• Alex Cooper

Things You Can Do to Cope with Coronavirus (But Probably Shouldn’t)

This originally appeared as a story on Medium a few weeks ago. It's, erm, not entirely serious. (Apart from the worshipping Red Pandas part.)

With the virus making people's lives pretty shite for the foreseeable future, I thought it was better to laugh than cry. Thoughts go out to all those affected.

Things You Can Do to Cope with Coronavirus (But Probably Shouldn’t)

These are tense times we’re living in. Looking at the news is an exercise in mass hysteria, people are dropping like flies, and the stock markets are tanking. But amidst this wannabe-apocalpyse, are there any alternative measures we can take?

Here’s a list of a few things that will help you through the transition to the end of the world as we know it.

Get the Panic Out of Your System Early

Media outlets seem to take a perverse joy in predicting society’s impending corona-related collapse. Wiser heads are telling us that, although it’s serious, panic will do us no good.

Well, my suggestion is to massively overreact now, so when things really do get bad, you’re already completely panicked out. By then, your level of panic will seem eminently reasonable by comparison.

Sell your house for twelve pounds fifty to a neighbourhood squirrel. Dance naked on your (/the squirrel’s) lawn while making an offering to the Egyptian Sun God, Ra. Scream into the void for fourteen hours straight. Join a cult. Listen to a Nickelback song.

Nothing is off-limits, now.

Find the Next Major Currency

Fail to prepare; prepare to fail. While you’re selling off your shares at a big loss, and buying bonds at negative interest rates, I’m on the lookout for a shore thing. And no, that wasn’t a typo. In the apocalyptic wasteland of tomorrow, you have to think outside the box.

I’m currently investing in shell. No, not the oil company. I’m not stupid.


They’re pretty to look at, and their shapes and textures intrigue me. I’m convinced that s/he who holds all the shells will hold all the power. The traditional currencies will go the way of the dodo, the Walkman, and talking to people over the telephone.

Don’t you try to palm off your measly gold bullion for half a conch either, buddy.

Isolate Yourself from Everybody

I work from home, and my social life consists of sobbing to myself, whisky in hand, while I watch cat videos on YouTube. In other words? I was self-isolating before it was cool.

Friends just tie you down. Always asking you for things, like whether you want to go for a drink. Erm, excuse me? At a bar? With other humans? That serves Corona? No thanks, person who has a death wish.

I’m not saying to cut off contact with all friends and family because they probably won’t make it, but I’m also not not saying it. Start the grieving process now.

Make Your Dream Cabin a Reality

Sure, staying at home is better than interacting with potential plague victims, but you’re still on the grid. You need to get out into the wilderness and enjoy nature again. Also, you already sold your home to a squirrel for peanuts (or should that be acorns?) so you don’t have much choice. (Your seashell portfolio will take a few years to mature. Just wait; the payoff will be worth it.)

Ideally, you’d build your own log cabin, but if you don’t have the time/money/materials/skill for that, then you can always procure someone else’s. Even a yurt will do in a pinch.

Just scour the AirBnB listings for some “glamping” retreats and turn up with a bow and arrow. You should be able to dodge the handfuls of quinoa thrown at you by that obnoxious couple on their honeymoon.

Learn Archery

If you’re in the US, stockpiling enough guns and ammunition to arm a small militia shouldn’t be a problem. Here in England, it’s that much tougher.

I recommend learning the ancient art of archery. You’ll need something to fend off the hordes of sneezing simpletons trying to make your hard-earned yurt their own, not to mention the wildlife.

At least there are no bears here. Or mountain lions. Or mountains. There could be the odd rogue badger, though. And can’t they get tuberculosis? You can never be too careful.

I’ve been watching The Lord of the Rings on repeat, and I think I’ve got the basics down now.

Marvel at the Lack of Measures Taken at Airports, While Coming Back from Your Italian Holiday

Not everyone wants to self-isolate, and that’s OK.

“I’ve just spent a week holding up a Free Hugs sign in Milan,” says Don T. Seetheproblem, 32, from Stoke-on-Trent.

“When I came back home, there was no one there to stop me at the airport. I could be infecting all kinds of people! The government really needs to protect its citizens from people like me, who love to travel and love to be close to people. Ah well, time to get my sign back out and travel around the country, spreading the love and also plenty of other things.”

I recommend continuing to be surprised that we’re not taking common-sense measures, while continuing to ignore common-sense measures yourself.

Become a Warlord

You’ve got the archery skills, a yurt, twelve pounds fifty from your property sale, and a hot new alternative currency. That’s a pretty good resume for any prospective warlord. Plus, when there are only 12 people left alive in the country, your claim to the throne just got a hell of a lot more legitimate.

You have the option to reshape the world how you see fit. Maybe you think the virus is the earth punishing us for making red pandas endangered.

How could we?

Should you start worshipping red pandas, and offering bamboo sacrifices? Again, I’m not saying that, but I’m also not not saying it. You’re in charge, now.

I, for one, am excited to see what emerges out of the ashes.

Choose wisely. My Liege.

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