A Guide to Covid-19 Protocol (Part 1)

Invited by Paola Bernardelli to contribute to Art Arcadia’s ‘lockdown’ residency programme I decided to create a trilogy of very short Public Service Announcement videos.

Unsettled by Professor Chris Whitty’s charmless warning, broadcast frequently on BBC television, I sought a way to communicate the seriousness of this public health message without draining it of human warmth.

Infused with an incidental humour (it transpires that my four-year-old daughter is both pretty savvy about the Virus protocol and has a rather quirky take on the pandemic situation), the first video addresses the fundamental prophylactic measures: handwashing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, staying home and social-distancing.

Two Fans and A Cardboard Rabbit.

So, the ‘two fans’ I can account for:

During the first weeks of the home-school period, I initiated a design a social-distancing-suit project with the children. After several elaborate design failures, we came up with something that, while rather cumbersome to wear, was certainly effective in terms of distancing and affords the wearer a rather elegant carriage.

Now, as for the Cardboard Rabbit…well, I have to admit, I’m fairly stumped by that one! Given the time of the year, perhaps Easter iconography strayed into the mix and somehow got entangled in Elina’s thoughts on social-distancing? I’m really not sure….

How to make our social-distancing suit:


  • 8 1m long strips of dowelling rod (or 1.5 cm balsa strips) + 7 additional strips for making the ‘A Frame’ underskirt.
  • 8 rolls of 70 x 100 cm 45g/m2 kite-paper (various colours)
  • 1 Roll of strong transparent tape
  • 8 metal braces – we used the braces that come along with Ikea Billy bookcases intended to attach the bookcase to the wall.
  • 1 narrow (but strong) belt.
  • 8 1m ribbons (various colours)


Thread the belt through the hole in the short end of the brace. (diagram 1)

Fold the kite-paper into giant fans (hence the fan reference) and attach to the dowelling rods with tape.

Attach rods to the long end of the braces with strong tape.

To support the kite-paper skirt, add a strip of dowelling rod to the underskirt armature to form an ‘A Frame’ (see diagram below)

Attach ribbons to each rod of the frame at the top of the kite-paper skirt closest to the belt.

Summon at least 3 other people to help you don the suit and enjoy gliding around in public at a safe social distance from others! (Or just prance around your living room.)