Coronavirus or not, people want to have fun. 3,500 folks in France just exemplified this perfectly when they gathered amid the COVID-19 outbreak dressed as smurfs to set a new world record. The gathering took place in the small town of Landerneau in northwestern France, it was captured in video and is indeed spectacular to watch.
The event also wasn’t technically illegal as it took place on the last day before France instituted a ban against large gatherings of people. The initial ban was for groups of over 1,000 people but since then the country has also banned gatherings of more than 100 people.
Even though it happened before the official ban, the record-breaking gathering was still criticized by a lot of people because it presented unnecessary risks.
Patrick Leclerc, the mayor of Landerneau defended the event, saying it was a necessary levity.
“We must not stop living … it was the chance to say that we are alive” Leclerc told AFP after the event. “We figured that a bit of fun would do us all good at the moment.”
The previous world record for “most people dressed as smurfs” was 2,762 and happened in 2019 in Lauchringer, Germany.
“We figured we wouldn’t worry and that as French people we wouldn’t give up on our attempt to break the world record,” another attendee said. “And now we’re champions of the world … we’re going to smurferize the coronavirus!.”
As of last Thursday, the recorded coronavirus cases in France were 2,300 people with almost 50 deaths.
Needless to say, almost all health maintenance organizations, including the CDC strongly recommend against large gatherings of people during the global pandemic even if the local government hasn’t forbidden it officially.