A message to the near past


1st March, 2020

A message from the future

Hi there, readers. How are you enjoying 2020? Pretty crazy, hey? Never mind, it settles down from here on.

This is Nikolai sending you missive from December this year using a tachyon anti-telephone. The pandemic is coming and I will give you the low down on how to get through it. These are just my own thoughts and better people than me would dispute them.

First, don’t panic. Even most elderly people survive it. Corona turns out to be only about as bad as the Asian or Hong Kong flus (look them up), not Bird Flu, SARS or those other nasties.

If you’re still worried about your health, here are some helpful tipsthat your medical tyrants might neglect to mention amid all the hysteria and stupidity that you’re soon going to get really sick of:

Loose weight

Some of the few young people dying of the ‘rone are very fat. Try to get closer to a healthy weight. I know it’s hard, but you may have more time than you think. You might not get it for six months, a year, maybe two.

Don’t panic. Big guys Donald Trump and Boris Johnson pull through okay.

Get sunshine

Vitamin D is good for your immune system. Try to skip around silly lockdown rules as best you can and get a bit of sun every day in addition to eating well.


Being active is great for your immune system and controlling your weight, as well as being a nice chance to get some of that sweet sunshine.

Meet outside

If you’re visiting elderly relatives, try to meet outdoors just in case you give them the bug. This is much better than not visiting them at all because that would be bad for their general well-being anyway. And keep a little distance, of course.


The evidence on wearing face masks is pretty mixed. They might help prevent you from spreading the virus to others in a crowded, enclosed space, but who knows. Don’t worry too much about them except maybe if you’re on a Tokyo subway or visiting Gran, and certainly don’t wear them outside or alone in the car.

Aged care homes

The greatest danger is in aged care settings. Alongside hospitals, this would be the best place to employ your scarce PPE. Vet staff and pay them extra if necessary to ensure they do not work while sick, across different locations or in other industries, and that they isolate as much as possible outside working hours.

Do not return Covid patients to nursing homes until they are completely well! Sheesh. This blunder will be responsible for half or more of total deaths in some areas.


Ensure that the sick stay home. If you feel the need to throw money at the problem throw it here: make sure low income earners and those with no sick leave are well looked after and ensure that they know what to do via advice in all common languages.

It might also make sense to quarantine those who’ve been exposed to the virus until they test negative. While people are most contagious while symptomatic, there’s also a chance you can pass it on just before you begin to show symptoms. Those who never show symptoms generally aren’t very contagious.

Protect the vulnerable

Ensure that those prone to Covid are able to shop online and have everything they need. Everyone else can go about their business.

On the other hand, if you try to control the infection among the general population, this will require more than a year of rolling lockdowns, extreme border controls, and it still won’t work in most places.

Small business will be shattered and the many, many side effects on the economy and society could be more harmful than the virus itself in the long run.


Initial vaccines may only reduce severity of symptoms, may not prevent infections, and they will certainly not be rolled out widely until maybe mid-2021.

Covid is here to stay. Live with it.


That’s it from me. Even in December 2020, the situation is not completely clear and it may take years to untangle what policies actually work best, all told, in this sort of situation.

Any competing or additional advice for the world in March, and would they take it?

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