7 very Northern Rivers ways to stop coronavirus spread

NOW that Australians have been urged by the government to stop greeting each other by shaking hands and to be careful who they kiss now that coronavirus is spreading directly between people in the community, we had a look at Northern Rivers-specific behaviours and contrasted them to the health advice, and we came out with the following list of things to stop doing for a while:

1. Stop the Mullumbimby Hug: You know the one I'm talking about, that hug that lasts more than three seconds and looks like people fell asleep on each other.

The Mullum Hug is an extreme version of the handshake, where conscious people 'are' with each other in full mind and body. Sometimes too much body.

Some residents may be encouraged to start a drumming circle to greet each other, but who carries a bembe (African drum) around all the time, right?

2. Stop dating backpackers in Byron Bay: Now that the virus is spreading around European and Middle Eastern areas, it's OK to go back to eating at Chinese restaurants because, we're not about to stop eating pizza, right?

One good idea would be for residents to avoid picking up backpackers from local clubs for a while, or via dating apps.

Dear free spirits, stay within the confines of your polyamorous list of four mainstay partners please. If you can.

3. Stop shouting at umpires at sports matches: We've all seen them: parents who believe the fruit of their loins are the next Israel Folau and they are not going to let that disgraceful, unfair, totally biased umpire stop their 6-year olds from realising their full potential.

One possibility is to demand all parents wear face masks at matches.
The masks may not prevent them from contracting the virus but try yelling at someone with one of those things on your face …

Maybe we could make them compulsory at Northern Rivers council meetings too.

4. Stop touching each other's phones at music festivals: I am not in the business of touching something people take to the bathroom with them. Particularly since sex tapes became fashionable.

Maybe we could ask music festival goers to avoid asking others to take a photo of them.

I was last asked to take a photo of a total stranger at a local music festival and the thought of touching their phones almost made me pass out.

Now I have the perfect reason to decline.

5. Stop your alternative medicine pushing online: The Covid-19 coronavirus is not officially a pandemic yet but I have already seen a number of online ads offering all sorts of 'medicine' or 'prevention tools' for it, plus a long list of locals on community boards telling people how to avoid contagion.

So, after checking the World Health Organisation's website, I can officially conclude that lemon juice, cider vinegar, lavender or peppermint oil are not effective ways to protect yourself from the virus.

They do make a killer vinaigrette though, as soon as you go easy on the lavender.

6. Stop your conspiracy theories: Do you believe the roll out of 5G in Wuhan, China, decreased the population's immune system to make the outbreak possible?

You have the right to believe that but, for now, please try avoid publishing information that you just found online and is not proven or plain incorrect.

You may not trust doctors, nurses, NSW Health and the WHO (not the band), but right now lives depend on it and that's all we have. It won't be for long. I promise to read all your future posts for a couple of weeks of radio silence from conspiracy theories.

7. Buy local, help a small business: One of the main effects of the outbreak, outside the obvious health issue, is on businesses. Small local businesses are more at risk than big multinationals. So support your local produce market, the corner shop and Northern Rivers service providers. We are all in this together.