This article delineates the material relations, routines and sensorial responses inhabited by people in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. It grounds views on a discourse of behavioural change while exploring how Ugandans, Kenyans and Rwandans responded to COVID-19 messages populated on selected official government Twitter accounts. The article is a mixed methods study that employs a numeric and discursive analytic approach, with the nudge theory proving particularly congenial.