Corona Rant. Flash fiction by Mary Napier

Bill was clipping the hedge when Joe was bringing in his bins.
“Lovely day, Bill.”
“It is to be sure.”
“How are you coping with this social isolation business?” Joe asked him and Bill went off on a rant.
“You know what really gets to me is the attitude of the youngsters to this virus like I thought they knew all about everything social. The grandkids are always on social media, that book face and instaounce, and young Geoffrey told us all about social Networking in the Men’s Shed. The youngsters know about everything social and as for isolation, sure I drop down to the daughter’s house and the grandkids open the door and grunt at me before running back into the bedroom to play with their X BOX. They might come out occasionally, when the signal breaks down, come out screaming they do, bang a box in the hallway and go back in. Even on the hottest day of the year they isolate themselves in their bedrooms. I tell you Joe, they’re well used to isolation.
And Leo, he’s doing a great job, the first Prime minister in Europe to close the schools ‘cos the youngsters spread it, apparently. His father was an Indian, wonder did he wear feathers and paint his face? Yeah closed the schools and pubs to protect the nation and those same little shits, who play computer games twenty-four seven in the holidays, now in a world pandemic Joe, won’t stay in and play with their fancy equipment, no they all want to be congregating with half the country. Did ya see them all on the news walking and talking in close proximity on Dun Laoghaire pier the other day – and the crowds up in Glendalough, sure, the Guards had to go up there and remove them – a bloody waste of resources is what it was – and us the taxpayers havin’ to pay for it all. I tell you Joe if it was me I would’ve isolated the whole bloody lot of them up there for fourteen days that woulda sorted them out ‘cos it made no difference to them. When they locked the car parks up there, what did they do? They moved on like nomads and parked all over Laragh to walk back to Glendalough. I ask ya what sort of mentality do they have?
I tell ya Joe, that wouldn’t have happened in our day.
In our day, when Dev was in charge, if he said jump we said how high? Because we knew if we didn’t he’d have us arrested or worse still report us to John Charles McQuaid and then there’d be holy murder. If McQuaid heard about ya disobeying the Taoiseach sure he wouldn’t let you make your confirmation – and ya’d be ostracised by the whole country if ya didn’t make your confirmation back then.
It wasn’t like it is now in our day Joe!
We all had to take the pledge on our Confirmation day and I kept it all me life, got the gold badge for fifty years total abstinence and all – drink never bothered me all me life, until Leo closed the pubs before St Patrick’s Day! Ah it was then I realised we were doomed, and I said to Mary, “this virus could kill us all”! And I thought the only thing I’ve never done is drink and I thought it’d be terrible to die wondering so, I went down to the Off License and bought two bottle of tha’ Corona, going cheap it was, and I brought it back and gave one to Mary and drank the other meself and be God, we slept all night! Which reminds me I better go down again because when they realise ‘tha’ the Mexican beer is cheaper than the Irish stuff, there’ll be a run on it, a queue out the door lookin’ for it! Good Luck Joe and remember STAY AT HOME!


  1. Very good, and clever, and astute observation … the young ones who all stayed inside up to this, now want to be outside!

  2. Great story Mary and so true. Teenagers are experts in isolation! It’s the same old story, until you cant have it, that’s when it’s more desirable.

  3. Enjoyed that. Thanks. 🙂

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