Greta Thunberg urges '#DigitalStrike' rather than big crowds amid coronavirus outbreak

Greta Thunberg urges '#DigitalStrike' rather than big crowds amid coronavirus outbreak
© Greg Nash

Greta Thunberg encouraged her climate activists on Wednesday to embrace a “#DigitalStrike” rather than protest in crowds because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Thunberg urged her followers to “do as the experts say” and “unite behind experts and science” by avoiding gathering in crowds in an effort to “#flattenthecurve” of rising cases of coronavirus around the world. 

“We young people are the least affected by this virus but it’s essential that we act in solidarity with the most vulnerable and that we act in the best interest of our common society,” she said in a tweet.

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The teenage activist described the climate crisis as “the biggest crisis humanity has ever face” but added that “for now ... we’ll have to find new ways to create public awareness & advocate for change that don’t involve too big crowds.”

Thunberg recommended followers post photos of themselves striking on Fridays with a sign for the hashtags #DigitalStrike and #ClimateStrikeOnline.

“So keep your numbers low but your spirits high and let’s take one week at the time,” she said.

Activists from around the world have participated in climate strikes on Fridays, in partnership with FridaysForFuture, after Thunberg launched the movement in August 2018 and it went viral. 

But the coronavirus, which has infected more than 121,000 people worldwide, has led health experts to advise people to avoid gathering in crowds. 

Several sporting events, conferences and even political rallies for the two Democratic presidential candidates in the United States have been canceled amid the concerns. Some events, like sport competitions and TV shows like “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” are planning to continue but without live audiences.