Avoid kissing, hugging and Liverpool fans: Neil Humphreys
Coronavirus may cause EPL hysteria like never before
Imagine playing inside a football stadium with no atmosphere and no hope.
Well, West Ham United do it almost every week.
Now, the rest of the English Premier League could be about to experience what it's like to perform to complete silence behind closed doors.
For EPL superstars, this will be a strange sensation. For most married men, performing to complete silence behind closed doors is nothing new.
But Covid-19 may succeed where every other club has failed this season and quieten the Kop.
Liverpool fans are already hysterical, shuffling along the streets and muttering "thirty ******* years, thirty ******* years," like a speaking clock with Tourette's.
Apparently, there's a call around Anfield to make the wearing of masks compulsory, just to get the Merseyside martyrs to stop talking.
There's a risk that Covid-19 may deny their greatest moment, or at least reduce its magnitude in a kind of watered-down coronavirus coronation.
EPL officials are reportedly examining the ramifications of postponing fixtures, playing games behind closed doors or bringing the season itself to a premature conclusion.
A shortened campaign may feel inadequate and incomplete, a bit like Tottenham's defence.
But Reds supporters are really on edge. They haven't felt this concerned over fluid transmission since Luis Suarez got his teeth out against Chelsea.
As the coronavirus spreads, the British government may prohibit large gatherings of people in one place, which means Bournemouth matches will continue as usual.
EPL stadiums may have to engineer solutions to keep people apart. West Ham's London Stadium has already got one. It's called a running track.
On the Kop, Liverpool supporters have always promised players that they'll never walk alone.
But they will if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson doesn't improve his containment measures.
He hasn't had much success in containing anything of late, considering he's just made another woman pregnant.
Of course, Reds manager Juergen Klopp has downplayed the paranoia, insisting that the season will not be curtailed and their results rendered null and void.
He'll tell his players to keep calm and try not to catch anything, which Loris Karius took rather literally when he was at the club.
In a worst-case scenario, Liverpool will win their first league title in 30 years with a slight asterisk. There’s no shame in winning a trophy with an asterisk. Manchester United won a Treble with David May.
But the thought of no competitive football being played in front of fans has every club worried except Norwich City. They don’t see much competitive football as it is.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who’s always eager to discuss anything that draws attention from melting construction workers in Qatar, has insisted that the health of everyone inside a stadium must come first.
Listen carefully and you might just hear the ironic chuckles of Asian labourers drifting across from the Middle East.
But Infantino is adamant. Other leagues may follow Serie A's lead and postpone fixtures or give armchair fans the opportunity to hear every swear word in the English language boom through their TV speakers.
It is rumoured that the vocabulary of several EPL footballers consists entirely of vulgarities and "one first-class ticket to Dubai, please".
Behind closed doors, EPL matches are likely to produce more rude words than Gordon Ramsay reading a Quentin Tarantino script whilst sitting on a spike.
And do spare a thought for the goal celebrations.
Ordinarily, a scrappy tap-in is usually rewarded with more kisses on the cheek than an Italian wedding.
A last-minute screamer into the top corner ends up with more writhing bodies than an orgy in the Roman Empire.
But that kind of body contact is out of the question now. A new etiquette is required, such as a fist pump or an elbow bump.
How United must miss Marouane Fellaini. He built a career on elbow bumps.
Still, a goal celebration involving nothing but bumping elbows would be worth it just to watch a steaming Roy Keane dissolve in his own sweat in the TV studio.
"Listen, we didn't bump elbows in my day," he'd rage. "If a teammate scored and he had that virus, I'd be straight over, kissing him on the lips, no problem."
Thankfully, sanity should prevail.
Just remember, for the vast majority of people, the symptoms are painful but temporary. Isolation is the key.
Until this crisis is over, we just need to stay well away from Liverpool fans.