Well, now this is getting a little scary, isn’t it! I’ve never seen the movie Pandemic, but I understand that it was a science-fiction thriller. As a general rule, I stay away from thrillers, horror movies, and the like, as my fragile lil feelings can’t take it. Nightmares galore.
So when that particular P-word gets thrown around for a virus that’s shut down a few countries and is slithering into Paris, where I live, those fragile feelings of mine get all ruffled up. It’s enough to make a girl cry, and I’m betting I’m not the only one. Let’s do it together. Here’s 13 germ-free sniffles for everyone to share.
First of all, you can’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. This can make crying tricky. Here’s how I recommend treating your tears in an epidemic: lie horizontally across a bed, couch, table, or kitchen counter, with your head peeking out over the edge. Position a bucket directly below your face and aim your fluids there. Cry it out, then remain in that position long enough for your face to air-dry. Done and done! You can now go about your day refreshed, face untouched, and burn the bucket later.
Running out of hand sanitizer? You think you’re out of luck, with the store shelves empty for miles. Never fear, just let a few tears fall into the near-empty bottle and give it a good shake, so the dregs of the sanitizer mix in your body’s natural saline solution. Voilà! Saline-sanitizer solution that’ll last you at least two more bus rides.
Seems pretty wasteful, all these disposable masks we’re using. Let’s not forget the environment in the panic of a potential pandemic. Let’s craft! Mix your tears with flour until it makes a paste, then tear your used masks into strips. Combine the two, and sculpt some papier-maché shapes to your heart’s content.
It’s easy to forget important supplies when stocking up your pantry. Quarantined in your house, and you neglected to buy more salt alongside the canned goods and toilet paper? Boil your tears for pasta water, then reduce it down to that savory stuff we crave. Buon Appetito!
Flight get cancelled for COVID-19 concerns? Cry your way to a refund. Airline staff will be so afraid of your fluids that they’ll just throw the money at you from a safe distance.
Surprise surprise, fear brings out the worst in people! When you see someone mistreating an Asian person out of an unfounded perception that their Asian-ness connects them to a virus that originated thousands of miles away from where you’re currently located, put your angry tears to use. Cry up a puddle all around the asshole’s feet. Let ‘em slip and fall. Then give a good fake sneeze in their general direction. I mean, we shouldn’t engage in biological warfare, but we could pretend to.
Well, there goes the Paris marathon, South by Southwest, and potentially also the Cannes film festival. COVID-19 is really doing a number on our social plans. We’ve got to make our own fun. Take out a big bucket, cry it full, and you’ve got your own homemade swimming pool! The only germs in there are yours. Splish splash, y’all.
We all become Rogue, from X-men. Her mutant skin has a life-threatening effect on anybody she touches, and now, suddenly, so does ours! Incredible. Life imitates art. So glove up, stop touching your face, avoid human contact, and re-watch her scenes for a cathartic cry. Solidarity, sister. We feel your pain.
What exactly are we supposed to do with our kids when the schools are closed? Working from home is great and all, but these spreadsheets aren’t getting filled when little Johnny keeps running in with minute-to-minute updates on his boredom. Thankfully, kids are natural cryers. Tell him the town cut off the water supply, and he’s going to have to generate his own water for bath time. With a tub and a goal, the kid’ll be occupied all day filling that sucker up. You stocked up on eye drops, I hope.
If you’re worried that package that just got in from China is going to kill you, give it a nice rinse. Cry on the cardboard, and scrub-a-dub. There’s little to no chance the virus could’ve survived on that surface after travelling that long, but, I mean, if it makes you feel better…
Okay, so doomsday preppers have bought up all the toilet paper. This is fine. People lived for generations before we invented the stuff. I live in France, birthplace of the bidet. Did you know the first bidets didn’t shoot a fountain of water at your derrière, but instead served as a sort of low basin for you to sit on and do the splashing yourself? Now you do! Let’s go old-school. Drag out your kid’s training potty, cry into it, and you’ve now created an etsy-worthy vintage bidet. Salty tears have got to be more cleansing than plain old water, and you’re saving paper, too. Remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds afterwards.
Don’t panic, but, also, panic! Your Facebook feed, news outlets, and water-cooler talk have been overwhelmed by COVID-19 updates: terror-inducing factoids clashing with precautions against overreacting. Stop spreading hysteria, but also the virus can wreak havoc on your body. Live your life as usual, but don’t be so cavalier about the thousands of people who’ve died from it already. I say, enough is enough. Let your tears short out every electronic that brings you the news, and scare away any person who’s about to tell you about it. Ignorance–the prevention measure doctors won’t tell you about.
Joking aside, just go ahead and have a cry. Cry on for those who have already died from this virus, and for the vulnerable populations currently at risk: the elderly, the immunocompromised, and the disenfranchised. If you’re like me–young, healthy, middle-class–then there’s not much to fear about the virus itself. Most likely we’ll have nasty flu-like symptoms and get over it. Still, it’s scary for anyone we love who may be at risk, for its global economic implications, and for the hysteria it’s bringing about. Sob into some single-use disposable tissues, throw them away, and wash your hands well when you’re done.
Feel better? Me neither. Still, I take some comfort from what Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Sharkawy wrote on the issue:
Let’s meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing. Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to check the latest with the World Health Organization, then stop by the grocery store to stockpile thirty more packs of tissues. Just in case.