Ever since some chump interfered with a pangolin in Wuhan, people have been learning to deal with isolation with varying degrees of success, depending on their mental fortitude, calibre of housemates and general level of fuckwittery. Many find themselves gracelessly shuttling between all isolation states, to the immense frustration of everyone they encounter. Here are just a few you may have the misfortune to meet:
Self-isolating since the Olly MERS virus outbreak in 2012, the Hermit is so well dug in and self-sufficient they have jettisoned all need for human contact. Surviving exclusively on turnips and the critters they snare in their cascading pubes, the Hermit’s house emits a unique musk which has been effective in keeping people and their pathogens at bay for years, leaving the Hermit and their favourite pebbles in relative peace as the world around them burns.
In the Panicker’s house no one can hear you scream. In part because you can’t be heard over their hyperventilating but mainly because the house is soundproofed by the nine million multi-packs of toilet roll lining every room. The plentiful contents of the Panicker’s kitchen cupboard would outlast a nuclear holocaust and have single-handedly shielded Spam stocks from the economic crash. The Panicker will not open the door to anyone out of fear but also because the Lady Macbeth-style hand scouring has left them with dry, raw stumps for digits which ignite if they move their arms too fast.
The Jolly Drunk
Never not making jokes about drinking gallons of wine, the Jolly Drunk clutches on to old tropes like Rose to the Titanic’s stern. The world’s on fire but as long as the Jolly Drunk has her Chardonnay in a glass larger than a person’s head, they can beat reality into hazy submission for a few hours and all is well.
The Dimwit fell off a pogo stick when they were eight and recovered just fine so naturally has no fear of a microorganism so puny it can’t even be seen with the naked eye. The Dimwit travels in packs and migrates from sticky pub habitat to sticky pub habitat bellowing intellectual gems such as “take it on the chin”, “alcohol kills it” and “me big, brave”. Enacting Darwinism on speed, the Dimwit is unlikely to be in a position to pass on their genes before expiring but is very likely to nuke a whole community first.
The well-meaning but ultimately nightmarish Misinformed has been washing her nipples for 20 seconds every time she uses the toilet while singing God Save the Queen. The Misinformed has burned their toilet rolls, stockpiled eggs and grinds to the shops every day in a giant home-made hamster ball, before returning to their home, which they share with twelve pangolins.
The Community Pillar
This is the Community Pillar’s moment. They were made for pandemics. The Community Pillar kicked into action the moment they sensed someone snog a bat in Wuhan and has been harassing the local old dears ever since. In leaving no biddy unbothered, no dog unwalked, no post unmailed, no shopping undelivered, no peace unspoiled, the Community Pillar has nurtured a pulsating, glowing sense of self-worth and unwittingly taken out every octogenarian within a seven mile radius.