Mountains out of mole hills

By: Daniel Hutchinson

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch

Having studied a few faces this week, I can see there are more worry lines and big eyes than usual. These are classic symptoms of severe worry brought about by exposure to significant eventitis.

This is made worse by the fact most of us have taken up virology and economics as new hobbies. If you have ever had a student doctor or nurse as a flatmate you will understand. They are constantly finding symptoms of every disease known to man, within their own person.

It also doesn’t help that people are now using different words to describe things.

For example, I have recently started referring to my workmates as ‘the herd’, which, as it turns out, does nothing for team building or confidence.

Shopping is now known as ‘panic buying’ and, there has been some whacky tales out there, like the poor man who was caught with an entire trolley full of hand sanitiser. After being berated by his fellow shoppers and lectured on social responsibility, the man then politely asked if he could continue stocking the shelves.

Food for thought

My own policy is to add a little bit of panic buying to the usual shop each week and I now have so many emergency supplies stashed away that a decent earthquake would almost certainly bury me in an avalanche of Rice Risotto and cheap pasta.

But let’s face it, there are only so many doomsday cabbages you can plant and panic buying is already becoming a weekly chore.

So it’s time to turn the tap off on unhealthy hysteria. To prevent this spreading through the community, I’m shutting the borders to all gloomy information.

This leaves only a trickle of data coming in and even that must stay in an empty brain cell until it has proved there is no clammy sweat of despair forming on its forehead.

The emerging information should lift spirits and provide inspiration for the days ahead.

Firstly, there is actually a massive opportunity for Kiwis to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Kind of a flashback to the eighties, when you could stand on the top of a mountain and be completely alone. Just you and nature and your achievement.

A couple of weeks ago my son and I got up a few hours before dawn and headed up to the Tongariro Crossing – arguably one of the best day walks in the world. We shared the vast wilderness with about 1000 hikers of every nationality.

The concept of two brave and intrepid men carefully planning and executing an expedition through the mountains was cheapened somewhat by the horde of leggy, blonde Scandinavians who regularly sped past us in shorts and sneakers.

So, while there is still a bit of warm weather around, and the tourist numbers have dwindled, now might be the time to visit those special places. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The same goes for any number of ‘touristy’ activities that have not previously appealed and I’m guessing the queues at any number of attractions will be non-existent.

So, if you’ve already shut up shop, closed the curtains and hunkered away from the outside world, I’d encourage you to take a peek outside.

Happy ending

Now, I like to end on a happy note so here’s a big hand-sanitised slap on the back to the folks at the Adult Toy Megastore who win the prize for Press Release of the Week.

They somehow managed to put a positive spin on a virus by announcing that their sales had gone through the roof because people, worried about weeks of self-isolation, are stocking up on pleasure devices.

You know what they say about idle hands, but it turns out this is not the Devil’s work at all and in fact such activities are highly beneficial for improving the immune system.

Well played.

I’d also like to point out that there is a whole group of society that is completely unaffected by social isolation – the gamers.

For years, this hidden segment of society has been living their social lives in virtual reality, communicating with their friends only though headsets and avatars. Imagine how many newbies are going to be stumbling around in these worlds now.

Anyway, I must dash – there may not be any sport to watch this weekend but I do have 46 litres of Coopers to brew up (just in case).