A lot has happened since I was last allowed out.

Fortunately the straps were too loose, the straight jacket is in a crumpled heap on the floor and I’ve been laughing hysterically all the way back to the office.

I just hope it’s not too late to save the world.

So here we go.

The skinny on masks

Masks simply don’t go far enough I’m afraid – they only cover part of a face leaving the entire body exposed to the elements.

Evidence of this was uncovered recently when the world’s largest colony of nudists was exposed to the deadly Covid virus in France.

About 150 positive tests have been recorded at Cap d’Agde Naturist Village in southern France. That’s the warm end for those that are curious.

Pierre Ricordeau, from the local health authority, told Reuters that he doubted social distancing had been observed.

This curly issue also came to a head in the Czech Republic a couple of months earlier when nudists were severely scolded for not wearing masks.

“Citizens are allowed to be without clothes in designated locations, but they still must cover their mouths, and only gather in appropriate numbers,” Czech authorities said in a statement.

They don’t say what an appropriate number of nudists is, but in New Zealand it is a maximum of 10 if you know each other well. If you want to rub shoulders with up to 100 unfamiliar nudists then whip your phone out and scan the QR code. Alternatively you can sign the visitor’s book.

If you want more nudists, the only other option is to go to a ski field, where the maximum number is 1800.

Very cool.

How to go skiing

Skiing has become almost as difficult as winning Lotto because only 1800 are allowed on the North Island’s biggest skifield - Whakapapa.

Those seeking to get on-piste, would be lucky to get half piste and would be better of going off-piste altogether.

These days, desperate skiers wait at their laptops for the precise moment at which the allocated mountain car parks become available and frantically tap away at the booking button to try and snap up a space.

It’s all over with in about 30 seconds – roughly the same amount of time it takes a hacker to shut down the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

The winners leap up and down, slapping their friends on the back and skol schnapps.

The losers have one more chance later on in the day. If they fail again they must take their chances with the shuttle buses.

This is where it gets really cruel. Booking a seat on a shuttle up the mountain to the ski field won’t necessarily get you there either.

You see the Department of Conservation has limited shuttle passengers up to Whakapapa to 300 because of the virus. Instead of allocating seats to each of the six shuttle bus companies that own concessions, they have to fight it out amongst themselves.

So, once 300 people have been past the gate, that’s it. It doesn’t matter if you’re an overworked kiwifruit farmer from Te Puke or a European nudist, you won’t be rolling in the snow.

I’d suggest having a back-up plan like a soak at the hot pools or a mountain bike ride but, for everybody’s sake, please have the decency to wear a mask.

Going round in circles

The solution to all of this nonsense can actually be found in a 1976 movie featuring John Travolta.

John plays the part of a boy called Tod who has a poorly functioning immune system and lives inside a plastic bubble for his own safety.

His Mum won’t let him go anywhere outside his bubble.

Sound familiar?

Eventually he pops his bubble in favour of the girl next door. The movie ends with them riding off on a horse.

It’s based on the true story of David Vetter and that doesn’t end nearly so well, however bubbles are very de rigueur at the moment so I feel like it’s relevant.

Why can’t we all just get around in bubbles – bubble concerts, bars set up for bubbles, big bubble baths at the town pools, etc.

Even sport wouldn’t be a big deal – there is already a game called bubble soccer which just basically involves bashing into each other. And there are Zorbs.

What could be healthier?

Car versus bus

Now don’t tell Josh on page 8 that I said this, but public transport is not as cool as it was at the beginning of the year.

If you show your face on a bus you can actually be fined.

Fortunately there is a solution to this and it’s also a kind of bubble.

It’s called a car.

Basically you get in your car and drive to the place you want to go – virtually no chance of contaminating anyone else.

For years this has been the preferred method of getting around for most Kiwis but single person car trips have been seen as a kind of social disease lately.

Who’s laughing now?

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch