Your leader comes on TV and declares a national health emergency. Turns out there’s a pandemic going around. Who knew? That is, besides health professionals, doctors, epidemiologists, and Timmy who always thinks there’s a pandemic, though he is unable to say exactly what that is. Something to do with gluten maybe?
Anyway, now you have to think ahead (ouch, no like) and prepare to quarantine yourself until all the sneezing, coughing and collapsing in the streets goes away. Luckily, after a brief respite, that’ll all come back for round two. So. Um. That’ll be a chance for a do-over, I guess.
Note: You may be thinking, “Hey,” which is weird that you have to get your own attention to think, but we’re not judging; “Hey, I’m not sick, and I’m healthy, and if I do get sick, I’ll just get better.” First off, let’s clean that sentence up. Just because it’s your own thinks doesn’t mean sloppy writing is okay. Second, it’s basically the same situation as when non-vaccinated people move among the rest of us; some people have weak immune systems or are elderly or what have you. They’re the ones in danger of dying. So if you can help them, hey, why not?
But this is all assuming the zombie hordes don’t descend to gnaw the “brains” of their betters, which they absolutely will. So, instead of panicking — well, let’s be honest, in addition to panicking — consider the following tips for how best to Do Quarantine in Style.
Food: Lay in a store of foodstuffs with long shelf lives, high nutritional value, and little or no preparation. We’re talking about breakfast cereals. While all the suckers are busy with their toilet paper and their water and medicine, the cereal aisle is practically deserted. We know what you’re thinking: what about milk? (Actually, you were thinking about lunch, but we’re considering you as your best self, so.)
So where are you going to get milk? That stuff lasts, what, a week or two? We’re not actually sure; we always finish it in the car on the way home. But not long. And this pandemic is clearly going to last forever or until Kevin Custner rides through the hellscape delivering old junk mail to inspire a war. (They’ve been fought for dumber reasons.)
There is such a thing as “shelf-stable milk,” which means you can store it longer. But you already filled all your available closet/floor/bathroom space with Crunchy Sugar Oblongs, so there’s not a ton of room left for the amount of milk you’ll need. What you need is milk on tap. You’re going to need a cow.
Some people might say you don’t need milk. You can use beer or orange juice, they may say, but you’re going to run into the same problems. Maybe you could plant an orange tree or set up a distillery, which you should probably be doing anyway. But you’re going to need a lot of milk, regardless, not only for cereal but also waffles. (Don’t @ us with that watery waffles crap. Have some self-respect.) Without waffles, how will you have breakfast for dinner? What’s the point of even surviving this plague without breakfast for dinner?!
So, a cow. You need a place for the cow to live, maybe a guest room or it could bunk with your roommate Terry, whose room, let’s be honest, already smells like a cattle yard.
You’re also going to need hay, if for no other reason than you can say, “Hay!” and point to it every so often as though you saw something interesting but it was just hay. This will never get old. Also, the cow will eat the hay.
The same problem will pop up with the hay; storage and shelf-life. Probably your best bet is to plant a crop, tend it, harvest it, and then use it to feed your cow. Even if you turn Betsy out to graze — assuming there is grass in or near your apartment — you’ll need feed (aka cow chow) for the winter months. Don’t want to be caught with a starving cow in Terry’s room, especially if it dies, which would be really sad but also delicious. Until you want a bowl of cereal, and then where will you be? DISAPPOINTED.
Also, while you’re at it, you should probably plant some other crops, like wheat and sugar cane and whatever else is in Crunchy Sugar Oblongs. How do you even fertilize butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene? (Another situation where the cow will come in handy.) Maybe just stick some cereal in the ground, water it with milk, and see what happens. Next stop, Crunchy Sugar Oblongs Tree!
Crunchy Sugar Oblong Tree, very pretty,
And the Crunchy Sugar Oblong Tree flower is sweet,
And the fruit of the poor Crunchy Sugar Oblong Tree
is the most delicious fruit to eat!
Of course, if you turn the cow out to graze, you’re going to need to watch out for marauders (natch) but also joy-riders. You may be surprised to learn that 97% of people have “riding a stolen cow” in the top three of their bucket list. (Actually, I guess statistically, no, most of you are not surprised.) That means you’re going to have to either take turns with Terry guarding the cow, or charge people to ride the cow. But what will they pay with (that will be of value)? Let’s get to that right now.
Our entire dumb culture is based on trading our sweat and suffering for germ-infested pieces of paper called porno mags. But to get those, we need money. Everyone knows that when the plague hits, the only recognized currency will be rolls of toilet paper and verified autographed headshots of Abe Vagoda. It’s best to stock up now and maybe try foregoing wiping as much as possible. After all, you’ll be literally flushing money down the toilet. (Well, dumping it down the hole you dug in the floor as a makeshift latrine. And boy will your downstairs neighbors be miffed.)
Maybe you don’t like the idea of trading in toilet paper. You have to realize that, with resources so scarce, anything you have might literally mean the difference between life and death, so it will take on great value. But there are other things you could use that people might be interested in. Breakfast cereal, of course, if you could stand to get rid of it. Printed out or crudely drawn memes. (But they have to be fresh.) Probably not thoughts and prayers, though, since the pandemic is proof of how worthless they are.
Get to know your neighbors. You might need (to eat) them.
We’ve already discussed your downstairs neighbors, who are not fans. You’ll probably want to form alliances with some other second floor residents against the lower floors. Similarly, if you’re not on the top floor, well, turdabout is fair play and all that.
But it would be best to get on friendly terms with your neighbors. Invite them over. Share some fattening foods with them. Drug their glass of Shasta. Strip them, tie them up, and stick them in the bathtub. Gently kill them, deflesh them, and eat them over a matter of weeks, salting and curing the meat, making jerky, and whatever else strikes your fancy. When you’ve run out of neighbor, invite another one over and do it all again. Tell them it’s for a game of hearts, and then eat their heart while giggling and sobbing at the same time. Maybe we really shouldn’t have gone to McDonald’s all those times when we were supposed to be staying home, huh?
This is really NOT a problem for the writers of this blog even in the best of times. But we recognize that not everyone has our special talents. Or smell.
As we explained above, the purpose of social distancing is more about protecting the vulnerable than ourselves. In a sense, you’ve been a hero all these years never going outside except for your monthly pizza box cleanout. Of course, there was no viral scourge back then, but you can consider it training.
Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Also, you might want to separate Aunt Velma, who chews with her mouth open, and Terry, who is just so Terry.
Now lock the door, board it up securely, and — if possible — line any ventilation sources with air-tight plastic. You don’t want the virus to get out, or Terry to escape. This might lead to some light suffocation, but that just means more food supplies for you. Fresh meat is hard to come by, after all.
You’ve also got to watch out for the neighbors, who keep trying to lure you inside with offers of Shasta or oral gratification. (Protip: That means eating you.) If you had the foresight to buy a gun, congratulations! You ran out of bullets months ago trying to shoot the goddamned moon down because it WOULDN’T. STOP. SCREAMING.
But maybe you could use the gun as a paperweight. Or throw it at someone.
Probably the most effective way to keep other people away is to put a cross on your door, along with a picture of some flowers and the words, “Live Laugh Love.” We’ll guarantee that no one will be knocking, and if they do, invite them in and offer them some Shasta, and introduce them to a special friend of yours: Jesus.
Barring that, whenever you see someone approach, begin to yell at them that you do Crossfit/have a gluten allergy/think vaccines are responsible. They’ll either murder you or run away. If you have actually been doing Crossfit, though, you can probably catch them to either tell them about how you’ve been doing Crossfit or eat them. Probably both. Or, you know, interact with another human being, if you’re into the mushy stuff.
It’s important to look at the end of the world from an upbeat perspective. Think about it like this. Remember how you used to feel sad inside sometimes? Well now, you feel hungry inside at all times. Which is more of a lateral move, at best. But at least it’s movement. Similarly, you could say that all the people you dislike for whatever dumb reason will now be wiped out, but let’s be honest, they’re probably better able to survive, and also, that’s dumb. Stop being dumb. The vulnerable are always the first to suffer in these situations. (No, we don’t mean Morrissey. We mean the poor. Always, the poor.)
So what’s the takeaway? Tragedies happen. Maybe we thought we were immune because we have antibiotics and the internet, but we’re not. Throughout history, one thing has carried mankind through tragedy, and that one thing is sex. No, wait. Two things. And the other thing is art. So, make art. Maybe your art is writing a stupid blog that makes a couple people laugh for a second. Maybe it’s crafting fart sounds into melody. Whatever buoys your boat. Making art is an act of hope — that someone will be affected, that someone will say, “Hey” (again, that’s kind of weird) but, “Hey, someone else felt like me. I’m not alone.” You’re not alone: