Disclaimer: The following article is satirical in nature.
As the extent of Covid-19’s spread is fast revealing itself, the powers that be at the University of Southampton have issued some new advice. This comes in light of the recent announcements regarding the postponement of major sporting events, the closure of the university and the cancellation of the conference about coronavirus itself.
In a widely spread news bulletin, university officials claimed that:
In times of stress and media-induced panic, it is our duty to exacerbate the issue. We obviously do not know the exact extent of this pandemic and therefore we strongly encourage all people to fill the voids of information with their own ideas.
The statement adds that expertise and scientific advice ‘are simply not enough’ and, ‘quite frankly, not welcome in these times of confusion.’ Clearly, the University is taking a laissez-faire approach to this situation, generously leaving the destinies of thousands of students in their own hands.
Much like the Chancellor’s initial email regarding the closure of Southampton University, specific guidance has been issued, including the following:
- Panic. This is the first step that anyone can take when considering how to act.
- Gather as many people together in one place. These can be friends, family, ex-lovers, just anyone. The larger the mass gathering, and the older they are, the more panic shared.
- Brainstorm some ideas about what might happen – the more dangerous and unlikely, the better. Remember, if enough people believe it, it must be true.
- Bulk buy all of the essentials. Toilet rolls, hand sanitiser, perishable foods, nuclear bunker materials… the list goes on.
- Read the most trustworthy of news sources (Daily Mail, The Sun etc.) and believe every single word.
- Broadcast what you have read across any media sources you have access to.
- Cry. This is effective for transferring your emotions to other people, which can only be good.
- Repeat these guidelines, until no one knows what to believe.
Wise words. Theirs, I mean, (probably) not mine.
This important information is likely to sit well with those already undertaking their own forms of speculation, much of which has been overheard in the corridors of knowledge that the University represents and compiled by Wessex Scene:
‘Will my degree be cancelled?’
‘Can I still go to Triple Cooked? Alcohol does cure it right?’
‘Does Tinder have an immunity filter?’
‘Great news, I have a small chesty cough so I am looking forward to going home now. Can you make sure granny is round when I come back?’
The Chancellor’s office issued a statement on Friday afternoon:
These incisive insights from our students bring me great joy. In times with high levels of misinformation, I am glad everyday people can become part of the problem. Who knows what might become of all this? I don’t.
Stay safe, Southampton. Peace and panic to all.