Charley Says Social Distancing

Charley was a character in UK Public Information Films in the 1970s. Here he is in ‘Charley Says Social Distancing’

“Treat everyone else as if they’re about to catch fire and you’re a lit match.”

Charley: Miaoweeaawwwoa [I can’t believe I’m writing this]

Narrator: This is you. You’re a match. And these are your friends. You catch the virus and you’re on fire. You’re too close – now all your friends are alight – you’ve infected them with the virus.

Tony, the Boy: Charley says that if ever you see a box of matches lying around, tell mummy because they can hurt you.

Narrator: We’d like the virus to spread slowly so to match the capacity of the health service. It takes a few days before your friends get ill, so you can’t see it spreading.

The virus is spreading rapidly so we need to slow it down. If you’re older or have an underlying medical condition, you need to stay apart.

That’s better. Keep apart. Treat everyone else as if they’re about to catch fire and you’re a lit match.

Charley: Awoooarwah.


For advice on COVID-19, see:HM Government NHS (UK National Health Service) WHO (World Health Organization) US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) US NIH (National Institutes of Health)

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Social Distancing using Play-Doh and Matches

There has been much talk about using social distancing as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Here’s a video of how social distancing can be used:

  • Close Contact, where the population is infected very rapidly. This is not A Good Thing – the national health service is overwhelmed, and the death rate goes up as a result
  • Extreme Distancing, where the viral spread takes too long. This is not A Good Thing – the social and economic costs are huge
  • Optimal Distancing, where the spread is controlled and the human, social, and economic costs are optimized. This is A Good Thing. It is also very tricky to get right.

Mintzberg and Waters (1985)

In my first YouTube tutorial video, we look at

Mintberg, H. and Waters, J. A. (1985) ‘Of Strategies, Deliberate and Emergent’, Strategic Management Journal6(3), 257-252

A YouTube Reading List for Practitioners and Students of Management

One of the issues with strategic management (and business management more generally) is that the folklore of academic writing is passed down the generation, from professor to student, without a critical reading of the original works, or without a read at all.

Business text books excerpt the salient points from academic articles, and can miss the nuances of the text.

At Oxford, students are required to read 10-20 articles per week which they synthesize into a tutorial essay.

Some of us do not have the luxury of being able to study for a degree full time, and may not have access to the original articles – although sites such as Google Scholar and ResearchGate are starting to break down the barriers to access to academic works.

I am starting a series of YouTube videos to cover a relatively broad area – general management, strategic management, and other bits and pieces that I find interesting.

I will upload these to my YouTube channel.  I hope you find them interesting.  Please do leave comments on the video’s page on YouTube, and consider subscribing to my channel for a (hopefully) regular dose of academic articles to keep you thinking about management a little more critically.

Categorised as YouTube