This is meant as gallows humour, OK. If you are one of the people who thinks no-one should be joking, please don’t have a go at me – I’ve got an anxiety disorder and am permanently convinced everything I say or do offends people anyway! But I was reading a ridiculously pompous “critique” of Little Women the other day – Jo having her hair cut symbolises castration, seriously?! – and I started thinking that Beth March would never have got scarlet fever if she’d practised social distancing with the Hummels. Then I started thinking that, if Helen Carr were around now, she’d be writing some sick-making poem about “The School of Self-Isolation”. And what about other fictional characters? A few thoughts …
1. Adrian Mole would chronicle it all carefully, and constantly be convinced that he’d got the virus when he hadn’t.
2. Anne Shirley would think up dramatic-sounding names for everything. “Covid-19” is really pretty naff compared to “the Black Death”. “The sweating sickness” is at least descriptive, and “the plague” sounds very Biblical. “Covid-19” sounds like a robot off an ’80s children’s TV programme.
3. Bertha Rochester wouldn’t notice any difference – she’d been locked on the upper floor for years, and never gathered in groups of more than two people.
4. Beth March would be so keen to help struggling neighbours that she wouldn’t observe social distancing and would end up being ill herself 😦 .
5. Gwendoline Mary Lacey would insist that she should be allowed into the supermarket during the times reserved for vulnerable people, due to having a “weak heart”.
6. Heidi wouldn’t need to think about panic-buying food, because she’d stockpiled all those white buns, but she might end up being fined for breaking the curfew due to sleepwalking.
7. Helen Carr would write a vomit-inducing poem called “The School of Self-Isolation”, about how it was bringing you closer to the angels.
8. Joey Bettany would catch the virus from standing by an open door whilst someone passed within six feet of her, and would be terribly ill but would recover after being serenaded with “The Red Sarafan”.
9. Laura Ingalls (OK, not actually fictional, but never mind) would say that the virus was transmitted by eating watermelons. I love Laura’s books to bits, but where on earth did the watermelon thing come from?!
10. Scarlett O’Hara would cut up the curtains to use as toilet paper. Bobbie and Phyllis from The Railway Children would do the same with their petticoats.
Gallows humour, OK? Gallows humour!!
Stay safe and well, everyone xxx. And I apologise if I annoy people by over-posting, but just ignore me if so – I can’t really work much from home as I need access to files and other things, so I’ll need to write to keep my brain active!