SATIRE: New Brunswick releases “new rules” for the pandemic

(Cartoon by Estefania Martinez/AQ)

This story is a satire based on GNB’s recent pandemic response — none of the information, including quotes and names, are real.

In a press briefing last Friday, the Government of New Brunswick moved to Level 3 and effectively relinquished its illusion of control over the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The announcement was well-rumoured and well-attended, as public relations for the new changes took on the intonation of a hypebeast sneaker release.

In addition to the move, a Dua Lipa-esque list of restrictions is now being pushed by New Brunswick Public Health that puts the onus back into the hands of the people.

“Why should we be in charge of counting cases anyway?” asked Premier Biggins in the virtual briefing on Jan. 14. “Do I look like somebody who you would go to for Calc 4 advice?”

This statement was met with loud applause from the virtual audience. So far, there is no backlash from the public. Facebook is overflowing with positive comments commending the government’s recent direction.

“I’m just so happy they are being honest with us, it’s refreshing to see a politician stop pretending they know what is going on,” wrote user Karen McDougle.

Included below is a condensed list of rules relating specifically to university campuses and answers to those lesser-known COVID faux pas.

  1. All COVID tracing will now commence through the app Yik Yak.
  2. Rapid tests are only available to those whose taste buds can’t distinguish the difference between the three TimBiebs flavours.
  3. After testing positive for COVID-19, completely isolate only until you catch up on all new episodes of Euphoria.
  4. For outdoor temperatures below -10 C, an oversized scarf or hand-knit balaclava is recommended on top of masks.
  5. Pinning the most attractive person in your Zoom call is inappropriate and not allowed.
  6. All Atlantic Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association sports will transition to the Peloton for practice and Wii Sports for competition.
  7. When about to cross paths with someone on the sidewalk or in the aisle of a supermarket, new proper pandemic etiquette is to get uncomfortably close to the stranger and feign a cough.
  8. Any student who can’t work during the shutdown will be mailed an envelope full of confetti in lieu of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.

“We know these oh so unprecedented times are scary,” said Biggins. “So we want to remind you even if we aren’t necessarily there for you financially, we are here for you in spirit.”

New Brunswick government officials used the press briefing to debunk some popular misconceptions that were spreading around the city — no pun intended.

“There is no new strain of COVID forming in Fredericton called Northsiderona,” said a nameless government employee. “It is disrespectful and childish to spread rumours like that.”

If anyone has information on who started the hearsay please call public health directly. The perpetrator is set to receive a $500 fine and a high five.

Another falsehood the government disproved is the common misconception that a Jägerbomb from The Cellar is a valid substitute for the booster shot.

“If it worked like that then we would all be immune honey,” said nameless government employee no. 2.

Lastly, there was a movement from the public for “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten to be officially retired from the anti-mask rallies that were spotted downtown in recent months. The new song that the protesters selected is “All Girls are the Same” by Juice WRLD.

“Though we would like these offensive and dangerous anti-mask rallies to stop in full, we are glad to see they chose a more suitable anthem,” said Biggins.

Minister of Health Sheridan Doerdy hasn’t been available for questioning since she was seen being physically detained in the back of the Jan. 14 press briefing.