• There are things we can be doing to feel better during self-isolation, writes comedian Lizzy Hoo. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Remember, Shakepeare wrote King Lear in isolation during the plague.
Lizzy Hoo

18 Mar 2020 - 2:34 PM  UPDATED 18 Mar 2020 - 3:11 PM

What a time to be alive! Just when we thought our summer of hell was over – BOOM! – enter global pandemic. Wake me up when it’s 2021 please. Preferably after the next bushfire season or plague of locusts or whatever is in store for us.

COVID-19 has cancelled everything fun – comedy festivals, concerts, weddings, gigs, sport and any gathering over 100 people – which is gutting for many but totally necessary! A nationwide lockdown, like in Italy or Spain, isn’t a sure thing for Australia (yet) but still it’s likely we’re going to be spending a lot of time at home in the coming weeks or months to help #flattenthecurve.

What’s happening right now is scary and unsettling – there’s a lot of unknown but we have to remember to have a laugh and take some time for ourselves. Here’s a guide to keeping those spirits high in times of impending doom.

Help curb the spread of COVID dad jokes

Please, they have got to stop! When Coronavirus first came out in mid January dads around the nation were allocated one Corona joke each where they could make clever comparisons about Corona beer and the Coronavirus. There are several reports claiming that some Aussie dads are now hitting double digit figures with “Corona” beer-themed jokes.

Almost 5000 Australian comedians have signed a letter urging State and Federal governments to crack down on the nation’s dads who continue to make Corona jokes as it is VERY ANNOYING. Comedy has been cancelled – Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the last week of Brisbane Comedy Festival and Canberra Comedy Festival are officially no-go zones – the jokes have stopped – and the dads of Australia need to comply.

But what about this one: “When life gives you lemons put it in Coronas haha”

RIP Comedy.

Get your lounge room dance on

Go off! Clear out the couches, put away your pot plants, gather your housemates and get your back-up dancers ready aka your floor lamps. Lounge room dancing has been helping lift moods since Tom Cruise’s Risky Business dance scene – or maybe even earlier? For me, personally it was Grease’s Brusha Brusha Brusha.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to perfect Beyonce’s dances in Homecoming or choreograph some moves to that catchy hand washing video by the Vietnamese Government  – upload it online if you’re brave enough – show everyone how well you’re coping with isolation.

Isolation might give us a bit of cabin fever but it might also make us all really creative. Shakepeare wrote King Lear in isolation during the plague – which is definitely not going to happen again (LOL – to even think that is funny) – but I think we’re capable of creating a TikTok dance vid with our housemates or loved ones. That sounds like something us millenials are capable of.

Counter #fakefacts with Simpson’s references

Is Dianne from accounts acting like an immunology professional with a lot of mysterious facts about the common flu and COVID-19 and how it’s not as bad as the flu and how they’re not really worried because they’re fit and healthy and it’s all media hype? Respond to this idiocy with a quote from the biggest idiot himself – Homer Simpson (who masquerades as an idiot but is a well-crafted character from one of the greatest television shows ever made – in my opinion – despite the whole Apu drama):

“Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything [insert name], forty percent of all people know that.”

And when you think your Government could be doing more, remember these wise words:

Public etiquette is out

Wearing your UGGs in public is fine now. Also stop washing your hair and looking presentable. There are bigger things to worry about. At least this is my excuse. If we’re all going to get sick let’s at least look the part. 

And what happened to looking out for each other? Australia’s worst ever bushfires hit us in summer, the reaction of the community restored my faith in humanity. Fast forward a couple of months and we’re fighting over toilet paper, our seniors can’t access basic goods because the shelves are empty and now it’s better to fart in public than cough or sneeze.

I coughed on the train the other morning and everyone turned to me like I was infected, which maybe I am – nobody can be 100% sure they’re not COVID-19 positive until they’ve had the test.

Forty per cent of people know that.

Find the silver lining in your cancelled event

I’m in my mid 30s and cancelling events last minute is what we do best: “Sorry I can’t come to dinner tonight anymore – yeah I have to sit with my dog.” Now I can stay at home every Saturday night and drink wine with my favourite people – my boyfriend and my dog. And watch back to back romcoms and cry my eyes out.

This is the perfect excuse to cancel that second date you weren’t too sure about or pull out of a wedding you never wanted to go to, which you had nothing to wear for, so now you don’t have to buy an outfit or a present and you’ve just saved loads of money.

Chuck a sickie

Speaking of declining commitments, this is the best time to call in sick. Everyone will believe you.

Be kind

Life is chaotic for a lot of us – people are losing work and it’s a scary time and we should all be super aware of our surroundings right now. But maybe it’s a good time to slow down, relax and hopefully not get infected.

Ask me in a month about how I’m feeling trapped inside with no gigs or work. I might have a different outlook.

As of Tuesday afternoon, only people who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are advised to be tested.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia, according to the Federal Government's website, and can include a fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

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