Welcome back to our 'Beginners Guide..' series. Nine years has passed since our last edition was published, and with all that has gone on in the world, it seems well overdue to add to that legacy.
So, how are you? How have you been? I would guess, like most this year, you've probably been better. And the most likely reason for that is a thing called a 'pandemic'.
But what is a 'pandemic'? How does it work? Why won't it go away? These are things that we can help you with, so settle back and read on for 10 things you need to know about 'Pandemics' (I'll stop using the quotation marks now, I think I've made the point..)
1. Pandemics were first invented in a small town in Greece around 430 B.C. It was created by the Spartans, who were warring with the Athenians. The Spartans, who liked to walk around bare-chested, caught what historians describe as 'a bit of a chill'. The chill developed in to a nasty chesty cough, and the Spartans delivered this disease to the Athenians by coughing into a wooden chicken and delivering it to their camp. Thirty Athenians later felt unwell. This meant they were unable to fight the next day, ultimately losing them the war, and consequently changing the future direction of civilisation itself.
2. The word 'pandemic' is from the latin 'pan' (cooking pot) and 'demos' (plural 'demic', meaning 'demonstration') and came about when a cooking utensil salesman was conducting an outdoor demonstration of his wares, in Southern Italy, which made over 60 people ill.
3. One of the most famous pandemics was started in Spain in 1918 and involved the flu. Fed up with just coasting from town to town, looking for work, the Spanish Flu decided to branch out on a full world tour. It visited most major cities and received rave reviews. After a series of drug scares on several stops of the tour, it finally went home in 1919. Over 50 million people bought a ticket, making it one of the most successful tours in pandemic history.
4. There are many types of pandemic. Plagues, flus, colds and K-Pop. Most can be treated with hard drugs. Or earplugs.
5. A vaccine is commonly used to fight a pandemic. In layman's terms, this means an itty-bit of the actual virus is injected into people, which makes their immune system (that's an internal data bank of things to avoid) recognise it when it finally gets them for real. This allows the body to fight off the virus. It also allows billionaires to install microchips that control your behaviour. According to idiots.
6. The current pandemic was invented in China in a 'wet market'. Contrary to popular belief, it was not because of a man having sex with a bat. Bats are very hard to catch, and, even if you do get one, they split very easily. It was actually a pangolin. They're slow and make a much more sensual lover.
7. The word 'plague' was voted number two in a survey of the world's most terrifying words in 2014. It narrowly lost out on the number one spot to 'Bono', the small Irish disease that was infecting everyone's iTunes, with a forced download of his new U2 album.
8. Covid-19 is a coronavirus. Coronaviruses drink beer, but not necessarily the particular brand that gave them their name. They have been known to drink Budweiser, Coors or even Heineken. But no records have ever shown them drinking Miller Lite. Ever.
9. Pandemics have the ability to destroy economies and social infrastructures, just as they do people's health. This has been clearly demonstrated with the current crisis. (N.B: although he follows this exact definition, Donald J. Trump is not strictly speaking a 'pandemic').
10. Fact Flood: Viruses are so small they can easily be lost down the back of the sofa. The common cold is a 'rhinovirus', unlike Covid-19 which is a 'coronavirus', other types of lesser known virus are 'tigervirus', 'Epsilon-minorvirus' and 'Foxnewsvirus'. After discovering Covid-19 was an airborne virus, tests to remove all air from a small test village in Surrey failed, when all residents suffocated. The current pandemic is due to end in summer 2021, but with new strains set for release, may still be around for many years to come. Now, there's cheery...
So, there you go. I hope you found that helpful. You can now go to a party and speak knowledgeably and with confidence about all things 'pandemic'. Well, OK, maybe not a party. Maintain social distancing. Do it on Zoom...
Stay safe everyone.
For more 'Beginners Guides...' start here.
..or here. You can work backwards. If that's how you roll. Who am I to judge..?