Covid-19 breakout and the way The Office characters would react to it.
Over the years, ‘The Office’ has come to be known and appreciated as one of the best comedy shows in television history. There are many reasons for its popularity, and a loyal fanbase across continents, with some of the highly-rated episodes considered to be the best ever, across genres, by audiences and critics alike.
The common factor amongst these episodes is that the makers found a unique way to have conversations around real-world issues through the quirks of their bizarrely unique characters. Most of the times the humour in these episodes would be what we can only describe as cringe comedy. But not the kind of cringe comedy that you want to criticise, but rather something that creates an atmosphere of discomfort and awkwardness, questioning your desire to laugh. Such was the brilliance of ‘The Office’.
Now, imagine an episode where the employees of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company had to deal with a Covid-19 pandemic like situation? Wouldn’t that be great? Imagine all hell breaking loose at the Scranton Branch between Michael Scott and his employees. And when that happens, every loyal fan of the sitcom can tell you that it would make for a comedy of the highest order. Hence, we must discuss in detail how every Dunder Mifflin Paper Company employee would react during a coronavirus-like breakout.
Michael Scott (Steve Carell)
You probably expected this list to go in the order of the supporting cast to the main cast, but when it comes to ‘The Office’ everything is kick-started by Michael Scott. During a pandemic, the self-proclaimed “World’s Best Boss” would probably ignore the work from home memo. Not because he cares about productivity and would like everyone to slog, no! But because he loves his employees (except Toby, of course) to the point where he thinks that during a difficult time like a pandemic, everyone should be together.
He’d probably ask Phyllis to stay home because she is old. Although, both Michael and Phyllis are of the same age. They actually graduated high school together. Eventually, Michael would learn about the deadly dangers of the virus and quarantine himself in his cabin, refusing to come out.
Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein)
Well, Toby would obviously begin by suggesting how it is against the regulations set by the government for everyone to be out at work. That’s strike one for him when it comes to Michael who already hates him. Then Toby would go onto explain the hygiene regulations everyone should follow, like washing hands regularly and sanitizing. Michael again would completely ignore his claims and actually oppose them pointing to the fact that he still gets sick after washing his hands at least once a week. Jim would raise his eyebrows at the “washing hands once a week” comment. Toby would eventually start showing symptoms and be admitted to the hospital. No one, absolutely no one would care!
Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery)
Meredith would actually have no major concerns coming to office during the pandemic. The only concern she’d probably have is knowing whether the virus can be transmitted through sex. All other problems regarding Meredith would be faced by the other employees. By other, we mean two. Firstly, on being asked to sanitize herself, Meredith would strip naked in front of everyone and apply sanitizer on her entire body.
Everyone would be disgusted and Meredith would not be able to see the problem with it. Secondly, a lot of sanitizers would be getting over. Simply because Meredith, due to her alcohol problem, would be drinking most of it.
Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper)
Since Erin’s mood is directly proportional to the majority, she would begin by sanitizing her entire reception desk using all the home remedies she learnt during her days at her foster home. All those remedies would be ineffective. She would, at one point, join Andy in singing a song about the ways to sanitize oneself.
She would eventually start showing some symptoms that may or may not be corona-related but, Erin being Erin, would deny them all. Because according to her, she never gets sick. Oh, Erin!
Andy Bernard (Ed Helms)
Like we said earlier, Andy would spend most of the episode singing about the virus, from hand sanitization to news bulletins. Basically everything he can put a tune to. Considering he is pre-Michael Scott leaving Andy, he’d probably agree with most of the things that Michael says, or just try to oppose everything that Dwight is saying.
Soon, Andy would start showing throat irritation like symptoms, causing him to panic as his vocal cords getting damaged would adversely affect his singing audition. In the end, Andy would get really angry trying to find the person who gave him the virus, and on failing to do so he’d punch a hole in the wall.
Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker)
Stanley would be really pissed off to be at work in the first place, though he has lied to his wife that he is stuck there due to lockdown rules. He’d rather be at home with the other woman he is having an affair with than put his health at risk. Taking these things into consideration, Stanley would obviously leave the moment he hears someone cough once, probably Michael. He would complain about how he does not get paid enough to put his life at risk for the job. But he would end up going to the beach, using quarantine time as a vacation, and mostly get infected there.
Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner)
Kevin basically tells everyone that he feels breathlessness all the time. So, he probably had the virus even before it came in the news and he is doing completely fine. Later on, when he learns about how people should be stocking on essentials, Kevin panics. He ends up breaking the vending machine for supplies.
Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey)
Well, Angela just shows up to work in a hazmat suit, the one she got from Dwight, who else? She takes this opportunity to completely isolate herself and refuses to interact with anyone, even refusing to open her mouth. Anyway, she is highly trained to show disgust through her expression. But soon, her hazmat suit tears from the inside. The reason? One of her cats clawed its way out. Soon everyone realizes that she had sneaked in several cats in her suit. All hell breaks loose!
Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez)
Oscar, as we all know, never depends on information from other people. He always thinks he is the most well informed in the room. To be honest, he usually is right. So, Oscar decides to go on the internet and read about all the symptoms related to having the Covid-19 virus. As Oscar reads them loud, Michael fakes to have them all. Dwight shows concern. Oscar tries to calm everyone by saying the mortality rate is low and that the masks will protect you. But, it’s too late. Dwight has panicked and has started a surprise drill. Oscar is left with no option but to escape through the ceiling. But then there is Angela’s cat! Angela throws her cat at him and we all know what follows.
Phyllis Vance (Phyllis Smith)
Well, Phyllis would be the safest since she was asked to stay at home. And, considering Vance owns Vance Refrigerations and loves Phyllis unconditionally, she’d be stocked with essentials and more to live through a very comfortable quarantine phase.
Creed Bratton (Creed Bratton)
Creed Bratton would look dead in the camera and announce he had the virus last week and then cough loudly at the end of the statement. In the end, one would spot Creed cleaning up all the restroom products and essentials that he would sell in the black market for extra cash.
Ryan Howard & Kelly Kapoor (B. J. Novak and Mindy Kaling)
Kelly is probably the only one in the office who wants to be infected by the virus. Why? Because she heard that the virus causes a loss in appetite that results in weight loss. Ryan has found the perfect reason to avoid Kelly. He convinces Kelly that he loves her so much that for her sake he would socially distance himself, forever.
Ryan, meanwhile, is bragging about writing about the effect of such a virus on the economy during his B-School days. He is also trying to avoid Michael who keeps inviting Ryan to the cabin. Kelly finally starts showing symptoms and now really wants to kiss Ryan because it would be really romantic to die together. In the end, even Ryan has the virus because he hooks up with Kelly in the closet.
Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson)
There are two ways, both at the extreme end of the spectrum, how Dwight would react to such a calamity. One is that he would claim complete immunity to the virus, and mock everyone for being lowly, weak, and scared.
The other outcome would be Dwight showing up at work in a hazmat suit (remember he gave one to Angela earlier) and announcing one of his completely ill-planned safety drills. He would then go onto spray everyone with a disinfectant in the office much to their displeasure. He would start taking out disinfectant kits that he had hidden at different spots in the office if ever a situation like this one arose. Moreover, he would conduct mandatory sessions in the conference room, forcing everyone to give a mouth swab for testing. Basically, Dwight would end up making people want to die of corona than go through his painful drills.
Jim Halpert & Pam Beesly (John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer)
Like Ryan and Kelly, one cannot talk about Jim and Pam in isolation. Whether you like it or not, both these couples are made for each other in their own way. To be honest, Jim and Pam could still be happy with other people, but Ryan and Kelly, no, they are the only ones for each other. So, what would Jim and Pam do at the office during such a situation? Well, Jim would go on to prank Dwight about how he has the virus and Pam would support Jim wholeheartedly in his prank.
Jim would continue to cough on Dwight’s face much to the annoyance of Mr Schrute. Dwight would try and complain about it to Michael who is not allowing anyone inside his cabin by now. In the end, though, Jim would actually continue to cough and not stop. Pam would realise that he is no more pretending but is actually showing symptoms of the virus, meaning even Pam has the virus.
Dwight takes the two to the hospital and lets them isolate on his farm, taking care of the couple. This will prove that Dwight is the real hero and the best assistant to the regional manager.