In Brief

Last normal photograph: Twitter users share images of pre-pandemic life

Call-out for phone snaps of what were everyday scenes triggers new social media sensation

A Twitter thread asking users to share their “last normal photo” from before the coronavirus outbreak has gone viral, with celebrities among the thousands of people getting in on the action.

Leeds-based journalist Robyn Vinter was bombarded with replies within hours of posting a tweet on Saturday requesting “to see the last normal pic on your phone”.

“I spotted Jon Ronson had replied, and a couple more fairly high-profile people and then I noticed Monica Lewinsky had,” Vinter told The Guardian. “I thought: that’s weird, how did she find my little tweet out of nowhere? Then I saw there were thousands of replies.”

Other photos posted feature families celebrating birthdays, friends sharing drinks in bars, and “concert-goers jostling against each other. Crowds without a mask in sight and no thought of physical distancing,” says Canada’s CTV News.

Vinter’s call-out was inspired by a BBC article showing “pictures from before we had to come to terms with lockdowns and social distancing”. 

One of the photos tagged online with the hashtag #lastnormalphoto in response to a request from the broadcaster shows the wedding of a British couple in the Austrian Alps.

“On the Friday night as our guests arrived, Austria announced they would be shutting down from Sunday. On Saturday 14 March we married, and on the Sunday we were escorted from the resort back to the airport,” groom Tom Archer told the broadcaster.

“The campervan with the wedding cake inside is still in a Munich car park,” he added.

Labour MP Jess Phillips has shared her final pre-pandemic photo too, while freelance journalist Jack Needham tweeted an image that will resonate with many.

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