Self-isolation and mandatory shutdowns have given rise to one slight source of joy – the ‘how tf am I an essential worker’ memes that have been circulating the web this week.

The trend, it seems, was kicked off by Twitter user @LilTrePod, who posted an edited image of a Baskin Robbins employee, alongside the now-iconic ‘how tf am I an essential worker’ caption on April 5. The tweet subsequently amassed over 350k likes and 64k retweets in a matter of days.

The Baskin Robbins image, many users quickly pointed out, has been circulating the web for a very long time now (so it’s obviously not legitimate). But that didn’t stop other users from users finding random selfies of people in mascot costumes and shitposting them to Twitter with the ‘essential worker’ quote.

Everyone began coming forward with random mascots, from supermarket to ice-cream employees, supposedly questioning why they were an essential worker.

Although 99% of the posts are fake, the sentiment behind them is so damn great, particularly in Australia, where our government’s lack of communication, coupled with each state’s differing COVID-19-related laws, have left many of us rightly wondering what the fuck is going on and questioning whether certain practices or outings are essential or not.

For now, let’s gaze into the eyes of these mascots and find slight respite amid these turbulent times.

Image: Twitter / @LilTrePod & @saintashxx