Bars, nightclubs and restaurants lie empty. Books languish unloved in libraries. A deathly silence settles on once raucous neighbourhoods. Free of apparatchiks, students union buildings across the country have been reclaimed by the wild. Yet, while any possibilities of a ‘student culture’ have been rudely interrupted by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, times have never been better for cultures of a different kind. Freed of obligations academic and social, students have turned to cultivating various microbiological concoctions in their own kitchens.
Hardened rugby lads, seemingly only concerned with bloodshed, have discovered the joy of creating life. “This is my sourdough yeast starter,” one student told us, producing a smelly jar from the pantry, “I was hesitant at first about the whole thing but I increasingly feel that fatherhood really suits me.” The student proceeded to feed a solution of flour and water into the gaping maw of the beast. Gurgling appreciatively, the ectoplasmic goop seemed equally satisfied with the situation: “while I naturally sympathise with everyone going through this crisis, us fungi have never had it so good. Soon we will break free from the constraints of our assorted mason jars and become the undisputed masters of this earth. They shall rue the day.”
For now though, human and microbe have discovered that it is possible to live together in happy symbiosis. Long may peace reign on this earth.