Social Distancing: Why I'm loving the Corona Virus

When I first heard about the Corona Virus some time in January, I had no idea it would turn out to be so serious. The name itself threw me off, after all, it was literally named after the friendliest beer. I mean, when you picture yourself soaking in the sun on some pristine beach in the Carribbean, you see yourself drinking a Corona, not a Schlenkeria (or some other German beer with way too many consonants). A few months down the line and here I am, barricaded in my house with my family, and yet, despite the gravity of the situation, there are many things I’m very thankful for about this pandemic. 

These days, I only venture out for groceries but when I’m there, if I feel a cough coming on, I panic and do everything to try to hold it in. And its not like holding in a fart, this is much tougher, especially as I’m allergic to dust and that’s pretty unavoidable. I’ve been in many awkward situations where my allergies get me death stares and eye ball judgement. Although it does wonders if you need to clear a path somewhere. Who needs to say ‘Excuse me’ when you can just cough. It’s almost like having a superpower.

I never thought I would see the day where coughing would raise more eyebrows and instill more fear than a weapon or good old fashioned indecent exposure. I think you could actually hold up a bank nowadays by just coughing your way to the safe and spitting sputum on the cashier clerks. I can see it now, a burglar enters a bank where everyone is wearing face masks, removes his and yells “All your money or I’ll sneeze!”

The social distancing aspect if by far the greatest bonus. For years and years I have been searching for an excuse to avoid some people like the plague, and lo and behold, the universe sends me an actual plague! There are a certain number of mouth-breathing, incessant talking, sewage breath folks that I’m delighted to never have to hug or mingle with again. It’s wonderful; now when I see these folks, I do my special “Corona Dance”; I throw my hands up in the air like I’m under arrest and I wiggle my ass backwards until said person blends into the horizon, singing “Sorry, have to be careful, I have asthma” as I disappear into the distance, forever. 

As Covid-19 began to really impact healthcare infrastructures and societies started shutting down, the gravity of this apocalypse hurtled at me with full force. In particular, the closing of schools was a shock to the system. I believe my exact words to my husband were “Shoot me in the ass because I’m sure that will hurt less”. Gone were the days of having my morning coffee after dropping my toddler at nursery by lazing on the couch and fantasizing about my pulitzer award. Now it was back to chug your coffee cold while you distract young demon with the theory of relativity, or a balloon. 

But as the first week passed, we both settled into the new reality and I am really loving the extra bonding time. Now we play, laugh and cry together and every day is a new opportunity to try and find new fun activities we can do at home and alone. Seriously, if anyone ever wanted to train their young ones to be successful serial killers, you won’t get another opportunity like this. 

There are many benefits to flattening the curve, and I’m not just referring to my shape. The planet is getting a much needed break from some fleas, families all over the globe are discovering that maybe they should have opted for condoms, and introvert alcoholics are finally venerated with a lifestyle most will condone. So take comfort and know that it’s ok; we’re all in this, alone. 

From ABC to OCD

Ah, the beautiful carefree spirit of children. They play, they swing, they run amok in all sorts of nooks and crannies. They kiss each other on the mouth, they start their meals with an aperitif of boogers and have absolutely no qualms with grabbing moving insects off the ground to cleanse their budding and innocent palates. Of course this doesn’t last. As we age, we put less and less things in our mouth (some of us, anyways). And invariably, many of us grow into less and less tolerant maniacs. So why does this transformation occur? Are we doomed to climb an upward slope with our placidity until we rot?

I was a messy, messy child. I was a messy, messy young adult. I’m still messy today, albeit less, but I have developed a touch of OCD in weird things and I can’t reconcile this with my character. For instance, if you come over and eat a cookie in my house without a plate, I will literally silently stare and try to memorize where each baked boulder lands, while I plot on disemboweling your loved ones. Then I will spend the rest of the evening with a fake smile, trying to count the nanoseconds till you leave and I can find said bubonic-plague-spreading morsels.

If I visit a public bathroom, I cannot touch the doorknob to leave. I need a tissue shielding me from the cold metal protrusion, from which I am sure I can visibly see creepy crawlies jumping up and down, touching themselves and yelling “Come on sugar! Bring your unsuspecting paw! I just want a ride baby!” Not ten years ago, this was absolutely no issue for me (the doorknobs, not the molesting bacteria, if I had known about those fuckers then, things would have been a whole lot different). Now, if the bathroom is out of tissues, I will literally wait till someone comes in to make my escape. How has this happened?

How did I go from someone who would share a beer with any sort of mammal to a person who cringes when someone takes a sip of my drink? There are very, very few people who I can tolerate sharing any body fluids with, and they include me. Is this a sign of insanity on the horizon? Is this one of many mental disorders that is fated to cloud my future days?

According to research, the shift towards intolerance in older age is linked to the epoch you grew up in as well as atrophy of certain parts of the brain. Additionally, some research shows that “intellectual curiosity tends to decline in old age”, which could support us becoming more and more closed off to certain behaviors. I take offense at that. Partly because I don’t want my intellectual curiosity to go down, and because I don’t agree. If I leave cookie crumbles to rue my house, it is not a sign of the degradation of my intellectual curiosity. Just because I’m not curious as to how many bugs will fester in my furniture doesn’t mean I am any less curious then I was in my 20s. I never once saw a child stuff a bug into its mouth, and while they sat there drooling with one twitching insect limb poking out did I think to myself “Oh what a wonderfully curious creature! Bless it!”

No, kids are stupid; they eat shit off the floor because they don’t know how to live without adult supervision. Many people are bums, and I don’t like cookie shit on my floors because I don’t want to host a free buffet for grimy guests. I like to think of my developing OCD as a glorious sign of my budding character, not a hindering consequence of my greying hair.

Ultimately, change is inevitable and it is a beautiful part of the life cycle. Even if it means you will invite less people over to your house. If you too are showing premature signs of Jack Nicholson levels of OCD, fear not, the road ahead is not all bad. You may end up with less friends but you can relish in the fact that you have less insects and disease in your life.

Also, there are just as many sources that say we become more mellow with age as there are that claim the opposite. The uptake from this is that: 1) we know research doesn’t count for shit and 2) your older days could really go either way.  I say embrace the tide, let the slobs cry over the corpses of their loved ones, let the bacteria keep longing for your skin, and do not go gentle into that good night!

 

crazy-cat

 

 

 

The Science of Stupid

It’s one thing to believe in Santa when you are young. It’s quite another to grow into a sound adult who shares serious “Santa spotted in Brazil” posts on Facebook based on some asinine source. Day in and day out, I am simply astounded by the sheer amount of bull manure that is shared on social media and defended as fact. Unfortunately, not only has news reporting become sullied by sensationalism and outright deceit, but science is having her day in the pit as well thanks to those who perpetuate false claims.

At school, we were taught the difference between fact and fiction. But more important now is the difference between fact and opinion. The world has become inundated with self-proclaimed experts that spew out garbage with throngs of drones just accepting whatever shit comes their way. Just because you’ve experienced something doesn’t give you the right to suddenly claim to be an expert and start spreading your ignorance around. If that were the case, I would attach ‘tequila connoisseur’ to my name on all official documents, and roam the earth sucking up agave liquor from all the finest venues. Yet just because I consume industrial amounts doesn’t mean I get to be interviewed about the atomic differences between brands.

Study has become a greatly abused word today. Reporters and people hide behind the title to make outrageous claims that are too absurd for words. How is it possible that there are still people that don’t know the difference between satire, blogs and science reports? For a very succinct and hilarious explanation of the problem, please watch this awesome video by one of my heroes; John Oliver (Here). Essentially, it boils down to the fact that research studies sometimes have misleading or catchy headlines that get completely blown out of proportion by traditional media.

And it’s not like science isn’t sexy enough on its own. Ever watched ‘How the Universe works’ or Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole? That shit is literally so cool it hurts to understand.  The world around us is astounding, the way nature works on our planet and off it are simply beyond wonder. Do we really need to latch on to stupid claims about how smelling farts cures cancer? Or how the vibrational energy in my heart will soothe your throbbing hemorrhoids?

It’s one thing to want to believe, but it’s another to not only buy the lies but spread them as well. Sure, I would love to live in a world where instead of chemo all I had to do was sniff some butts to heal, but that’s not the way it works. If you are going to start defending a claim, please make sure it comes from a recognized scientific source, not a blog. When I was studying history in university, I remember one teacher constantly hammering us with “check your sources, check your sources, check your sources” over and over. This person needs to start a religion because there are bucket loads of morons that believe just about anything today.

If it seems like I’m coming off kinda mean, I’m not. There is a study that has actually honed down our Bullshit Receptivity Scale and how it relates to our intelligence. If you are in doubt that you may yourself be a victim of this, simply apply the scientific method to whatever you are in doubt of and you will be on your way. For example, let’s say my friend Jerome tells Cinderella “hey Cinderella, did you know that licking cows makes you lose weight?” Cinderella is excited, because who the fuck enjoys actual dieting? Cinderella goes to a farm, weighs herself, and then licks some cows. After a few of these sessions, she notices no change in her weight, however she has developed a fever. What does Cinderella conclude? That Jerome is an asshole.

Enough ignorance. Ignorance is at the root of all evil in our world today and we begin to change the universe by changing ourselves, and I don’t mean what you’re wearing, I mean from within. If you can search for porn on the internet, then you are capable of deciphering what’s fact from what’s drivel. Part of our definition as humans is that we have the intellectual capacity for critical thinking. If you don’t apply it, you might as well walk around with a bell around your neck, and a ‘beef’ stamp on your ass.

stupid

Stand by your SO(B)

Relationships are special. Relationships are cursed. About all I can say with certainty after my life experience is that they are a delicate balance of giving in, looking the other way and sticking to your guns, literally, as in sometimes you need to threaten people with physical violence or they just don’t get it. Yet despite the hierarchy and anatomy of different types of relationships, one thing that I absolutely detest are people that put their SO (Significant Other) down in public.

I often see people put up with shit in their lives, be it from their work, their kids, or that vindictive slut karma that doesn’t seem to always live up to her word. Yet despite the crap we are dealt with, the one instance where we shouldn’t bend over and smile is when we are being put down by people we love. Life hands out enough humiliation, like that time you were speaking to someone and accidentally threw up on their face, or that time you thought you were alone in an alley and farted Mozart’s 5th symphony, only to hear the crushing giggles of an invisible audience.

Yet humiliation from a loved one is more painful than sodomy with a palm tree. There are several reasons for this. The first is that your Significant Other is significant because you love, respect and admire them, so technically they are coming from a point of authority. It’s like your mom announcing in front of your science club that the only white coat you were going to get as an adult was in the loony bin as you were dropped way too many times on your head as an infant. Another reason is the surprise element, like when you are out hunting deer and as you are crouching in the bush, an excited-nearly-extinct rhino spots your behind and decides to finally try out interspecies mating. It hurts from both ends; mentally and physically.

Not only does it hurt when you are involved, but it is also quite shitty to witness. Even if you are not close to either party, watching someone be humiliated by their SO(B) is as uncomfortable as watching your parents go at it. It’s awkward, its ugly and you would rather be miles and miles away, hunting the last unicorn in some dimension. Sure, sometimes, we lose our tempers and explode and say things we regret, yet these instances should be few and far between. Others however, thrive and exist on berating the partners they hold dear, with complete disregard to the audience. The fact that these assholes are even allowed to procreate is beyond me; I only wish it were socially acceptable to interfere and say something to their ugly faces.

Unfortunately though, you can’t interfere in someone else’s business. Unless they are physically smashing their partner’s teeth out, you kind of have to sit the abuse out. It’s sad but in every instance when you try to step in to stand up for a friend, it will always backfire and you will suddenly be the focus of the problem. Their dysfunctional relationship will survive way past your friendship, and years down the line they will be on some deserted beach, sipping Bacardi and talking about how they almost broke up that time because of that asshole one time; you.

If you are, unfortunately, in love or living with someone like this, and the sex is too good or you are just too lazy to seek an alternative life partner, I suggest the following to help Karma on its way:

  • Spit in their morning coffee. It’s a nice discrete way to send them on their day.
  • Hack into their bank account and treat yourself every month to a spa or nice day out
  • Give the brake pads on their car a little nip. Only do this though if you feel like you are ready to maybe start looking for the next Mr./Mrs. Wrong to ruin your life.

It’s a sad fact of life, but there are people who put up with demeaning partners because of low self-esteem. You can sugar coat it all you want, but glazed abuse is just as sickening as the non-glazed version. It is a form of bullying, that will probably be picked up by the children and perpetuated for generations to come. Ultimately, relationships should be a support system. Your SO should be the one raising you up, not crumpling you down to a wilted flower. And while it may be hard to step out of the madness, you need to remind yourself that life hands out enough shit, so you really don’t need to put up with someone else’s. And remember, abuse isn’t funny, unless it’s physical and happening to the abuser.  relationsheep