The Civilian’s guide to preparing for Coronavirus

Watch out for anything that looks like this

Watch out for anything that looks like this

Well, it looks like it’s here.

The most anticipated disease of the decade has reached our shores, and New Zealanders couldn’t be more excited. Indeed, nothing says excitement like flocking to the supermarket to purchase up the nation’s supply of toilet paper.

Some may laugh at you for doing this, but they won’t be laughing when the curfew comes and they’re all out of food, while your family is nestled safely inside feasting on their second helping of Purex.

But not everyone knows how to prepare for a pandemic, so we’ve put together this helpful guide of five, six, or eight tips (I don’t know, we hadn’t written them at this point) to get yourself safely through to the next pandemic.

1. Don’t panic
There is nothing to be gained by panicking that could not also be gained from wild hysteria. But don’t engage in that, either. Pandemic is an anagram for “dem panic.” It’s exactly what it wants you to do. And wild hysteria is an anagram for “dairy whistle”, which doesn’t really mean anything.

Just remember to stay cool. Literally. A fever is a symptom of Coronavirus.

2. Panic buy
Panic buying is not the same as panicking. To panic is to act suddenly in an irrational way out of fear. Panic buying, on the other hand, is a way of acting in a carefully planned and premeditated irrational way out of fear, and that’s what you should be doing.

3. Stagger your panic buying
Filling your Pak ‘n’ Save trolley to the brim with obvious survival rations is going to alert people to what you’re doing, and might later result in those same people pestering you for food when they’re dying. The trick is to slowly build up provisions without instantly giving it away. Don’t make just one trip. Make seventeen. Wear a different disguise each time. If security gets suspicious, start coughing.

4. Plan your hoarding carefully
A lot of amateur panic buyers make the mistake of going to one of two extremes when purchasing their provisions. They either buy stuff they’re going to binge as soon as they get home, or stuff that they’ve never eaten in their lives, but which seems like “survival food” to them.

You might think staying home shotgunning wine and chocolate will make your quarantine fly by, and you’re correct. However: there’s no way you have the self-control to ration that out. Unless you’re Bob Jones and have six adjacent narrow cupboards that go three metres back into the wall and can store 100 of the exact same bottle of wine, then you’re going to run out long before you even get sick. Buying wine is not a mistake, but buying it for Coronavirus absolutely is.

On the other end of the spectrum, you might think you should buy something like a sack of lentils. You have never bought a packet of lentils before, let alone a sack. Why are you buying them?

“To make soup.”

Have you ever made soup?

“I have made a Wattie’s Very Special Tomato.”

Will you make soup now?

“I’ve bought a lot of chicken stock.”

That’s not really an answer. Be honest with yourself: you’re going to regret those lentils, and no one at any point in the next 40 years is going to eat those regrentils.

So what’s the answer? Food you’d eat but would never buy from the dairy for a craving. Rice. Beans. Oats. Nobody craves oats.

5. Cosplay
Those face masks you can buy at the pharmacy are not only ineffective, but they’re increasingly out of stock. Instead, why not take this rare opportunity to wear a Bane respirator mask or a Darth Vader helmet to work? After that, you might as well wear the full costume, otherwise you’ll look like an idiot.

6. Look like an idiot
If you start spouting wild conspiracy theories about how Coronavirus started and who’s behind it, people will be less likely to associate with you. You’ll be more likely to be alone, and therefore less likely to contract Coronavirus. If that doesn’t work: shit yourself. Repeatedly. Or do anything else that would typically make people stay away, like wearing a Hawaiian shirt or talking about getting a “real clean bulk” of oats.

7. Get it over with
Look, no matter what you do, if there’s an outbreak in New Zealand, there’s a chance you’re going to get the virus anyway. This possibility creates a lot of uncertainty, and whenever you do fall ill with the virus could be very bad timing. It could be the week of someone’s wedding. Maybe it’s the middle of winter. Maybe that’s a week you planned to use your sick leave to actually do something.

The obvious solution to this uncertainty is to just expose yourself to the virus now and get it over with. That way, when it comes to New Zealand, you’ll already be immune. Book a flight to China, or Iran, or Italy, and touch as many people as possible in a wholesome and legal way.

This will likely get you sick with all kinds of things, so be sure what you have is the Coronavirus before you return home.