Where’s Waldo? in the Social Distancing Age

from kottke

Finding Waldo is a lot easier when no one can go outside. On his Instagram, art director Pedro Mezzini reimagined Where’s Waldo for the age of social distancing. He’s even wearing a mask! See also Clay Bennett’s version.

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9 Comments

  1. Though I have felt that the social distancing that is taking place is going to have long-term effect on what my overall college experience is going to be like versus what I predicted, I have begun to wonder what impact this is going to have on children. In looking at these Where’s Waldo pictures, which by the way is a book that me and my sisters would spend so much time looking through when we were younger, it saddened me to think about how this is affecting children at this time. Going to school and seeing and making friends is such an important part of childhood and now kids are being neglected this opportunity because of a virus that feels like will never stop spreading. The two kids that I babysit in South Orange would spend as much time as they possibly could playing with other kids whether that be at the playground, at soccer practice, or during school. Though right now it has only been a few months of social distancing, what long term developmental impacts could this isolation have on kids who are supposed to be spending this time socializing? I briefly looked into a few different articles out of curiosity and found that because the importance of relationships outside the family grow in importance in late childhood and adolescence, these are the age groups that will be impacted the most. This is supposed to be a time of learning how to support and be supported by peers and creating deeper relationships with those who are non-family members. In restricting socialization, some psychologists predict that if this social distancing lasts long enough, these kids will not have the steppingstones necessary for forming healthy adult relationships. Hopefully this social distancing does not become the “new normal” or else it is a very serious possibility that it would stunt the social development of young generations.

  2. I actually saw this image on Twitter a few days ago as I was scrolling through my feed, so when I saw the photo here on the blog I was intrigued, “Finding Waldo is a lot easier when no one can go outside” is a metaphor on how society is today when dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems for the most part there is a lot less people out on the road and in public much like this photo. In the age of social distancing we need to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from one another to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as Im sure everyone already knows, with that said over this last month I have been trying to stay inside as much as I can like most of America but I would say I still go out to get food or groceries at least 3 times a week. This may sound crazy to some but I take the proper precautions as I am always wearing my mask and a pair of gloves, while making sure I disinfect things like my phone and car keys, I live in New Jersey and we are one of the capitals for Covid-19 and I feel the restrictions should be stronger here as half of the time I will notice people not taking the proper precautions which can be quite scary. Just the other day there was a heated debate on my towns facebook page about how someone had walked into the 7/11 without a mask on, some customers even called the Police who came and talked to the man, this is a great example of how some people just cant follow a simple rule. On the other hand when I go out to somewhere like Target I will find myself moseying the isles without another customer in sight just like Waldo in this picture, I even have my mask on just like Waldo, which I loved cause it made me think of another great question. How long are we going to be wearing masks out in public, I feel people will be taking this precaution until a vaccine is put out, or even possibly long after that.

  3. This photo finds me feeling very nostalgic. I don’t know anyone who didn’t play “Where’s Waldo” when they were younger. To me, it was a game representative of society as a whole. It is so hard to stand out in a world where every kid essentially does the same thing; go to highschool, go to college, get a job. Everyone learns the same skills and individuality gets lost in the mix. This photo of Waldo during the Covid-19 pandemic represents the chance everyone now has to stand out and work on their own skills specific to them. With their normal routine disrupted, people are finding time to do things that they actually want to do. There is no one dictating what and when you do things. For instance, one of my best friends took up magic during this quarantine. Unless your David Blaine, you are not going to make a career out of doing magic, but not everything is about making money. Its about being original and finding hobbies that you truly enjoy. My friend has come to find out that he is actually really good. Whats so cool about that is it sets him apart. Quarantine has given us all time to be Waldo in that picture.

    Not everyone has to have a unique skill. This picture also represents doing things on your own. There comes a point in life where you simply just have to figure it out on your own. There isn’t always going to be someone holding your hand. You have to take control of your own life, and learn how to rely on yourself.

  4. I really like this photo, brings back great times reading the “Where’s Waldo” series when I was a young kid. Good times. As I’ve grown older, I really started to value art and everything that each piece or work of art possesses. It can tell us a simple message or help us understand the time period in which it was created within. This piece by Pedro Mezzini perfectly portrays the times we are currently living in, and in relation with the “Where’s Waldo” series, it displays the out of the ordinary circumstances that have polluted both real world and now even in a fictional world. You would normally see mass amounts of people and groups in a Waldo painting, the same as you would see a beach in real time during the upcoming summer. However, it is different. It really puts into perspective of how surreal the world has really become within these past two months, where the usual has suddenly transformed into the unusual, which has mentally, emotionally, and physically effected us all in different ways. What that leaves us with is to take advantage of making the most over every aspect of our lives and making sure to find times to smile and stay positive through adversity, the way Mezzini has done with Waldo. Even through unusual circumstances, there are still ways of entertaining or amusing ourselves and others.

  5. This photo brings up many childhood memories for me. My brother and I used to sit with our Where’s Waldo book and compete to see who could find him first. This new reformed Where’s Waldo photo perfectly expresses what is going on in the world currently with allowing multiple emotions to arise. The photo shows Waldo on the beach all alone with a mask on his face which is nowhere near the normal Waldo art that is compacted with tons of items and people. This piece may one day help children understand what happened during this time and allow others to remember what they had to do or how they felt. Pedro Mezzini did a great job capturing what is happening during the pandemic. I really like that he put Waldo in a beach setting as the beaches are normally jampacked with people sitting on top of one another. I haven’t gone to the beach yet since the pandemic has hit New Jersey very hard, but I can only imagine how different everything would look and feel there. Mezzini’s art displays the issues that people are facing through an old cartoon puzzle book that allows many to relate to it. Seeing the pandemic put into art rather just into the news or media hits some people on a deeper level. I personally fall into this category as I am a huge lover of expressing yourself and other things through art. I think that a piece of art can express a lot more than a simple news article with words can. Mezzini shows us with the new Waldo art that no matter what we face, we have to keep pushing on and adapting.

  6. Where’s Waldo is a childhood book many kids would complete growing up, including myself. Looking back, finding Waldo within the image was always very difficult as there were hundreds of things surrounding him, which made him difficult to spot. Now, looking at the new Where’s Waldo, it best describes what the world looks like during this pandemic, which includes being alone on the beach with a mask on. While this piece of art, may not look like every other Where’s Waldo illustration, it is a good portrayal of what is happening in the world around us and how it has deeply affected people. The artist Pedro Mezzini has captured a picture in which generations of people can look back on to reflect on this time in history. Knowing how bad this pandemic is and the major effects it has had on people worldwide, many of our beaches do look like this illustration, as people do not want to go out in public and possibly risk developing this virus.

    While many places are starting to reopen on the east coast, I still do believe that our beaches are going to look like these pictures for the unforeseeable future, as people are trying to be cautious. While every place you may go to visit during this time may have no one there, or through looking at the pictures of places through news broadcast, I feel as though this drawing put things into perspective and shows how this pandemic has really affected everyone. Mezzini’s art may have differed from what the original Where’s Waldo looked like, but it does show everyone what the current “new normal” looks like and how we all need to be aware of what is occurring around us.

  7. I won’t be the first to say that social distancing is weird and I definitely won’t be the last. At the beginning of the year everything was normal. I was going to basketball games with my friends at school surrounded by tens of thousands of people and now that seems so unrealistic. We were going to malls, concerts and other social gatherings. Now that seems insane to me, I have no trust in the general public and even some friends and family. I have had some family members that have gotten the virus due to what I think are bad decisions. My family has been more careful than most, I couldn’t even leave my house until June and I didn’t start working until July. We took all of it very seriously, as you should. It was weird, it was hard. Basically doing the same thing day in and day out with no change in scenery. We saw some family and friends, but it wasn’t the same, we all just kind of sat outside and talked. It was nice, but it was different. I liked being able to see some people that I hadn’t seen in a long time, but it wasn’t like before. I had missed living at school with my friends. I didn’t get to see my family for Easter or get to spend my birthday like I normally would have. There are many people out there who aren’t social distancing though. If there are so many people that are contracting and spreading this virus then why wouldn’t you want to stay away from other people. Unless you live with someone or are very close to them you honestly don’t really know what could’ve happened. It’s a weird concept for all of us, it sucks, but it’s the right thing to do. Nobody wants to do it, but we have to do it to stay safe and for everyone to stay as healthy as possible.

  8. Once I saw “Where’s Waldo,” this blog immediately caught my attention. It was a game I always played growing up, and I enjoyed it. Later, I was forced to play the game because my eyes were bad. I was told to try on different glasses, and to do different activities. My eyes shake, so when I read the lines become blurry and it is hard for me to focus on things. This blog is interesting because of the picture. Waldo is all out by himself, and he even has a mask on. The other picture (Cole Bennett) was extremely funny and accurate. It had Waldo in the woods, and people walking past him, minding their own business with a six-foot distance. Although many may find these pictures funny, it is the sad reality of the real world. In the old “Where’s Waldo” pictures there was many people clustered in an area. It is sad to think that that may never happen again. People may never be able to meet in huge groups again, and that is upsetting. Although the corona virus has many negatives, it impacted the world in a strange way. It caused people to pick up new habits and spend time with their families. I would run with my mom every morning and play games with her often. I ended up learning many new things, but mainly to put my phone down and enjoy life. Life will never be the same, but we can not change the past so why not work for a positive future. The sad reality is we have to start normalizing the new “Where’s Waldo.” Coved is a dangerous disease that spreads fast; to save lives have to start social distancing. We must take precautions to protect people’s lives. Social distancing is hard and can be lonely. But if one takes advantage of this time and situation, instead of moping around, they can do anything they put their mind to. Some people may not be good with technology so it would be hard for them to communicate, but this disease will make them face their problems and overcome them. They can find new hobbies, and even things they love. The new “Where’s Waldo,” compared to the old ones, just goes to show that the world will never be the same.

  9. This is an almost humorous picture at first, but I think it also has a lot to say about the current world situation the more you think about it. Where’s Waldo has been a major part of most people’s childhood including mine. I remember playing where’s Waldo with my friends when I was very young, and I believe they even had them for kids at restaurants back in the day. The nostalgia invoked by the picture is a great way of keeping it in the viewer’s mind for a longer period of time. Because most people have had an experience with where’s Waldo, it is a great way of illustrating how this pandemic has affected everyone. Crowds at beaches or any public place are a constant just about all the time and showing these places completely vacant makes you realize the scope of the pandemic and how it has taken large parts of society into an absolute standstill. The image could also be taken as statement on how Covid is putting a stop to the coming up generation’s childhood. Most of the things children like to do, such as going to the park, socializing in school, or hanging out at friends houses, are simply not possible under the current conditions, and only time will tell if the inability to participate in these activities has a lasting effect on these children later in life. You can also look at as a message about endurance. No matter how bad things get, cultural cornerstones of American life such as Where’s Waldo will continue to entertain those who enjoy them. Artistic pictures like these will also serve as a way for future generations to grasp what life was like during this particularly strange time in world history. Even now places are starting to reopen and places that have been sparsely populated over the recent months are starting to repopulate themselves, these images will show strange the world became. Who knows, given how many places are reporting an increase in cases, this Where’s Waldo image may continue to be accurate for a few more months.

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