Isolation and the Coronavirus

Posted on March 5, 2020

I was listening to the radio this morning and there was someone complaining about being isolated from work by Coronavirus. A seemingly sociable and bubbly (probably annoyingly so) character, she was not looking forward to two weeks working at home alone.

“Try 23 years”, I said, out loud, because when you work at home alone, talking out loud gets you in the end. I even got to the stage where I would answer the radio and tell the washing machine what programme it was getting. “It’s a mixed fabric wash for you today, my boy!”

I would even do Andy Murray style slow fist pumps and say, “Get in there”, after minor achievements such as remembering to put the bins out or filling up my wiper wash. This all got a bit farcical, so I got a dog.

Talking to a dog is insane as well but not as insane as talking to a washing machine. Dogs understand some human words, so at least something is listening to you. I know this because if I say,” walk”, my dog will pick up a collar off the table and do laps of the house. If I say “Ferwaw…you stink, Marley!” when he farts, he will slope off to another room and look irrationally sad.

Career Isolation

So, hearing these people bemoaning the kind of isolation I am used to, I wondered what I have missed out on by not staying in the corporate world. In 1997, I was offered handsome money to relocate from a Basingstoke office and work in Manchester or London. If I am honest, I couldn’t be arsed.

As someone who had taken pride in staying just outside the corporation relegation zone, I knew that big money meant I would have to be a big achiever. This meant being a sycophant to the boss, meeting targets and sacking people.

I had already sacked a couple of people and I didn’t like it. But what really put me off was having to challenge for corporate Champions League spots, rather than my chosen career path of staving off relegation. So, I went into business on my own, sensing that you could underachieve and with low overheads, make a few quid.

I do sometimes wonder what new friends I would have made in that 23 years and how I missed out going on big sporting and corporate events with clients. However, I never really liked anyone when I was there, so I am not sure how that would have changed. In fairness to the people I didn’t like, they probably didn’t like me either.

So, isolation was the only way for me and if it hadn’t been a path I chose for myself, it would have probably ended being chosen for me. It would have happened when someone useless left the company and I found myself in the relegation zone, unable to put a run of results together. I have never been sacked and for that, I owe the utter ineptitude of others.

Can we Avoid Coronavirus?

Does that mean, inadvertently, I will avoid the Coronavirus if it does spiral out of control?

Sadly no, and I will tell you why. Last night, I went to the Dummer Cricket Centre to collect training fees from our members who were having net sessions. During the time I was there, there was a junior match finishing (watched by several parents from around the region) followed by three adult games featuring six teams of six. Many of these are company work teams.

Add to that, 22 adult and elder colts’ members from my club, entering the nets that had just been utilised by another club. All these people, in one hall, in one night, after being at different schools and workplaces in different towns and cities. To multiply the amount of people in that hall by the human contact they had made in the last two weeks, is impossible. It may not be an infinite calculation, but it is getting on that way.

Basically, if Coronavirus is as contagious as some experts are suggesting, we might as well sit back and accept we are either going to get it or get away with it. Some say it is not too bad and we are being scare mongered, whilst others think it is going to mutate out of control and we will all soon be dead. The truth probably lies somewhere in between but like most people, I haven’t really got a clue.

Intriguingly, comically even, in the bizarre parallel universe we are living in, I have noticed something quite strange. The conspiracy theorists who normally love this sort of thing, are suddenly the people calling it an overreaction. It is almost like if they don’t own it, it needs to be discredited.

They want the World Health Organisation to hide it and pretend it is not happening. That way they can claim it was started in China by a member of the Royal family (a lizard preferably) who David Icke had witnessed eating rabid vampire bats.

To be an expert on something in 2020 must be a thankless task. I think I will stick to talking to my dog whilst hovering just above the low achievers relegation zone. Isolation suits me just dandy and the world of my little dog, I am a superhero who is utterly adored.

Next week: Coronavirus and why I still haven’t got a fucking clue.

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