With the country recently moving back into Alert Level 2, Kiwis have been enjoying a long-absent sense of freedom as restrictions ease. With gyms, schools and malls opening, people are starting to flock out into the public with confidence, including myself with a visit to Botany Town Centre over the weekend. However, I was shocked to discover that once inside, maintaining two-metre distance seemed like playing a game of Pacman, where the only way these shoppers were getting a bargain was if they got right up in your face for it. Clearly, this wasn’t the public health advice we were tossed into Level 2 with, so I’ve taken it up as my civic duty to shift the attitude on social distancing. If you need some people-repellent ideas, I’m your man. And I’m not just saying that because I’m an Engineer.
1. Simon Bridges face mask
If you want the public to steer clear of you, then you’re going to have to be unpopular with the people and we all know nothing screams unpopular like National Party leader Simon Bridges. Bonus unpopularity points for speaking; as to what you say, it doesn’t really matter, it’ll probably have the same effect anyway.
2. Blast No. 6 Collaborations Project through your UE Boom
There’s no COVID within this two-metre radius (and also no personality either).
3. Lynx: Engineer
When it comes to social isolation, take a hint from the experts. Or in this case, take a whiff.
4. Read a Copy of Salient
Watch people get nervous as they’re faced not only with dodging COVID but also a full-blown lecture on privilege and societal issues.
5. Wear the football shirt of ex-Sevilla defender Daniel Carrico
Well, why wouldn’t you want to support the best centre-back in Wuhan?
6. Wear a full-body leopard print outfit
If I had to pick out the most important lesson recent history has taught us, it would either be that life is unpredictable and the unexpected can happen at any moment… or that people who
wear leopard prints are batshit crazy and probably have a dead ex-husband lying in a septic tank in their yard.
7. Wear your high-school leaver’s jersey
No-one wants to be around someone clinging onto the person they were 3 years ago, so spare yourself the loss of dignity and take your leavers jumper off. Or, in the case of fending off COVID, put that thing back on.
8. Re #2: ‘But I don’t have a music streaming service?’
Download an hour-long Joel McHale podcast for enough biting sarcasm to last six seasons and a movie. That guy is the reason people invented the phrase “wow, he’s fun at parties’.
9. Guy Williams, Literally
This man is to New Zealand comedy what Dave Dobbyn is to New Zealand comedy. His awkward and self-deprecating humour is best enjoyed from a 2m radius, at the risk of further vocal transmission.
10. Guy Williams, Laterally
I mean, say what you want about him though, he’s tall.
Now you guys know the spiel with these shitty listicles is that I’ll drag this on for another 300
words of sub-par content. But, I want to break the norm this week, and deliver a candid message as we resume our lives in Level 2 (I say that, but to be honest, this listicle was heading nowhere, and I needed to ditch that sinking ship quickly).
As we start to regain fragments of our normal lives, we cannot forget the grim trail that led us here. While the recent wave has subsided, our efforts to social distance are a preventative measure for the possibility of a next outbreak spiralling out of control.
Take South Korea for instance, where a single 29-year-old hopping between bars and nightclubs spawned a new cluster of above 100 cases. Remember that we are always at risk of importing new cases, and that is a risk that we need to take actions now to account for.
If it means maintaining a slight distance when around strangers, God forbid using one of the aforementioned methods, then that sounds like a sacrifice worth making. If not for yourself, then at least for the safety of others.
I never imagined I’d ever end a filler listicle with a genuine message, but I hope it’s one that many people are reminded to take to heart. Also, I can’t imagine this piece droning on any longer, so breathe a sigh of relief as I’m finally going to pull the plug here.
If there’s a blank gap, then I’m social distancing from the end of the page to prove a point.