A brilliant thread by Doncaster Council that should inspire everyone to stay home to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

First published in March 2020.

This man’s name was Stanislav Petrov.

Stanislaw Petrow (1939-2017). / Wikimedia - Queery-54

Stanislav was a hero, and if you want to – you can be just like him.

Let us explain.

Stanislav was a Russian, and was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet military.

(That’s not how you could be just like him, though. Bear with us.)

In 1983, Stanislav was the commanding officer of a Soviet nuclear early warning site. Basically, his job was to wait for the Americans to launch a nuclear weapon, and launch one back if they do.

(Again, it’s VERY unlikely any of you will ever do that job, so just hang on a second).

On 26th September 1983, the unthinkable happened. It seemed that America had launched nuclear bombs. Stanislav watched in disbelief as it came up on the monitoring software that 5 nuclear missiles were on their way.

Instead of panicking, Stanislav Petrov stayed calm. He thought rationally – why would America send 5 missiles when they have thousands? It didn’t add up.

So... instead of springing in to action, Stanislav did...


That’s right – he waited.

And waited.

And waited a bit more.

All the while, remember, there were potentially 5 nuclear missiles hurtling towards his country.

In the end, Stanislav Petrov was proved right – it had been a false alarm.

His calmness, his level-headedness, and his choice to do NOTHING, literally saved the world from destruction.

Here’s where YOU come in.

Now, we are not saying the threat of Covid-19 is the same as 5 nuclear bombs. What we are saying is that YOU have the chance to be an absolute HERO by doing pretty much NOTHING.

Please, stay at HOME.

Put your feet up. Relax!

How many times in human history will we be able to say that the heroic thing to do will be to SIT DOWN?

Stanislav Petrov is known as ‘The Man Who Saved the World by Doing Nothing.’

In the coming weeks, use him as your inspiration.

#StayHomeSaveLives #BreakTheChain

Tweets posted on 23 March 2020 by @MyDoncaster.

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 23 March 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

Creative Commons License
(Cover: Wikimedia/National Geographic. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)