‘How ARE you?’ is a question I'm beginning to dread. Pre-Corona days I’d answer with a simple ‘Not bad’, (British speak for EXCELLENT) or ‘Good, good’ (British for NOT DOING WELL leave me alone). Now I respond with a timid, ‘All good, good’, which I hope translates to, ‘I’m virus free and still have toilet paper'.
Under the circumstances, it would be callous for me to answer truthfully. How am I doing? How do you think I’m doing?! TERRIBLE! All my gigs have been cancelled, I have no income and 'family time' is beginning to feel like I’m doing time!
I’m not a negative person but if you ask me, ‘Is the glass have half full or half empty?’ I’ll answer, ‘Is the glass clean?'
What makes matters worse is that we're surrounded by what I call the ‘Happiness Brigade’. People who insist we look at the bright side of things and take the opportunity to better ourselves. They're all over social media, ‘I want to learn Chinese, I want to learn Russian, I want to learn Nuclear Science!’
Me? I just want to stay alive.
Don’t get me wrong, I realize some positive things have come out of the lock down. For example McDonald's closed shop to prevent deaths from Corona. And inadvertently from heart disease, obesity, cholesterol and diabetics.
Then there’s Easy Jet, that will be leaving the middle plane seats empty. What they failed to mention was that middle seat passengers will now travel in the overhead compartment.
Let's not forget property sales have gone down by 70%! Now a tiny studio in London will only cost £8 million! What a bargain!
Best news? They found a massive cocaine haul smuggled in face masks. It makes perfect sense! Face masks to prevent CORONA fever, cocaine to prevent cabin fever. Brought to you by the 'Cartel that Cares'.
Having said that, there's still a lot of nasty stuff happening out there, which I won't go into because it makes the Exorcist look like a Disney movie. Even more distressing, experts predict the lock down could last six months. Six months? I can't live with myself for the next six minutes. Let alone putting up with my partner, who in fairness is sleeping in the shed because he can’t stand me either.
It doesn't help that people are breaking the two-meter rule, which many put down to the use of the metric system which is relatively new (1965). I suspect it has more to do with the pandemic’s ‘branding’, which was done by amateurs who had no idea of how to get a message across quickly and effectively.
Let’s start with the name: CORONA. A popular Mexican beer with the foreboding slogan ‘Miles Away from Ordinary’. They might as well have called it HEINEKEN, or BUDWEISER. Who on earth is going to take this seriously?
As for COVID-19? COVID 19 sounds like an energy drink!
If you really wanted to name it after a Mexican beer, choose DOS EQUIS (XX), with its sinister slogan, ‘Sooner or Later You’ll Get It'. Personally, I suggest scarier sounding stuff. Something like 'The Hitler Virus', 'KGB Torture Virus' or go a little Hollywood, ‘Black Death – The Sequel’.
Re branding done; TV programs need to get with the program. ‘Newsnight’ will be renamed ‘NewsFright’, as it has more spine-chilling news than a funeral home's coffin menu.
‘Britain’s Got Talent’ updated to ‘Britain’s got CORONA’, with the winner being the vaccine. Rumour has it McAfee will win, as it solves most virus problems.
‘Dragons Den’ revamped to ‘Dragons Lend … Us Your Money', to find the vaccine you cheapskates!
Finally, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ modified to ‘Strictly Come Dancing Alone'. It will feature iconic 'dance by yourself' tunes like 'The Chicken Dance', 'YMCA' and 'The Macarena', giving everyone a chance to dance like no one is watching. Because no one is.
Sonia Aste is a writer learning line-dance moves to 'Cotton Eyed Joe'. No one is watching.