Quarantina is the deity of thriving in enforced isolation. Lockdown isn’t a competition, but if it was, she’d be winning it. Until this year she had been a minor deity, worshipped mainly by returning astronauts. However, in the last few months millions of people have begun tentatively exploring the way of Quarantina. She was originally the only daughter of Misogynese the king of Iona. An oracle prophesied to the king that one of his grandchildren would kill him (I think that’s the go-to stock prophecy they use when an oracle can’t think of anything to say). So, predictably, the king shut young Quarantina away to prevent her ever taking a lover. Removed from the world, Quarantina used the time to hone herself into a formidably wise and skilled woman. Her accomplishments grew until they rivalled those of the gods, who raised her deity-hood so that she would stop showing them up. This freed her from her father’s imprisonment. Once she had the chance, she bore many children; a tribe known as “The Quaranteens”. Many years later, the eldest of the Quaranteens attempted a reconciliation with his grandfather. They made peace and shook hands. Sadly, they forgot to wash them first.
Quarantina’s divine superpower is being able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously despite a hail of distractions and a background hum of dread anxiety. Working online for an eight-hour day whilst delivering six hours of high school level teaching, feeding a family of five, arbitrating a nuclear sibling war and composing her first symphony is a cinch for her! Even when Anaglypta and Artex next door start relaying their floorboards with Penetr8ingBeatzFM turned up to eleven on the radio. She can do all this stood on one leg, and she sticks a broom up her arse to sweep the floor whilst’s she’s at it. Her freshly spring-cleaned, redecorated and decluttered temple can be found in the creepily idyllic small town known as “Stepford”. An immaculate garden surrounds the temple to create a picket fence perfect scene. The windows of the temple are decorated with beautifully drawn rainbows. Passers-by have a tendency to be quite overwhelmed by these nauseating levels of perfection and, despite the delicious baking smells that constantly waft through the air, the street outside the temple is decorated with little piles of vomit.
Followers of Quarantina will try to emulate the goddess’s self-discipline. The lifestyle of a fully committed Quarantinian is gruelling. They must ritually cleanse themselves, brush their hair and put on a bra EVERY DAMN DAY. Quarantina’s devotees also appeal to her for divine assistance in their self-improvement projects. There are different traditional offerings they must make to Quarantina when requesting her aid with various endeavours. If one is attempting to learn a new language one is supposed to pour a libation of half a pint of homemade kombucha before her altar. For help with mastering a musical instrument, present the goddess with a bowl of frothy sourdough starter. If one is trying to finally write “that novel you know is inside you somewhere”, ritually cremate a banana loaf and waft the smoke towards the heavens whist chanting, “Ohshitohshitohshit” in time to beeping of your smoke alarm. The one miracle that Quarantina seems to be unable to perform, is a successful home haircut. No matter how many offerings you place at her altar, you WILL make your children look like the offspring of an 80’s footballer and a homicidal clown. Quarantina is powerless to assist because of her nemesis “Girl Swirled” the home haircut demon.
Due to the relatively recent popularity of this cult, Quarantina only has a small group of priests and priestesses. Their main role is the creation of informative online videos and podcasts about how to improve your lockdown life by following the way of Quarantina. They initially attract new followers with interesting articles and recipes, then subtly introduce the religious aspect. If you have recently read an article about rearing your own chickens, the chances are that this was Quarantina cluck-bait. They also manage the online league tables of competitive quarantining. Who has gone the longest without leaving the house? Who has sewed the most headbands for the NHS? Who has sewed the most sartorially elegant face masks? Whose child has been accepted to Oxbridge early thanks to four weeks of their tuition? Who has clapped the loudest at the Thursday night thanksgiving ritual? Following the way of Quarantina can be exhausting. To preserve one’s sanity it pays to remember that she is an ideal idol, and such perfection cannot be achieved by us mere mortals. If you don’t love Quarantina, you can at least love to hate her.
Thank you to Liz Laycock @longrat for suggesting Quarantina.
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