The BBC today: “Some people are being asked to isolate themselves to prevent the spread of coronavirus”.
My local pub has ‘characters’.
The full range of humanity is at times on display, and in the manner of the beasts of the African savannah, they tend to come to the watering hole at different times of the day. All are in need of refreshment after a hard days grafting at the ‘coal face’, in the white delivery van or with a particularly tricky spreadsheet. The dirt under the fingernails is often matched by the dirt in their heads and of their habits. And just like the wild things that come to push collective snouts into the liquid, they emit noises and grunts and flatulence that would make a spicey bean and kale fed vegan blush.
It is no accident that most of them represent the male of the species, the females are usually elsewhere seeing to the base layer of the hierachy of human needs. A few of the females do make an appearance and are thus noticeable by their rarity. One or two are even sober.
The world is currently experiencing a pandemic, acccompanied by hyperbole, sensationalism, blame and the ‘soon to appear’ moral panic. Folk devils and scapegoats will have to be found.
First, we have ‘something defined as a threat to our society and our health’. There is a bloke who after his first pint starts mumbling into his beardy breath about “bloody migrants bringin’ in a virus”. The fact that his beard alone should be treated as public health hazard warranting a good rinsing with bleach followed by a blowtorch seems to have escaped him. I swear there are living pathogenic organisms clinging to the roots of his darkest, blackest follicles that have not seen daylight since the Black Death of 1347.
Then the likes of the Sun, the Mail and the Express start printing headlines about the killer virus that will eat your face unless you wear a full chemical defence suit. They do this just as there is a temporary blip in their foaming about Brexit. This virus is actually a gift from god to the media men and women of Fleet Street who have no need to go hunting for a serious story. All they have to do is recycle rumour, speculation and gossip before settling in their respective local pubs to make fun of the ‘poor people’ who have to serve them.
All of this results in the blokes in the public bar at my local being distracted from their usual discussions of “titties and beer” to orientate new blather towards that of imminent death which results from the germs to be found festering on the handle of the gents toilet door. Suddenly they are experts in virology and public health. It’s not their fault. They get their information from privately educated London based journalists who have as much interest in public education as they have in hand washing the skid marks found welded into the fibres of the course clothed gussets of the underwear of dockers overly fond of Guiness and a Vindaloo.
Photo by Dragne Marius on Unsplash
The next stage in this moral panic will be changes that will be made to social gatherings.
Such as ‘not going out’ being the new ‘going out’.
Anyone caught even twitching their nose in anticipation of a sneeze will be reported to the relevant authorities who will then visit at 3 in the morning to remove the offender to Chinese re-education centres. There they will be taught the first line self help treatments should they start to feel ill:
a) Taking themselves off to the shed at the bottom of the garden for three weeks, until death or boredom claims them. If they don’t have a shed…
b) Joining a leper colony. If there is not one in the locality…
c) Self immolation with aviation fuel*.
I’d like to suggest the following should seriously consider isolating themselves for the forseeable future:
- The ‘cat in the wheelie bin’ woman.
- The pissed bloke at the bar who has no clue about personal space, and breathes spittle into both your face and your beer.
- Any white middle aged bloke who starts by saying “I’m not racist but…”
- The first blue passport holder to come into the pub holding it aloft and shouting “I’ve got my country back!”
- Piers Morgan, Rod Liddle and Katy Hopkins.
- Any Leave Voter who is still mad at the EU.
- The first greasy haired, acne pocked, pasty faced, shit bucket ‘incel’ who complains he can’t get a girlfriend and therefore “all women should be gang raped by him and his mates” for ignoring them.
- Pussy grabbers.
- TV Evangelists.
- Public masturbators.
All of the above pose a bigger threat to public health and well being than a virus which could wipe out 5% of the world population at the first sitting.
*this can be purchased in the centre aisle of your local LidL or AlDI.