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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Covid 19 : The World Gone Crazy

Joffrey the chicken hiding in the bushes

Standing at the entrance of our local shop yesterday, swearing prolifically and attempting to separate the shopping baskets which some idiot had jammed together, I felt a light tap on my shoulder.

It was an elderly gentleman.

“Can I help you with that?” he asked. “They’re a nuisance when they get stuck together, aren’t they?” he added, holding the basket out to me.

I nodded in agreement as I furtively checked him over for signs of fever, heavy breathing or a cold sweat.

Having just heard on the car radio that our Prime Minister had cancelled all public gatherings in response to the spread of Covid 19, I was a bit on edge.

The old guy seemed to be healthy, but you could never know for sure. 
Anyone could be a carrier. 

I’ve heard that victims ‘shed’ the virus before they show symptoms and the gentleman’s hands were all over the shopping basket where I was about to place my mushrooms, organic lettuce and tea-tree scented toothpaste.

Scanning his body for any type of ‘shedding’, proved to be  problematic. 

How would I know what to look for? 

Would flakes of infected skin start to fall off him? Would his ears and nose and other orifices seep a discernible watery liquid? Or worse… would invisible deadly particles rush from his plague-ridden breath straight up my unsullied and mostly pristine nostrils?

But then I realised that all manner of contaminated people might have already touched the basket and there was no way I’d know, so I threw caution to the wind and accepted the basket graciously from the kind man.

I must say, there was a strange feeling in the air though. 

Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. 

It was a bit like the overt aura of magnanimous cheer you can sense at Christmas. Everyone seemed to be smiling and nodding at each other in mutual good humour… but there was no silver tinsel festooned around the newspaper stand, no Michael Buble carols playing on the speakers, and none of the staff were wearing silly antlers. 

There was a decided air of nervous expectancy. Did these people believe the rumours the country was about to go into lockdown?

I noticed that most people’s shopping trolleys were overloaded just like at Christmas time, too. But instead of hams and pavlova ingredients, the trolleys were full of paper towels, bleach and long-life milk.

Suddenly, I panicked. I had to get out of the shop before the virus got me. Long-life milk signalled end times. In every apocalypse movie, people are hoarding long-life milk and cigarettes.

But there was no time to scour the aisles for long-life bloody milk. I’d drink my coffee black.

By this stage I had seven apples and a lettuce in my basket. I quickly calculated that if I cut the apples in quarters, I could make one apple last me all day for seven days straight. After I’d eaten the apples, I could start rationing the lettuce. Three leaves a day would probably be enough. I could take the iron tablets already in my fridge to supplement any nutritional shortfall. If worst came to worst and the country did go into lockdown, I would at least survive for two weeks.

“Do you have your senior’s card yet?” asked the mousy, toad-like hag at the check-out.

“No!” I snapped back at her.

The mealy-mouthed witch asks me this every single Tuesday because apparently all the seniors get a 5% discount or some shite and she thinks I look like an effing senior when I clearly have ANOTHER SIX AND A HALF MONTHS BEFORE I’M A FUCKING SENIOR THANK YOU VERY FECKING MUCH YOU HIDEOUS TROLL!

All the way driving home, I kept coming up with smart answers for next time the bitch asks me.

Something subtle and backhanded, like…

“I really admire you! I would never have the courage to go three weeks without washing my hair. How do you do it?”

“No dear, I’m not old enough for a senior’s card yet, but tell me, what’s the best bargain you’ve ever bought with yours?”

Or the slightly less subtle but quite witty, “Listen you rude, unctuous be-artch, you might think I’m old but at least when I was your age, I wasn’t an ugly, creepy twat like you and when I do turn sixty you can stick your piddling 5% discount up your clacker.”

I was in such a lather that I’d forgotten to buy my tea-tree flavoured toothpaste which was disappointing because if there’s a lockdown and I run out of food, I could have rationed it out for at least a week.

We do own seven chickens and I suppose we could wait for them to die, put them in the freezer then eat them one at a time. 

We couldn’t kill them of course. Not because we’re cruelty free hippies or anything, but because they hide under the deck and we’d never catch them what with being weak from existing on apples and lettuce for two weeks.

Besides, I’m supposed to be a vegetarian and vegetarians don't eat chicken.

Will Uber Eats still deliver in a lockdown?

Would we have to get them to leave the food in the driveway and watch from the window until they leave?

How will they deliver since they'll be in a lockdown too?

Do you have any answers for me?

Asking for a chicken.