Don’t have zero patience with Patient Zero

Ideas

Don’t have zero patience with Patient Zero

When it comes to love in the time of coronavirus, always remember that everyone reacts to things in their own way

It’s Valentine’s Day so a young man’s fancies turn to thoughts of the coronavirus.

I guess potential global pandemics mean different things to different people; they’re a sort of Rorschach test for our anxieties. I came flying through a number of airports a week or so back, including Addis Ababa, which is a hot wok of Chinese investors and roadbuilders and businessmen flying in and out as part of their 20-year mission to buy Africa and eat our pangolins, and I couldn’t help noticing that at one point I was the only person without a face mask. I didn’t feel concerned for my health – I know that face masks don’t actually protect you from the coronavirus, and in any case, not to boast, but I’m quite healthy and almost never get the flu – but I’ve seen enough true crime documentaries to be concerned.

At first I was thinking: “What if there’s a terror attack right in front of me? How will I draw up an identikit of the culprits? Everyone is just a pair of eyes over a surgical mask, like Heath Ledger in that scene from that one Batman movie, except without the Joker make-up underneath.” But then I became even more concerned...

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