Covid-19 has created a whole new world; new language, new behavior, new businesses, new attitudes, new diets, the list is endless. One of the ways I cope with this Covid Conundrum, is to notice the way humanity has and is adapting and changing to our new reality. There are so many changes that have quite swiftly taken place that we might actually miss the fact that so much has changed. Some people too are more adept at evolving, others, not so much. So having examined the behaviour of those in my ecosystem, I saw that there are some things that really stand out. For clarity, I have subtitled these changes as they appear below, as what I term ‘new tribes’ that are within our old tribal complex. So here goes:
THE FACK MASK TRIBES:
Since the ubiquitous face mask became a part of the dress code, it is easy to see how ‘face mask tribes’ have coalesced. Within this tribe, we have broadly 5 main sub-tribes:
- The Chin mask tribe: These people wear their face mask on their chin. Never mind that neither nose nor mouth is covered, they wake up every morning, strap their face mask around their chin (or beard) and set off. The whole day passes, and the mask is on their chin, where they put it in the morning, protecting their chin from the virus.
- The Mouth mask tribe: These people wear their face mask to cover only their mouth. With their nose well exposed, they conduct their business all day long, making sure their mouth is very well protected, but also ensuring that their nose is well exposed and prominently on display.
- The Hanging mask tribe: The members of this tribe always make sure that their mask is dangling from either right or left ear only. They never put the ear straps on both ears, no, for them, the protection from the mask is only vital from which ever ear the mask hangs from.
- The Touching mask tribe: These mask wearers try to cover both nose and mouth as prescribed, but touch and adjust the face mask every second of the day. They constantly pull and adjust, remove and replace and play with their face mask so much, they hands are always on the mask.
- The Mask Wearing Aficionados: The members of this tribe are the champions of ‘curve flattening’ everywhere in the world. They are the reason Covid-19 will be defeated because they are the ones who do as is prescribed, they are conscious of not spreading the virus or being infected.
THE HAND SANITIZER ACOLYTES:
When it was advised that everyone uses 70% alcohol based hand sanitizers, 3 tribes in this group formed. These are as follows:
- The Baptizers: The members of this tribe bathe their bodies in hand sanitizer. They rub it everywhere skin is exposed. Even if a full bottle of sanitizer is put out in the morning, by evening it will be finished if one of the members of this tribe is around. Even where there are facilities to wash their hands, they rather bathe in sanitizer than wash their hands. They are partially responsible for the rush on sanitizer and its scarcity.
- The Anointers: This tribe uses hand sanitizer like it is anointing oil. As soon as you come within reach, they have it at the ready and squirt it into your hands. They can also be identified by their constant use of sanitizer even when they have not touched anything. They have no qualm walking past a hand washing station for they are fully anointed with sanitizer.
- The Sanitized: These people have understood that you can hand wash where facilities are available and sanitize where not available. They are the only tribe that will still have human hands after covid-19 as the other two will end up with reptilian appendages post covid-19.
THE SELF MEDICATORS
The members of this tribe have been quite troublesome; they have prescribed eating drinking and all sorts of food and drink as a way of not catching covid-19. They were principally responsible for the scarcity of anti-malarial medication, vitamin C and other routine drugs. They also prescribe the drinking of every bitter, algae coloured concoction known to man. Without any medical of Pharmacological training or knowledge, they have to their credit numerous traditional and Western medical preparations that they swear by, including drinking bleach, disinfectant, brine and other household cleaning fluids. They also advocate bathing in substances that have been used by the leather industry to prepare hides and skin for tanning.
THE FLEEING OSTRICHES:
This tribe is constantly on the move away from everywhere that they hear the virus is in ascendancy. They manage in lockdowns and closed borders to move to places that they deem are less infectious than others, all in a bid to outrun the virus, a virus that doesn’t travel beyond 2 metres by itself. They completely disregard the fact that it is people like them who move around, that give the virus legs and wings.
THE FERVENT SOCIAL DISTANCERS:
While social distancing is recommended and is a good way to flatten the curve, the fervency with which this tribe socially distances is remarkable. They shut themselves into their houses, closing every window so securely that even sunlight and air have a battle to get into their space. Even when the lockdowns are eased, they still do not come out of hibernation. This tribe will not be seen until mid-2022, if they ever come out at all.
THE FAKE NEWS DISSEMINATORS
This tribe has access to news that no one else has, even those in the Centres of Disease Control all over the world. How they get their news is a mystery, but they insist that it is authentic, even when it contradicts everything from every relevant institution. For them, every institution is unreliable, yet nothing they put out is verifiable.
Which tribe/tribes do you belong to and which tribes are prevalent where you live? One thing is certain, for most of us, this is our first pandemic. We can make it a positive experience if we think before we talk or act, verify everything we hear and let the experts do what they do best. If we support the fight against Covid-19 as a team, we will beat it sooner rather than later.