... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Saturday 21 March 2020

Why you need an autistic person at a time like this

1. We won't try to shake hands, hug or kiss you. Ever.
And now you won't do it to us either. There's a silver lining, right there.

2. Self-isolation? Bring it on!
Whilst using the government's language of 'self-isolation' and 'social distancing' makes me really uncomfortable for reasons I don't even begin to understand, actually doing it - well, there's nothing that comes more naturally.

3. We already have a stockpile
Built up over months or years rather than in a locust swarm on Tescos, and carefully curated and rotated. Some of us have probably had ours since the Cold War. So we don't need to panic buy and there's that little bit more for everyone else.

4. That famous lack of empathy?
Means we won't absorb other people's anxieties and panic, so we'll be the ones keeping calm and carrying on (with those all-important routines) whilst still being kind and supportive, because we know that's the right thing to do.

5. We follow the rules just because they're the rules
Yeah, well, maybe that one doesn't apply to me. But a lot of us do. And if we have comorbid OCD, we're already on it with the handwashing, too.

6. We're already geared up for working at home
Computer? Check. Broadband? Check. VPN? Already set up. Just need to rearrange the books for my videoconferencing backdrop.

7. You need someone to draw up tables and spreadsheets
To make contingency plans and do options appraisals and impose order on chaos. We have a lot of practice at this.

8. We are used to not being able to cope with change and uncertainty
Which puts us at a distinct advantage when no one else can cope with it either. Welcome to my world.

Disclaimers: Yes, I know that not all of this applies to all (or possibly any) autistic people. Number 5 doesn't apply to me, for example. Yes, I know it's a serious matter, but I can guarantee that no one will die as a direct result of you laughing a little bit (as long as you do it into a tissue). Yes, I know there are probably much better and funnier versions of this all over the internet, but I am self-isolating from the media so as to avoid being infected with panic and despair (about civil liberties rather than health). Yes, there are probably more examples - can we get it up to ten?

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