Note: This article is a satire and is not intended to be taken seriously
The coronavirus seems to be all anyone ever talks about these days. However, do not be lured into a false sense of security if the virus has spared you from its grasp; it is simply leaving you to be captured by a more inconspicuous virus—loneliness. It preys on those who suffer in solitude, sucking out all the joy from their lives. As it feeds upon a lack of connection with others, loneliness is a dastardly disease, causing destruction from within.
If you want to evade this new threat to all of humanity, here are 5 tips to follow:
1. Pick Up Your Phone and Toss It Away
Technology? More like Tech-bore-logy!
As the world is consumed by boredom, there is nothing more than a fresh, original way of communication that every individual desires. Yes, it surely is tempting to follow the banalities of modern-day society, to hop on the ‘call a friend by phone’ bandwagon. However, let me suggest an alternate way of making a new friend—yelling at your neighbours from your windows. It is always bound to ensure that a series of hushed whispers, all concerning your sanity, would fill the dreary silence in the air. Don’t worry, that’s simply their way of expressing their affection for you.
If that doesn’t work, try flying paper airplanes with coded messages over to your neighbours’ front lawns. Make use of inside jokes they don’t know about, information that isn’t common knowledge (lest it gets intercepted on the way) and messy handwriting. The more difficult the codes, the better. In fact, managing to write an encoded message that confounds and frustrates your neighbours until they toss it out into a rubbish heap is a stellar achievement. After all, people only read mystery books because they enjoy being in a pleasant state of utmost bewilderment.
Creativity is your only limit when it comes to finding innovative methods of communicating with others. From barking like a crazed dog to hammering against your wall in morse code (remember to do this loudly, and only at midnight so your message would definitely be heard), there are countless ways to stay connected with those around you. Thus, there is nothing worse than settling for the most ordinary, laid-back approach.
2. Dare To Be Different
Loneliness thrives on familiarity, so don’t do anything a normal person would.
You may be one of the lucky few who are allowed to set foot outside of your premises and not immediately fall prey to the ever-so-dangerous Covid19, or worse, the disapproving glare of a police officer. If so, remember to make the most of this occasion. You’re on a hunt for friends, for a spark of connection, and the best way to do that is to set yourself apart from the competition.
Even though you may be the dullest person on the planet, there are many ways to distinguish yourself from the crowds. This includes going around without a mask, shaking the hand of every potential friend you see, and screaming, “No, I have not scanned that QR code!” whenever you enter a public building.
The first tip of not wearing a mask is guaranteed to strike up an intriguing conversation. You can meet a lot of friendly security guards that way. Also, if you stubbornly refuse to comply with their instructions, you may even be treated to the most delightful escort out of the area. Yes, you read that right. It is, by no means, necessary to be famous if you’re looking to be accompanied back to your car by government officials.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, shaking hands with others never ceased to be a warm gesture. Nowadays, most people constantly complain about wanting things to return to the ‘good old days.’ Why not start by becoming the change? Shake hands with a kind-looking stranger and show them that the coronavirus does not have to dictate the freedom of individualistic expression. Spread confidence, not fear. If your new friend recoils in shock, do not take this personally. Rather, remember that it is not easy to go against the mainstream actions of society, and it would take some time for other people to become as enlightened as you are.
Last but not the least, what better way is there to attract the attention of millions while rejecting the norms of society in one bold move? Many heads will turn your way. Eyes will meet yours. Society has never been one to applaud such rebellious bravery in an unconstrained manner, however, you will forever be imprinted in their memories. You will be the talk of dinner parties and shared anecdotes in conversations filled with laughter. Perhaps, you might be acquainted with other such rebels unchained by the monotony of governmental restrictions.
3. Never Stop Waiting
Remember that the time is never right.
Maybe fortune has looked favorably upon you and infused excitement into your life. Your first reaction may be to run to your phone, ready to text or call your best friend. Don’t. It is a fatal mistake to assume that everyone desires conversing at any given moment, and the way in which texting platforms are structured means that the other party is often pressured into giving an immediate response. Conversations should never be a chore or a chain around someone else’s neck. Rather, allow your friends to make the first move. If they truly wish to talk to you, they eventually will.
The next step is to not respond to any of their messages. Yes, it may sound counterproductive, but remember that just because your friends are texting you doesn’t mean they actually want to talk to you. There can be a multitude of reasons, some of which include them texting out of pity, the message being an accidental one, and their wanting to get a favour from you out of the conversation. As you can see, the chances of the other person actually wanting to talk to you is marginally smaller than there being an ulterior motive. Therefore, keep waiting until you are absolutely sure that the message is one of friendship, then wait some more.
Friendships are amazing, but so incredibly fragile. One wrong move can destroy a bond that you spent years forging. Keeping in mind the earlier advice of how conversations ought to be based on mutual interest rather than an obligation to reply, if you really must text a friend, do so at an hour they would most likely be asleep. For example, the extremes are always the safest—either very early in the morning or extraordinarily late at night. Doing so would alleviate your friend’s pressure to respond since they are unlikely to be up at such a time, and them not replying immediately means the precedent of instant responses is not set or continued in your friendship.
4. Connect With The Virus
Make the coronavirus your new best friend!
Sometimes, even the best laid plans might lead you down a bottomless pit known as failure. If you’ve tried everything else to no avail, it is time for something drastic—making friends with the Covid-19 virus itself! After all, there is no one lonelier than the coronavirus. People shut their doors to it, wear masks just to prevent it from getting close to them, and even go as far as to come up with vaccines just to banish this virus from the face of the Earth. Isn’t this the same world that prides itself on being inclusive? It’s time for you to welcome the loner into your heart with open arms.
Sacrifice is an integral part of any friendship and this is no exception. The coronavirus has a rather predictable pattern of forging a connection. After spending a while with your new companion, you would experience periods of fatigue, cough and fever. Don’t worry, unless you’ve gotten on the virus’ bad side, this will only be temporary. Depending on its mood swings, there are other, more serious, sacrifices you may have to make in order to maintain your friendship. These can be prepared for with a quick Google search (but don’t search up too much; no one likes stalkers).
Unfortunately, the coronavirus has a tendency to be a backstabber, and it steals your other friends from you the second they are acquainted. Thus, unless your friends are willing to befriend the virus too, and endure all the
symptoms sacrifices that come with this friendship, it will be better to keep your friendship with the coronavirus an exclusive one.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to let down your guard (and masks), and make a new friend!
5. Stay Connected—Literally
Come on, wasn’t this one obvious enough?
You crave connection, so the only way to fulfil that is to connect yourself to others. Literally. There comes a time when one must simply push aside the drawing board, throw away the meticulous plans, and just do what needs to be done. That time is now. The first step is to look for anything in your possession that will ensure your connection is strong. I recommend handcuffs since they are impossible to get out of, although any type of string, chains or masking tape will do. Even Christmas lights could work if you’re determined enough.
The second part of this plan is to find yourself a victim—I meant, friend. Look for those who seem tolerant, friendly and kind. There is nothing worse than wasting your time and effort on a fake friend. Once you have decided on a person to approach, do not hesitate. Walk up to that person and begin the process of forging a connection.
Your new friend might squirm, fight you, or try to yell for the police. Ignore them. They simply are too ignorant to comprehend that what you’re doing is for their own good. Continue to tie the string around their wrists, or handcuff their foot to yours. Connection is the only way to ward off loneliness. Don’t let the scrutiny of the public snatch away your ticket to joy. Once you are successfully connected to another person, relish in the grand feeling of accomplishment before moving on to secure the next connection.
Disclaimer: This article is not responsible for any consequences you may face from following the author’s advice, including public humiliation, the termination of lifelong friendships or an admission to a psychiatric ward.
By: Isabel Lee