10 Tips to Surviving the COVID-19 Crazy: From Beijing


1. Obsess About Numbers:

Watch the stats every day and analyze how some charts and different from others, how most governments are controlling the numbers, and how freedom of information is a joke. Hyperventilate a little when certain benchmarks are exceeded, like the newly surpassed 100,000 global cases of this virus. Have several websites bookmarked so that you can compare them daily. Try to do the math about death rates compared to other viruses whose zenith threats have come and gone, like SARS or MERS or H1N1. Consider advancing your vigilance to the level of checking stats two or three times a day, just to be certain you’re always informed about these meaningless, unsubstantiated, inaccurate numbers.

WechatIMG9(deaths of “Spanish Flu” compared to all the wars, but numbers uncertain…)

2. Stock Up On Everything:

Assume the government will starve you by cutting off basic supply chains. Buy up everything you can think of, like oceans of water and mountains of toilet paper and armies of those small, squatty bottles of hand sanitizer that run out too quickly anyway because they’re really not big enough for regular use. Aim to buy more than your neighbours and hoard stuff with a self-satisfied, greedy little grin. Who needs fresh fruit and vegetables? Now you’ll be able to stay in your house indefinitely without ever seeing the light of day. Oh, don’t forget to buy Vitamin D.


3. Abandon Your Pets:

Despite recent articles that animals can’t infect us with coronavirus, there was one dog who tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong. Like with humans, an infection has to start somewhere. These numbers will probably grow. If you can’t find uninformed people or organizations who will take your animals off your hands out of compassion (clearly those who don’t believe in precaution), then at least get a face mask for your pet or fashion one out of cloth. This will stop them from sniffing the virus off the ground and transferring it to you after a walk outside. Wipe their paws with disinfectant. Hope that they don’t lick themselves afterwards. They probably won’t. They’re often smarter than humans.


4. Protect Your Kids Above All Else:

Even though reports have shown that, of the @100,000 cases, only a few hundred have been children and not ONE child has died, assume that it’s coming for them too. Don’t let them go outside. Don’t let them have contact with any other human besides family members. In fact, best to discourage even playing with family pets (see #3). When it comes to the cancelled schooling for your children, be sure to force them to continue their education indoors for strict 8-hour blocks at a time through your tutelage only because they will certainly enjoy learning where they normally get to play, listening attentively to their parent as though they are never obstinate, and producing exemplary school projects from the online prompts that will eventually impress the teachers into convincing you to become a homeschooling advocate for all of humanity.


5. Create An Anti-Viral Suit of Armour:

People laughed about water bottles on the heads of travelers in January, but maybe those people managed to avoid getting sick? Keep your enormous empty water bottles, just in case. Cut the bottoms off and try them on. If they fit your head, even better. Also, wear disposable plastic gloves for your hands, a hat to protect your hair from flying germs no matter how warm it is outside, tight-fitting goggles (the ones for snorkeling), and at least two overlapping face masks covering your mouth at all times. (If you wear glasses, get used to walking through a foggy view of the outdoors.) If you have to enter this infected world for some sort of supply that you failed to purchase (see #2), at least wear a set of armour.


6. Disinfect, Disinfect, Disinfect!

Every time you go out, have a regimen of disinfecting everything you had on your body as well as your body itself when you get home. First, leave your shoes outside. Better yet, wear plastic bags over your feet to avoid the shoes coming into contact with abandoned virus spittle on the sidewalks. Don’t worry about how that looks. Dispose of plastic bags immediately upon arriving home. Don’t think about the environment. Then use copious amounts of bleach to wipe down everything from your clothes to your bag to your doorknob, floor, keys, phone, etc. Use so much bleach that the smell of it wafts up the pipes and into your neighbours’ nostrils. Even if you develop chemical-fume-induced pulmonary issues after this virus scare is over, at least you won’t have contracted the coronavirus. The most ideal situation is to dispose of all your clothes and shoes after every outing. I repeat: don’t care about the environment. Clothes are cheap. Especially in Asia.


7. Block Your Drains!

If you live in a building where water pipes are shared between floors, use clean (i.e. more wasteful) plastic bags filled with water and tied tightly like water balloons to create blocks for the flying virus germs that want to waft their apocalyptic nastiness up or down the pipes and infect you in the “safety” of your own home. These fat little bags will just sit their big butts on the drains perfectly, squishing themselves into the grates and blocking all flow of air (or necessary drainage) expertly. Drains can be found in floors, sinks, tubs, showers—none are safe! [Bonus: this extremist measure will also block your toxic bleach smells from scorching the neighbours’ lungs, which might save you from future lawsuits.]

A security guard wearing a mask rides on an empty bus in Beijing, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. China's virus death toll on Sunday have surpassed the number of fatalities in the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, but fewer new cases were reported in a possible sign its spread may be slowing as other nations step up efforts to block the disease. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

8. Never Take Public Transit:

The buses and trains and subways will continue to run, but they can run even when they’re empty. They should be empty. Like ghost trains, these public transit vessels are the symbols of mass infection and their emptiness should be a metaphor of what our society will look like if we all contract a deadly disease and perish. Even though an empty bus may seem fairly safe when trying to avoid contacting other people, better to ride a bike or simply not go anywhere that requires transportation anyway. Use your head. Or your feet. I mean, the arrival of the (COVID-19) four horsemen clearly sets an appropriate example of alternative transportation during a pandemic.


9. Escape!

If you can manage to escape to somewhere remote, now is your chance. Remember that some form of this virus will probably come and sniff you out, but if you run now then you might get a few extra days of freedom. Some expats from Beijing rushed home to Northern Italy only to meet with the same viral circumstances just two weeks after their great escape from China. At least they got two more weeks of kid-free daytimes and free education for their offspring! Remember, though, that travelling requires you to enter public places like airports and then sit in the piped-in, recycled (read: mucous-infected) air of airplanes. Remember the advice of #6 an #8 regarding wearing your set of armour and disinfecting afterwards. A specific travel-related disposable wardrobe may be in order.


10. Put Your Life & Work On Hold:

Uncertainty is everywhere. Stop dreaming. Stop planning for the future. Don’t consider the vacation you were going to take this summer—it should probably be cancelled. After all, flights are cancelled everywhere now. Many airlines might even go belly up. In the short term, don’t plan work-related conferences or meetings for the rest of the year because large gatherings will surely be outlawed soon. Avoid public events immediately despite how your governments are handling them. If they haven’t made them illegal, consider them illegal anyway. Nothing else matters except surviving this virus. Your life before the coronavirus is meaningless.



Hold your breath.






{Seemed to me a large dose of satire was long overdue. After seven weeks of lockdown, I’d say that this represents my still-surviving sense of humour despite the circumstances, and for that I get some points. Now that the mania is seeping into the West, lots of people have been asking me for advice and, honestly, I see no other option than to just go with the flow of all this. As I said in my previous blog, the only way around it is through. No one person can control a society’s collective response, but we can tone down our own panic, observe and respect the protocols, and just wait it out with deep breaths. Chances are good that 98% of us will come out of this alive. May life as we knew it resume soon. Take care. ~es}

Lockdown: Imposition or Opportunity?
Corona Update #3 from Beijing

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