Life
    Culture

    Word of the week: Self-isolate

    12 March 2020

    Defintion:

    To set oneself apart; detach or separate, so as to be alone.

    Derivation

    In response to the outbreak of Covid 19, a new strain of coronavirus, the government has advised that people ‘self-isolate’, if they experience any symptoms of the virus.

    Those who work for corporate businesses and large government organisations often write emails and reports for a living. They will be asked to go home with their laptops and carry on writing emails to people whom they rarely see anyway. Reports will continue to be produced and sent. However, because the recipients will not be in the office, they will no longer have to pretend to read them. Meetings will be cancelled, so managers will no longer feel the need to talk at length about themselves and their departments and their peers will no longer have to pretend that they are remotely interested. It is anticipated that overall productivity will increase.

    Some partners of those who currently work from home, have arranged for the ‘super-isolation’ of their spouses. One woman from Dorset has arranged for her home-working husband to inhabit their under-stair cupboard for at least a fortnight. She told local radio that the coronavirus is a “great opportunity for him to finally finish that bloody book he has been writing for the past five years. I am hoping some good will come out of this.”

    Prior to self-isolation, home and office workers are advised to make adequate preparations. Many people have seen the instructional videos of people filling shopping trollies with toilet roll and pasta. Employees are encouraged to visit a local Aldi and empty the shelves. Once safely locked in the house, pasta can be stacked against the front door to prevent viral drafts. If an empty cupboard is unavailable for habitation, a shelter can be constructed from toilet rolls. This prevents contact with family members, provides a ready source of tissues for runny noses and provides amusement for the rest of the family, thus increasing morale. If the economy breaks down, toilet rolls can be used as currency and dried penne and rigatoni can replace coins.

    Those who work for themselves, or work on zero hours contracts, are also expected to give up work. Although the government has not considered the consequences of living without an income, it is rumoured to be considering the re-introduction of plague stones. Those who remain unaffected will be encouraged to leave piles of toilet paper and pasta at designated boundaries to ensure that the poor know that they have not been abandoned.

    Use:

    “Oh, my throat’s a bit dry, I’d better settle down to two weeks of Netflix .. errr cough .. I mean ‘self-isolation’.”