ST Article On Covid-19 Uses Photo Showing Small Dog With ‘Bag’ On Head, Netizens Are Charmed

Sometimes, even in the most serious of circumstances, it’s nice to have a little levity.

When The Straits Times released a very weighty article on Singapore’s seniors being vulnerable to Covid-19, it probably didn’t count on readers being distracted by a cute critter.

The main photo the paper used for its article included a small dog in the bottom-left corner, which would be cute in itself, but what made it even more interesting was the dog had what looked like a bag on top of its head.

Predictably, that was all that netizens chose to focus on.

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Distracted by photo showing a “bag” over the dog

While some of the comments were actually about the point of the article, and tried to discuss seniors being vulnerable to Covid-19, many of them just zoomed on the one “important” detail.

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Sympathy for the dog

There were some who thought the dog must be having a tough time.

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Potential animal abuse?

Some failed to see the humour in the photo, choosing instead to focus on potential animal abuse.

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One pointed out that it may be illegal for the dog not to be on a leash.

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Another felt that the dog shouldn’t be brought outside if its owner is scared it will get infected.

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Yet another netizen, despite not having read the article, was outraged at the use of the photo.

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Even dogs can set a good example

Others choose to compare the dog with its human counterparts.

Was it being a responsible citizen and setting an example for stubborn Singaporeans who still refuse to wear a face mask in public despite it being mandatory under the ‘Circuit Breaker’ rules?

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Or perhaps it’s just scared of getting fined $300.

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Dog with bag over head is a mood

One netizen just said the dog sums up how we all feel under ‘Circuit Breaker’.

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What is he wearing?

Many netizens just wondered why that unleashed dog was running around with what looked like a bag on its head.

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What is that thing anyway?

Dog’s head is actually shielded with netting

Anyone who had bothered to click into the article would have read the caption below the photo saying,

A pet dog, with its head shielded with netting, and its owner in Toa Payoh on Monday.

Thus, the dog’s owner probably put the netting over its head in hopes that it will help ward off infection.

But on social media sites like Facebook, that caption can’t be seen, prompting the confusion and hilarity.

Even a netizen who knew that it was netting decried its use, saying that its owner should have used a proper dog mask.

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A clearer photo of the dog

Finally, a Facebook user managed to find another photo of the dog, and in this clearer photo, taken much nearer to the animal, we can see that it’s a netting.

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The clarification didn’t stop the ST article from being totally overshadowed by the photo, though.

On the bright side, it did get lots of shares and coverage.

Lesson of the day: Be careful what photo you use

We think this whole incident teaches us a lesson: If you’re intending to make a post on a serious topic over social media, be careful what photos you use to accompany it.

However, if you’re intending to create a viral sensation, a photo of a cute dog doing something interesting is definitely the way to go.

We hope the dog is safe and well, and perhaps we’ll see it in Toa Payoh someday.

Featured image adapted from Facebook.