Q: Me and my partner live together in a committed, monogamous relationship. Neither of us have experienced any symptoms of the coronavirus.

A: While you may not appear to present an active threat to anyone, you may be infectious and should still practice social distancing to protect those around you.

Q: I have no symptoms, but yesterday I had a sexy dream about my flatmate and now I feel a little… awkward?

A: Fly! Fly! Thy death wound is upon thee! Cupid’s arrow hath pierced thy side: see how blood flows from thy flank in crimson streams! Betake thee away to the dark and silent places of this world, far from the gorgeous trappings of the court, and there lie down to die, ne’er speaking word of thy love, which makes a good and noble end.

Q: I have a new and persistent cough.

A: You may be experiencing the onset of the coronavirus, and should self-isolate along with the rest of your household.

Q: It’s just a cough though, not even a bad one!

A: Though your symptoms may be mild, you should still self-isolate to help relieve pressure on healthcare providers and protect the most vulnerable in society.

Q: Nay, but mark this: conceive that I should cough at my love, reasoning thus with her: Lady, this droplet issuing small and bright leaves my breast and enters thine, melting my essence with thine. Yet is there sin in this? For shame, wouldst thou fear this, which is no more than a drop of dew? If the LORD does not deny his own creation, which he bathes with the same so sweetly each dawn, can then you or I resolve against our nature? Fie, relent I say, for by the figure of this cough, we see that our two souls are already made one; and by the morning dew is shewn that virtue is ever the mirror of nature, and in denying nature, we deny virtue. And since thou art more virtuous than virtue herself, so that she blushes in your presence, wouldst thou be other than thou art?

A: The symptoms you describe are consistent with SARS COVID-19, and you should self-isolate along with the rest of your household.

Q: Though still she flees me, the dark eyes of my beloved show forth like brightest stars; in my breast now I know that her virtue is no virtue, and sinfulness the greatest good, thus proving white black and black white. I do not have a cough or a fever.

A: Though you are not experiencing symptoms, you should still minimise contact with others to help protect the most vulnerable in society. And yet alas! A worse fate awaits thee, the very Gods do weep; for thou hast been pricked by the dart of fickle Cupid, and for this illness there is no cure, nor can any physique remedy thy ailment.

Q: Tossing and turning in my empty bed I neither sleep nor wake; all night I burn and freeze like ice.

A: You are experiencing a fever, and should self-isolate to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly novel coronavirus, SARS COVID-19.

Q: I have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. I am now experiencing a persistent cough and a high fever.

A: You are likely to have contracted the coronavirus, and should avoid all contact with other people if possible. If your symptoms worsen dramatically you should contact the emergency services, and yet, pity the lover, who knows no peace, only a surfeit of pain: the image of his beloved hovers before his eyes both day and night, while the world around him fades like a dream, she makes a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven; and this is the lover’s melancholy, which makes men mad.

Q: Of heat and cold when I complain
And say that heat doth cause my pain,
When cold doth shake me every vain
and both at once, I say again
It is impossible.

A: You are the Henrician courtier and poet Thomas Wyatt. Having died in 1542, your chances of transmitting the coronavirus to other members of the community are only slim.


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