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The Seven Deadly Pandemic Sins

We are seeing some bad behaviour of biblical proportions. An illustrated essay.

Dorothy Woodend 24 Apr

Dorothy Woodend is culture editor at The Tyee. Reach her here.

For all the good, kind and compassionate things happening during this global pandemic, there’s some biblical-level bad behaviour taking place.

The Seven Deadly Sins are always a useful reference. Think of them like the Dewey Decimal System for cataloguing all the crappy stuff that humans do to each other and occasionally to themselves.

While there’s plenty of time-honoured sins, COVID-19 has unleashed some hot new takes on the big seven.


582px version of sin_01_lust.png

The surge in sales of sex toys was a little unexpected but makes a certain kind of sense. If you’re not locked down with a significant other, you probably have a lot of free time on your hands, so you might as well get creative. But pace yourself, people: these are powerful tools for getting through a rough patch. Don’t wear yourself out. Also, don’t think on that analogy too long and hard. Heh…


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If this lockdown goes on for months, your magical rabbit friend may run out of juice, in which case you’ll have to go out for batteries only to find the stores cleaned out. Every time I try to buy groceries there’s a different item that’s been hoovered. One week it’s eggs, the next it’s butter. Yeast, bread, milk, hair dye, sex batteries… but nothing got scooped up quicker than toilet paper. Somewhere there must be acres upon acres of the stuff, stockpiled en masse, like that scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark that pulls out to reveal an endless warehouse crammed with boxes and crates. Perhaps in someone’s garage or basement a similar scenario is taking place, TP as far as the eye can see, an ocean of the stuff. The greedy can poop for decades and never have to spare a square for their fellow humans. There’s special place in hell for those folks.


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The pillaging of necessities has led to some epic showdowns in the grocery aisles, with people tussling over things, ramming shopping carts and yelling at others that they’re too damn close. The people especially guilty of giving into their inner fury and outraged entitlement are the Karens of the world. Freed from nice lady niceties, women of a certain age are running amok and letting out their inner rage, and it’s a terrifying thing. Kicking random people in the cereal aisle, lighting dumpsters on fire, galloping headlong down the highway clad only a bra and panties — is there nothing these terrible Karens won’t do?


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If there is one word that drives me into a Karen-kind of rage, it’s the word blessed. Add a hashtag sign in front of it and I will foam at the mouth like a rabid dog and tear the seat out of your pants with my bare teeth. Since we’re all spending a lot more time on the internet and social media, the people who have instagrammed their perfect apartments, impeccable sourdoughs, fitness routines, new novels, renovation projects and home décor have attracted much ire. A little smugness and self-satisfaction with your personal projects is OK, we’re only human after all, but too much and one can easily trigger others into the sin of envy, coveting thy neighbour’s sourdough yeast starter.


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Without anyone to judge it’s easy to snack all day, every day, until your eyes roll back in your head like two raisins in an overstuffed cinnamon bun. The siren call of the refrigerator is like the alluring song that entices ships to dash themselves on the rocks. Beware the sweet sound of cheese, chippies, cookies and pizza pies. In an age of Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes and Door Dash, there’s an endless parade of foodstuffs coming to your door. Just don’t answer.


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After you’ve eaten your weight in nacho chips, you might be tempted to have a little snooze for one to 12 hours. Take a page from our friends the anaconda. After a large meal, the fearsome serpents must sleep it off for days, even weeks at a time. If you need a little digestive time, that’s fine, but eventually you must rouse your slinky coils and go a’hunting once more, staking out the grocery store, lying in wait on the top of the shelves for unwary Karens. Swallow them whole and spit out the oversized sunglasses and Louis Vuitton bags.


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The cardinal sin, the one that got Satan booted out of heaven, is pride. Depending on how you look at it, this sin can be one of ego, hubris or overweening self-regard, in which case no one takes the cake quite like celebrities. There’s been a wealth of bad actors complaining in their mansions about being bored, pretentiously pontificating in the bathtub, and, worst of all, foisting their tuneless singing on an unsuspecting public. Actress Gal Gadot took it upon herself to round up a bunch of her famous friends and force them to sing for a horrified world. The timing (in advance of Gadot’s new Wonder Woman film), as well as the inclusion of Lynda Carter (who played an earlier version of the bustier-clad superhero) was a tad suspicious, but that was the least of its crimes. Joel Golby writing for the Guardian perhaps said it best: “… the video itself is the worst thing I’ve ever seen on the internet, and I’ve seen corpses on this thing.”

And if that wasn’t enough to convince that the end days are nigh, there’s also a plague of locusts as well.

Better to look forward to the day when humanity emerges from this pandemical period, trailing toilet paper, empty chip bags and vibrators, resolving to clean up its act, starting with no more sourdough… ever again.  [Tyee]

Read more: Coronavirus

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