The Weekly Dose: A UNESCO-certified guide on how to avoid corona
Mrigank Warrier's latest satirical column invites you to "Be atmanirbhar - why rely on the Chinese to give us a deadly virus when we can congregate in large groups and give it to one another instead?".
Avoid masks. The directive to wear them is a wily initiative by the homemade cotton face-covering-stitching women’s self help group mafia to drive up demand for facial couture. You don’t need masks, you need fresh air, which whisks the virus away from you, and only for you; not from the masked imbeciles who have always preferred breathing through layers of plastic since they were ye high.
Should you succumb to peer pressure and permit your Vogue-worthy visage to be veiled, make sure you don the mask correctly. The way to do this is to wear it as you would low-waist jeans - covering less than what is considered acceptable in polite society, with more exposed up top than most decent folk would like to see.
A mask works as a talisman, not a visor. It confers the most protection against corona when it is lodged firmly in your left back-pocket (Its effectiveness decreases as the pocket designated for storage moves closer to one’s face). But that vivid green two-ply affords at least some measure of protection even when it’s dangling jauntily out of your shirt pocket; if everyone can see you have a mask somewhere, anywhere on your person, the virus slinks away in fear.
If you find yourself unable to put up a strong front against peer pressure, resign yourself to the ignominy of looking like a forgetful person with spectacles dangling from a chain, with the elastic strap of the mask hugging the back of your neck, and the operative part resting lightly upon your bosom. For a smarter look, fold the latter and tuck it into your top to sport a spiffy cravat. Alternatively, drape the flat surface of the mask on the nape of your neck and tie the two ends together in front of your throat for a threadbare bandana.
Should you be made of stronger stuff, defy medical advice by wrenching the blasted thing off yourself, but keep it where it is most useful - in your bag or on the dashboard of your car - near enough for a quick strapping-on should a policeman appear, but far enough that the fashion police won’t flag you down.
If you feel a tickle in your throat, clear your throat until the offensive plug of mucus has been dislodged, and perform a few experimental manoeuvres of forced expiration until you are confident of producing a hearty wet cough. Remember to lower your mask beforehand; better to infect others than to reinfect yourself. Should your nostrils begin to quiver with an impending sneeze, wrench your mask aside; it’s safer to transfer those respiratory droplets to your elderly neighbour than to allow them to travel all the way from your nose to your mouth. If said neighbour cannot hear you very well when you speak through your mask, show some humanity by casting your mask aside, stand in front of him and speak loudly, so he can listen clearly through his nose and mouth.
And if you find that the number of cases in your vicinity is - quite inexplicably - rising, gather all the masks in your household, soak them in alcohol-based sanitiser and burn them in a bonfire. Then stride outdoors and spit three times at three people for good luck.
Of course, none of the above will be necessary if you’re smart, and just reject face coverings altogether. But when you cough, always cover your mouth with your palm, and smear the harvested sputum all over the nearest door handle, water faucet or immunocompromised child. If you sense that you’re about to sneeze, run nose-long into the nearest group of people and persuade the leprechauns of the ether to sprinkle the mists of your mucus upon those suddenly furious ingrates. Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they want. #HerdImmunity
Substitute masks with WHO-approved, entirely scientific, tried-and-tested home remedies. Chew on tobacco to dissolve the virus harbouring in your mouth, then make a dash for the nearest window and spew the potent brew out in a perfect arc, down onto unmasked morning-evening-afternoon-midnight walkers, bored teenagers and the society watchman who never comes into close contact with anyone ever. On a new moon night, when the digits of the date and time add up to 42, use a brass knife to cut a lemon grown organically to the strains of Navika’s dulcet trills, then invite a shaman - who is feverish only because of the spirits that possess him - to squeeze it into a glass of water. Add sugar.
This will give you sweet lime water. Sweet lime water is delicious. Not everything has to be a tonic against corona.
Above all, follow reliable sources of news. Believe your Republic-rabid uncle when he suggests that containment zones are just a ploy to prevent all of us from rushing to the nearest CBI office and personally interrogating Rhea Chakraborty about whether she ate paneer butter masala or paneer matar masala for lunch that day. Trust the 3 am infomercial which recommends a corona cocktail of three parts cow urine and one part hatred for all members of that religion which Arnab is reliably informed - and reliably informs us - is ultimately responsible for every case of Covid (serve with a side of Corona papad). Wrest your child’s beloved toy away from her; it was made in China, and we all know China genetically engineered a lethal virus to artificially create a pandemic with the specific intent of preventing you from spending three hours of your day commuting to and from work in a minibus sprayed with eau de corona.
This is not a conspiracy theory. My neighbour WhatsApped it to me, and his brother-in-law was a schoolmate of the chap who may have been flying in an airplane over the Chinese communist headquarters at the precise moment they hatched this nefarious plot. Be atmanirbhar - why rely on the Chinese to give us a deadly virus when we can congregate in large groups and give it to one another instead?