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12th May 2020

The psychology of ‘Control The Virus’ explained

Rich Cooper

control the virus

Remember folks, we need to ‘Stay Alert’

When the government announced its initial measures to curtail the spread of Covid-19 throughout the United Kingdom, we were all told to ‘Stay Home’, ‘Protect the NHS’ and ‘Save Lives’. It was a simple and crystal clear slogan accompanied on official signs with striking yellow, black and red imagery.

Danger, warning, safety – this was the message.

This week however Boris Johnson altered the message. As part of the government’s ‘road map’ out of lockdown, the message was changed to ‘Stay Alert. Control The Virus. Save Lives’. The new slogan confused people.

What does ‘Stay Alert’ mean? How do you ‘control’ a virus that you can’t see? The government has since tried and failed to explain its new slogan in more detail, but confusion remains.

We spoke to a communications expert and a scientist, who broke down what the government’s new slogan actually means.