Jane Fonda, craft and curry: the Australian government’s tips for coronavirus quarantine

Washed your hands while singing our lord and saviour’s Jolene until she has come and taken your man just because she can, and still been exposed to coronavirus?

You’re not alone. If what chief medical officer Brendan Murphy let slip this week is correct, in a worst-case scenario, millions of us could be in the same boat in just a few weeks.

If you’ve been coronalerted, but not coronalarmed, you should be prepared for your two-week self-quarantine.

If not, don’t worry boo, the Australian government has got you – producing some interesting advice for how to spend your time in self-isolation.

Break out those exercise DVDs, because nothing says depression busting quite like Jane Fonda working out in full make-up, yelling at you to firm and burn.

“Exercise regularly,” the government advice suggests. “Options could include exercise DVDs, dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the backyard or using home exercise equipment, such as a stationary bicycle, if you have it.”

If Fonda isn’t your jam, or you haven’t owned a DVD player since 2002, there are 4,500 episodes of Aerobics Oz Style to watch as you eat cream cheese out of a tub.

Because productivity remains important to the health of the nation’s economy, which is most likely already in negative growth, a true Pandemic Patriot would arrange to work from home, according to the government. But if you’ve put in your nine hours, including working through your lunchbreak, that’s all the time Morrison and Co want you to spend online.

“Don’t rely too heavily on the television and technology,” says the advice, obviously constructed sometime around the millennium bug panic.

“Treat quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things you usually never have time for, such as boardgames, craft, drawing and reading.”

Because what better time to hone your Monopoly skills than when you can play against yourself and live the boomer dream of becoming your own landlord and banker?

Have you considered Scrabble for one? Think of the allowable words! Or you could always take the Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli route of constructing letters and plans to take down your many enemies, or finally work out why macrame is a thing.

There’s also eating. Because nothing says self-quarantine like calling up a stranger and asking them to deliver you food to your door, before they leave your potentially contagious self and visit numerous other people and restaurants to then spreadthe bug to their doors too. Luckily in this case, you’d need prolonged contact to pass on the virus. So maybe just avoid sneezing on your delivery driver.

Don’t have the chance to spread coronavirus at the same time as undermining your own future job security via propping up the gig economy? Don’t worry, the prime minister has already thought of that too – lean on your neighbours instead. Just don’t invite them in for what, if you’re following Morrison’s recipe, is bound to be a pretty bland dish.

“If people are in self-isolation the deputy prime minister was saying today that if someone is in a rural and regional area, you know there isn’t the same access to UberEats for example, as there might be in cities,” Scott Morrison said.

“So, you know, make them a curry and take it around if they need one, and so they can be looked after if they’re self-isolating.

“That’s what communities do, and I have no doubt that’s what Australians will do. We all have a role to play. And together we’ll get through this.”

Yes we will. With crochet hooks, board games for one, curries and more toilet paper than could ever be used in a lifetime.

Or, you know, some commonsense and a reminder that we are not the first nation to be struck with a pandemic health crisis, and maybe, just maybe, we should calm our farms and be thankful for our health system and the fact that most of us who are diagnosed will experience a mild case.

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