safely.
“The youth, most of them are so lovely and they're so helpful," said Mrs. Hansard, who volunteers with Age UK.
“If you were to fall over along the road I'm sure they'd run to pick you up."
“They've had a really hard time lately – since lockdown, they can't go out, you can't go out and socialize."
“It's hard for them and I'd like people to appreciate that. Most of them are so good."
“With my four grandchildren, all I want in life is for them to be safe, and I'm sure every other grandmother would feel that way."