Germany Hails Couch Potatoes As COVID Heroes In New Government Advert

by : Julia Banim on : 16 Nov 2020 16:09
Germany Hails Couch Potatoes As COVID Heroes In New Government AdvertFederal Government Of Germany

It’s strange to consider how your older self will one day recall the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps while regaling your grandchildren with tales of loo roll shortages and Zoom quiz triumphs.

Now the German government has offered a glimpse of what such a future might look like, with a public health advert showing a fictional older man reflecting proudly on his very important – but not too taxing – role during the 2020 pandemic.


All of us want to look back on this difficult time and know that we did our best to be a decent person, looking beyond ourselves to help others and help contain the spread of the virus. And, as the advert shows, the most noble service many of us can be doing right now is simply staying at home.

You can watch the advert here:


The video, with the tagline ‘#specialheroes — Together against corona,’ celebrates the much-maligned couch potato, and calls upon the good people of Germany to follow their lead.


The advert shows the now elderly hero, named Anton Lehmann, reminiscing over his youth during the ‘Winter of 2020’, a time when ‘all eyes of the country were on us’.

At the time, Anton reveals to the sound of stirring music, he had been a 22-year-old engineering student living in the city of Chemnitz.

With a wistful look in his eye, Anton recalls:

At this age, you want to party, to study, to get to know new people and all that. Going for drinks with friends. Yet fate had different plans for us.

coronaDie Bundesregierung

The clip then cuts to a younger Anton, the camera spiralling outwards as the older Anton continues to recount his fateful winter, and the ‘invisible danger’ that posed a threat to ‘everything we believed in’.

Anton continues:

Suddenly the fate of this country lay in our hands. So, we mustered all our courage and did what was expected of us, the only right thing.


The ‘right thing’ is this instance was, in Anton’s words, to do ‘absolutely nothing’ and to be as ‘lazy as raccoons’.

The advert then shows Anton as a young man; lying gormlessly on his sofa, flicking through TV channels, munching take-out pizza and generally being an exemplary couch potato.

coronaDie Bundesregierung

Anton continues:


Days and nights, we stayed on our arses at home and fought against the spread of the coronavirus.

He goes on to remember how, ‘Our couch was the front line and our patience was our weapon’, adding, ‘Looking back, this was our fate. This is how we became heroes’.

The advert then wraps up with a call to arms, or indeed armchair, stating, ‘You too can become a hero by staying at home’.

The advert has been made to humorous effect, but the message here is a serious one.

Germany has so far reported 775,556 coronavirus cases with 12,378 deaths over the course of the pandemic, DW reports.

At the beginning of November, the country imposed a month-long partial lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the virus. By staying home and being ‘lazy’, everyday people are indeed saving lives, a fact that they will hopefully look back on with the same pride as Anton.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, Advert, COVID, Germany, Pandemic


  1. DW

    Germany hails couch potatoes as heroes of coronavirus pandemic