Suzanne Harrington: Have a happy remote St Patrick’s Day folks

Suzanne Harrington: Have a happy remote St Patrick’s Day folks

Corona, corona, corona. You wouldn’t know whether to laugh, scream, or stockpile cyanide pills in case the mass outbreak of stupidity becomes too intolerable, no matter how much you self-isolate.

No loo roll left in supermarkets — what are we going to do, mummify ourselves in three-ply? Stuff it in our head cavities to ward off airborne microbes? Build an Andrex fortress to hide inside? 

As for those shops, pharmacies and eBay ‘entrepreneurs’ exploiting media-stoked fear by multiplying the price of stuff like hand sanitiser — an infected corner of hell awaits such shameless capitalist scumbaggery. May they be coughed upon, and sneezed over.

What nobody seems to have been stockpiling is common sense or perspective. A woman in China was hospitalised after eating 1.5kg of raw garlic to boost her immunity; the poor love must have muddled her microbes with her vampires. Maybe she should have tried echinacea, or basic sanity. Maybe she could consider the following: Corona virus has so far killed less than 4,000 people. 

A 100-year-old man in China has already made a full recovery. Yet globally, starvation kills around 25,000 people every day. Guess which one gets 24/7 media coverage and has caused stock markets to crash? Hint — it’s not the 9 million plus who die annually of hunger, but hey, let’s all lose our minds about the corona virus and scare the crap out of our kids as we’re at it.

Corona virus is not the greatest threat to the continued existence of humanity, not by a long shot — that’ll be climate change. Imagine if the media got stuck into climate change with the same fervour and intensity, via constant updates, banner headlines, death tolls, risk factors, demands to know what steps political leaders are taking, and making sure everyone takes it so seriously that Greta Thunberg could take an afternoon off.

Go to a movie, put her feet up.

Obviously Corona virus is frightening because it threatens not only medically vulnerable people, but our idea of what the world — that is, our safe wealthy developed world — should look like. 

We can’t build a wall to keep it out, do a Brexit on it, ban it, criminalise it, pay it to go away. Our usual powers are useless. Status means nothing to a virus, money offers no immunity, hoarding pasta won’t protect you. Neither will panicking, but we’re giving it a go.

It hasn’t been our finest moment. Xenophobia, blame, recrimination, fear-mongering, hysteria, greed, selfishness, stupidity – corona virus has activated them all. Politicians remain blustering, clueless, fearful – do nothing and be accused of inaction, shut everything down and be accused of over reaction. Or do a Trump, and blame Europe. (He has been exposed to it. Maybe he can bore it to death).

As a freelancer, I will continue with my long term policy of remote working. Combined with stringent social distancing and self isolation, and I can almost forget that there are eejits out there panic buying bog roll.

Happy remote St Patrick’s Day!

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