It was only a few weeks ago that we entered the year of the rat, so it’s rather appropriate that it has started with a plague. And I’m fed up with doom, gloom, and general woebaggery. We can get back to the serious stuff tomorrow, but in the meantime here’s a blog post to make you laugh. Or not, as the case may be. Because as you know, laughter is the best medicine. Well actually it’s a vaccine, but that has to wait.
Social media was full of rumours yesterday that Prince Philip had died, again. The Royals were faced with the loss of the family member most notable only for his ability to embarrass them, but then Prince Andrew said “I’ve got this one covered.” The oldest member of the British royal family has died more often than the Scottish media’s hopes of finding a Saviour of the Union. So it’s RIP Prince Philip. He will be missed, except if you’re driving a Ford Kia past an intersection on the A149. Of course Philip hasn’t died, although social media keeps circulating rumours of his demise in the knowledge that eventually it will be right and then self-righteous conspiracy theorists on Twitter can tell us that they knew about it all along.
Prince Philip may not have been a victim of the coronavirus, but the Eurovision Song Contest was. Eurovision has met its Waterloo. See what I did there? Eurovision being cancelled is a very big deal, as it’s basically the Olympics for Gay People except without the melodrama, hype, hysteria and general self-importance usually associated with heteronormative sporting events. It is to your average gay person as the European Cup is to an English football fan, only with Slovenian drag queens dressed as air stewardesses and considerably less crying like a spoiled wee girlie because your team didn’t do very well.
The UK is now deprived of a chance to discover that it’s far less popular amongst Europeans than Belarus, a country which at least doesn’t pretend that it’s not a dictatorship with a ruling class who have one of the most pervasive personality cults in the world. Just get Philip Schofield to ask Prince Philip. Isn’t he maaaaaaaaahvellous. Although not when driving past an intersection on the A149.
Yesterday the coronavirus crisis got even more serious. You know it’s serious when even Jackson Carlaw forgoes a chance to blame Nicola Sturgeon for everything. This task has now been left to sections of the yes movement, who are pursuing it with far greater enthusiasm than the British nationalist press could ever manage. Because what all those people frantically searching the empty shelves of supermarkets are really looking for someone to talk to them about constitutional politics.
The British government has said that the UK is now at war with an invisible killer, which isn’t how I’d have expected the Tories to describe the perma-hiding Boris Johnson, but kudos for accuracy. My husband’s gym has just provided a more detailed and carefully thought through plan for dealing with the virus than the British government. Austria has banned all gatherings of more than five people, although the Austrian authorities have not specified if that number includes the ones imprisoned in the basement. Still, at least we don’t have Donald Trump in charge, who is the performing the equivalent of wondering aloud why everyone says we’re on a sinking ship when he’s sitting at the stern which is currently 200 feet in the air.
Many of us started off during this crisis not worrying too much after we heard that the virus doesn’t really affect the young, and then realising that we could remember when VHS was a cutting edge new technology. Back when VHS tapes were cutting edge new technology, we worried a lot about how the world was going to end. We thought it would end in a nuclear flash and those of us who weren’t vaporised would envy those who were. Either that or it was going to be hordes of zombies. Now we know that it ends in people fighting one another in supermarkets over the last roll of toilet paper, although to be fair those people are difficult to distinguish from a zombie horde. It’s the shittiest episode of Black Mirror ever.
Everyone is stuck indoors. The telly is crap, unless you really love watching a news programme which is exactly like the beginning of every apocalypse movie ever made, with the government studiously ignoring scientific advice. This can only end in two ways. Either in a few months time there will be a few traumatised survivors picking their way through the ruins of Western Civilisation, marvelling at how clean the arses of all the victims are. Or the result of all this enforced intimacy with your significant other is that there’s going to be a baby boom in nine months time. That’s what happens when you snuggle up close to your loved one and whisper those three little words in their ear: “I bought toiletpaper.” This means that in 13 years time we’ll see a new generation to replace the Millenials and Generation Z, the Quaranteenagers. Millenials and Generation Z were described as digital natives. This new generation will be social distancing natives, but then teenagers always do that with their parents anyway so you won’t really notice any difference.
And finally, remember to look out for those worse off than yourself. Donate something to your local foodbank. Give some money to a charity looking after homeless people. Make sure that your elderly relatives and neighbours aren’t going short of anything. Use your time at home productively. Learn a language. Take up a musical instrument. Laugh a little. Laugh a lot. And spare a wee thought for those of us who have bad allergies. People who have permanently runny noses and a propensity to sneeze whenever we see a cat gif have turned into social pariahs. We’re shunned and isolated and no one wants to come anywhere near us. Which means that now I know what it feels like to be a Conservative in Scotland who supports Boris Johnson.
Stay well, and for the duration keep washing those hands. Remember the lesson of the dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus rex had tiny little arms and couldn’t wash its hands. It’s now extinct. Don’t be like T-Rex.
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