SOCIAL DISTANCING

Have you avoided being in company? Have you started talking to yourself? Do you love being on your own? Have you been thriving on the lockdown? Did you enjoy not seeing your relatives as they can be a real pain in the neck? Have you lost touch of your friends? Do you take pride in sabotaging team meetings and teamwork? Have you started hiding from your colleagues and committed yourself to reducing contact with them to the ultimate minimum, that is to say, zero contact – bupkis, not a sausage? Have you developed the highly sophisticated skill of ignoring other people’s social endeavours? In other words: Have you become a ghost who can’t be reached by anyone? If the answer to some, or ideally, all of the above questions is YES, that’s smashing for a start.

However, in addition, you need to be vigilant to avoid getting soft. If you’d like to be virally safe you need to suppress your childish and immature need for socializing and for having relationships. Just make it a habit and after a while it will come to you naturally. You are very likely to develop a healthy social phobia which will be conducive to your evolving into a socially distanced modern hermit.

Social distancing comes easily and naturally to some people. According to a government survey in Japan about one and a half per cent of the Japanese population has adopted a hermit-like lifestyle.

However, the actual number of people who have become “their own island”, is presumably much higher. In Japan, these people are known – or rather not known – as hikikomori. It’s a safe bet that this social phenomenon, which has got the potential to erase any virus, is not just limited to Japan. Hence, whatever country you live in, there is hope. If they can do it, you can do it as well. Resolve to learn by example.

There’s a bit of a catch, though. How do you learn from someone who has successfully cornered themself into a communicative dead end? The trick is to find them just before they are about to drift off for good. Watch them before they are sucked into a black hole of socially isolated, blissfully safe desperation. Watch and learn how they get spaghettified – one noodle at a time. Keep your distance before you follow them.

Don’t rush it. Be patient and hold on until you feel the time is right. Breathe in deeply, gather your courage, get hold of your lightsaber, your broom and your imaginary baby elephant. Now, take a running jump towards your blissfully isolated and virus-free island. There’s a personal, dedicated offshore spot waiting for every single human being. Just take it and don’t you ever leave it.