Britain struggling to cope with exponential rise in WhatsApp messages

THE UK is not succeeding at flattening the curve of the number of WhatsApps it is receiving, it has admitted. 

In many cases message numbers are doubling every 48 hours, with some waking up to as many as 4,000 coronavirus-themed GIFs every morning.

Emma Bradford, aged 39, said: “The numbers are terrifying. We’re already at the stage where it’s impossible to respond to everyone.

“Yesterday Nikki asked if it was ok to leave the house to fetch a jumper from her car and Uni Mates Chat exploded. I couldn’t stay on top of it because I was stuck in the middle of a furious debate in my family group about how long cheddar lasts.

“I’m trying to slow the tsunami by slapping a facepalm emoji in each of my threads every few minutes and hoping for the best, but I’m aware that I’m still part of the problem.

“It’s impossible not to get drawn in, because I’ve got nothing better to do than to forward witty quotes and then watch in horror as they come flooding back to me through ten other different chats.

“I didn’t think anything could be more tedious than work, but my email inbox will feel like heaven after this.”

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How to outdo other families while never leaving home

THERE’S no lockdown on passive-aggressive one-upmanship, so here’s how to outdo the Joneses without leaving the house:

Competitive rainbow painting

Sure, everyone’s decorating their windows with rainbows to symbolise hope – but your kids’ rainbows are in the style of Monet, Picasso, Klimt and Damien Hirst. Screw you, number 13 with your shit colouring-in and felt-tip pens that are clearly on their way out. Should have stockpiled.

Heartwarming virals

Showcase as many family talents as possible in three minutes: Bohemian Rhapsody with the kids doing solos on piano, oboe and timpani and your other half doing the Fandango. Your lockdown hair already looks like 1975 Queen, but now it’s a style choice.

Order a massive TV

Make sure the neighbours see it coming, ideally blocking the whole close because your Ocado delivery – booked in early March – arrives at the same time. Then post online about how much you’re looking forward to the National Theatre stream tomorrow.

Boast about your tolerant home-schooling

You’re letting the kids go at their own pace, letting them set the agenda, like a Zen temple of liberal learning. Really you’re hothousing them until their brains burn because the bloody SATs are coming up.

Hold garden exercise classes

Why exercise indoors, when you can take the whole family out to the front garden for a tai chi session? The rest of the street will find your whalesong-pan pipe mood mix relaxing, not intensely aggravating.

Offer your kids’ nurse fancy-dress to the NHS

It’ll be a viral sensation, and what’s the point of children if they can’t get you on the regional news? Later that day a nurse will turn up and take the lot because they need it.