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Mindy Kaling Used A Kelly Meme From ‘The Office’ To Ask People To Take Social Distancing ‘Seriously’

Mindy Kaling has a lot of reasons for you to stay inside and continue to encourage social distancing despite parts of the United States slowly easing COVID-19 restrictions. Kaling has a new show on Netflix earning strong reviews — Never Have I Ever — that’s partially based on her own upbringing, which is as good a place as any to sink a few hours of your time these days.

If that’s not enough to keep you on the couch despite an uptick in decent weather and states like Missouri and Texas easing restrictions, perhaps her character from The Office can help her cause. On Sunday, Kaling tweeted a meme that featured a line Kelly said on the show reframed in the context of images of people not practicing good social distancing that many saw over the weekend.

“Kelly was right on this one,” Kaling tweeted along with the meme, which has Kelly saying “it’s just that some of us are taking this really seriously” under text that reads “when people flying, going to beaches and having parties ask why we’re upset.”

Kaling makes it clear she wants to shame people not following good social distancing practices and helping flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases, which are likely to rise with more human contact and asymptomatic spreading of the disease. And her noting that Kelly is “right” this time is important, as the scene on the show is a bit ridiculous.

The moment comes from the first episode of The Office‘s fifth season, called “Weight Loss Part 1.” The Dunder Mifflin branches hold a weight loss competition that, predictably, has everyone go a little crazy in Scranton. The context here is that Kelly is doing a cleanse diet where she can only drink maple syrup, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and water. Which is taking a toll on her, as shown very clearly in her confessional early in the episode.


This scene, however, comes later. Right after this comment — which comes as she watches with disgust as Kevin puts peanut butter on a bagel — Kelly reveals that she “swallowed a tapeworm” which she hopes will eat all her food and help her lose weight. The extreme measures are played up for comedy, but what Kaling is asking for is very real. She’s spent part of her still-busy schedule doing COVID-19 fundraising for first responders in the United States and India, so this is clearly something she feels very strongly about. What she’s asking is far more reasonable than swallowing a parasite in order to win an in-office competition, though.