The boredom of life in lockdown is driving people to find excitement in improbable ways. Some people are shaving their heads. Others are very suddenly baking sourdough. One Australian family sat in their living room for 15 hours to simulate a long-haul international flight.
People will look for fun in the least likely of places after spending more than a month under house arrest. But for Queenslander Danielle Askew, it took only the first week.
“My friend put a meme on Facebook saying “isolation day six, it’s bin night, I’m excited to go out,” she told VICE over Facebook messenger. “I dared her to dress up, [then] I dressed up and made a Facebook page for us to have a giggle.”
Danielle's page, dubbed “Bin Isolation Outing”, now has close to a million members: a community of people from all around the world who are dressing up to take out their trash, and then post photos online. Most are from Australia, though there have been contributions from as far afield as Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States.
“We have over 20,000 pending posts a day,” said Danielle. “So far Australia has the most participating members dressing up to take their bins out, though we have people from all over the world.”
The concept is simple: "basically the bin goes out more than us SO let’s dress up for the occasion", the page description reads. It’s a fittingly absurd fad for such a surreal time to be alive—and in Danielle’s view, an innovative way to connect while keeping a safe distance.
“Isolation just goes against our nature,” she said. “Using Facebook and the Bin Isolation Outing page we’ve been able to network together and be social again from the safety of our own homes.
“It’s been amazing watching what people are coming up with. The main thing we've learned is that people all over the world have different bin days.”