Stay. At. Home.

This week, I have found it hard to write. Like many, I have been distracted by news of the COVID-19 virus. So, in response (and to convince myself that I am writing), I have penned this mashup of words, phrases and sentences I have encountered in news articles and news bulletins, scientific articles, emails, text messages and conversations.

Stay. At. Home.

We can survive with bad hair

bad skin

bad nails

but if we don’t start staying home

we may not survive COVID-19.

The cafes are buzzing.

The beaches are crowded.

The horse has bolted.

Schools will remain open.

Stay calm.

Don’t scare the children.

Wash your hands.

Don’t touch your face.

Practice social distancing.

Everything is going to be fine.

This salon will be closed until further notice.

Stay safe and don’t forget me. I WILL BE BACK.

Buy food in moderation

but stock up for a few days.

This thing could last for six months.

Don’t panic.

Wear a mask.

Put the mask over your nose.

Don’t touch your mask.

There are not enough masks.

Only health workers need a mask.

Viral aerosols remain in the air long after the infected person has left the room.

They can be inadvertently breathed in.

The virus can remain viable for three to nine days on a petrol pump handle or a piece of fruit from the supermarket.

It is more contagious than guns.

Leave your shoes at the front door.


Hands, clothes, everything.

Wash your fruit and veg.

There is no magic cure.

The elderly are the most affected.

A seven year old has contracted the virus.

A thirty year old is in ICU.

Wash your hands.

Stay. At. Home.

Work from home.

Thank heavens for the internet.

Keep your children home.

Teach your children.

Don’t let them roam the streets

or the shopping centres.

The border will close at midnight.

Stock up on books.

Sit in the garden.


Only essential workers will go to work.

All workers are essential.

Close up shop.

Stay open to qualify for help.

Pay the staff.

Pay the suppliers.


Don’t touch your mouth.

Waiting for Centrelink

is like

Waiting for Godot.

What is the collective noun

for a houseful of unemployed?

Bunker down.

Go home.

You are no longer required.

Stay. At. Home.



Be paranoid.

We’re wasting time.

It’s the economy. Stupid.

Build up reserves.

Don’t hoard.

Be responsible.

Fill your prescriptions.

Get the flu shot.

Remain calm.

Look after each other.

Check on the elderly.

Check on your neighbours.

The light will one day emerge from this long tunnel.

The future will be forever changed.

Be kind.

2 thoughts on “Stay. At. Home.

  1. So many mixed messages there (most of the mixed ones have a familiar ring … our PM?!). I think ‘stay home’, ‘wash hands’ and ‘be kind’ are the ones that stand out most for me.
    Thanks Karen for a serious post that is also entertaining (let’s face it, we have to laugh in these difficult times!)
    Hugs to you xx


  2. Thanks, Fiona.There ARE so many mixed messages and I believe this is confusing people and contributing to the lack of compliance by some and their ability to take this seriously. I could easily write another page of them today… the only way to flatten the curve is to stay home but it’s ok to vote on Saturday, schools will close but will be open for some, keep 1.5m apart but it’s ok to be in close proximity to your hairdresser or queue for takeaway (or Customs at Syd Airport!!). I’m glad you found some entertainment value in there – it was really just a necessary purge of my frustrations so that I could clear my head to write.


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