News Coronavirus Garry Linnell sets out to calm our coronavirus fears … sort of

Garry Linnell sets out to calm our coronavirus fears … sort of

You're questions answered, maybe. Photo: TND
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Time to get positive, the editor of The New Daily said.

There’s a lot of scared and confused people out there. Why not answer their questions and give them the facts – and some hope?

Sure thing, boss, I said. Always happy to help out. So here goes. The ultimate advice column to help you get through the coronavirus pandemic.

I miss working in the office. I miss the camaraderie, the gossip and the interaction. I’m finding it hard at home to concentrate on the work in front of me. It’s even harder to find inspiration. Any suggestions? – Mike, Brisbane.

Not really, Mike. You’re clearly one of those office workers the rest of us detest.

Workplaces are filled with annoying “team members” like yourself who constantly require validation and attention. Your daily routine of interrupting others, sending grandstanding group emails and brown-nosing the boss are simply time-wasting techniques to disguise your lack of creativity.

When the world returns to some sort of normality I doubt your company will be able to afford to carry passengers like yourself.

But let’s be positive. Why not consider a new career? If sitting around an office stating the obvious and riding on the back of other people’s ideas are your chief qualities, become a consultant.

This lack of sport is driving me crazy. I’m tired of watching replays when I already know the result. I’m desperate to see some live action. Any recommendations? – George, Sydney.

A little imagination, George. Please.

If you want fearless tackling, brilliant interceptions and bruising collisions – all in high definition – wander down the toilet paper aisle of your local supermarket.

My children are at home and spending more time than ever online. How can I keep them safe without restricting their screen time? –Madeleine, Wollongong.

Great question. I’ve installed blocking software in our place that seems to be doing the trick.

In the past three days we haven’t receive a single notification from anyone saying “We’re All In This Together” or “We Will Emerge Stronger, Kinder and Better.”

The software has also blocked those awful videos of celebrities humming Imagine and spouting world peace from the balcony of their Beverly Hills mansions.

Never forget how important it is to keep kids away from predatory types spreading cliched slogans and  insincere messages of hope. The world is a very sick place at the moment and your children need to deal with it.

I’m worried about my ageing parents. I’m not allowed to visit them and I’m concerned they are going to struggle without any help. – Georgia, Maroubra.

Is this a joke question, Georgia? Are these the same parents who have banged on throughout your life about how they had it much tougher back in their day?

Are these the very same parents who sneered about the younger generation and how soft it has become? These self-righteous elderly snobs should be setting an example for the rest of us, not cowering in their little retirement villages pleading for grocery deliveries and crying because they can’t see their little grandkids. Pathetic.

Don’t worry about your parents, Georgia. If they could walk barefoot to school every morning for ten miles and eat mouldy bread for lunch then surely they can boil a packet of instant noodles.

It has been inspiring watching people on their balconies in Italy and Spain singing to one another and lifting each other’s spirits. Can we start something similar here? Perhaps we could all go into our backyards at a certain time and sing I Still Call Australia Home. – Isabella, Brisbane.

Certainly not. You sound feverish, Isabella. Please get tested immediately.

The only song Australians ever manage to sing in unison is Cold Chisel’s Khe Sanh – and only at midnight when they are drunk at a barbecue.

I’m a very tactile person. I need the warmth of human touch. Not only are these self-distancing rules confusing, they are making my life miserable. How much longer will they be in place? – Kirk, Fremantle.

Hopefully for a very long time in your case, Kirk. The majority of us have always regarded “touchy” people like yourself as a little on the creepy side.

Ever seen those idiots in shopping malls carrying “Free Hugs” signs? Ever noticed how they all have bad haircuts and pull their pants up all the way to their armpits?

As I said. Creepy. Self-distancing rules should remain long after the pandemic is over to keep people like you away.

Anyone for a hug? Photo: Getty

Toilet paper is obviously hard to get. Any thoughts on how to make it last longer? – Carlos, Mildura.

Call me a tightwad. Call me budget-conscious. My family certainly does. But here’s what I do.

Take a roll of 3-ply toilet paper and very methodically separate the sheets to create three rolls of 1-ply paper. Of course, you need to be careful when using it. But as I’ve told my wife, the experience allows you to stay in touch with your inner self.

More of your questions next week.

And remember. Look after one other by remaining completely out of touch.

Garry Linnell was director of News and Current Affairs for the Nine network in the mid-2000s. He has also been editorial director for Fairfax and is a former editor of The Daily Telegraph and The Bulletin magazine