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A Dispatch from the Disposable

Updated: Jan 18

As lockdown becomes tedious and the weather gets nicer, many Americans are attempting to justify breaking quarantine by turning COVID-19 into a numbers game. How often have we heard that "only" the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions will be affected? That your chances of dying are small to none, unlike others? That wearing a mask isn't actually to protect you (shocker) but protecting other people, and somehow that makes it optional?

As one of the unnamed at-risk masses, I've been doing my research on how to convince people that I am, in fact, a person. While it's true that I can't fully convince total strangers fighting for their patriotic right to murder me via cough that my life matters, I have accumulated some tips to establish yourself as a human being in the time of coronavirus. So here are a few ways to get others to view you as someone worth living through the pandemic despite their desperate need for beachcombing.

  1. Get a hobby. People have hobbies! It's part of what makes them fun and quirky! Memorabilia = memorability. If the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks about you is not your vintage collection of Thomas the Tank Engine figurines (still in package), you can kiss your place in their life goodbye.

  2. Adopt a pet. Being a dog or cat mom to a #furbaby is a great way to get ahead on social media and general humanitarian points.

  3. Pierce one ear. Two pierced ears are so bourgeois, but one ear pierced lends an air of mystery to your whole auditory area. Was it a mistake with a needle in your buddy Judd's basement or did you wimp out after the first poke and forgo the second one offered? You decide.

  4. Become devoted to a single band. This one is useful because it saves you from having to communicate other, potentially less easily consumable aspects of your personality. Once you've picked a band, your hobbies (concerts), friends (other groupies), wardrobe (merch), and area of interest (the band's best track being stuck on the least appreciated album) are all established for you.

  5. Develop a strong dislike for an otherwise popular thing. If this doesn't sound like enough material to fuel an identity, the internet has another thing coming. Hating cilantro, for instance, will gain you access to an exclusive Facebook community of over 6,000 people. Hating pop music will get you promoted at your local Spenser's, and hating movies with any sense of linear plot will get you admittance to Emerson College.

  6. Participate in a reality television show. There's no better way to be known in America than being on reality TV. Anything from the Biggest Loser to House Hunters will get you a title card legacy good for at least a few perks. And don't worry, you don't actually have to have a special talent - just be white, mildly charismatic, and unwilling to compromise on an open floorplan.

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