CALGARY – According to a new study from the University of Calgary’s Sociology Department, during the 2020 global pandemic the couples having the most success cohabitating are those where one or more partners are a masterfully adept at assuming multiple, colourful identities.
“With the looming second wave and dreary winter it can be tough sheltering in place with the same person day after day,” explained lead researcher Dr. Sharjil James. “That is why couples find it much easier when one of them can, at the drop of at hat, transform themselves into Baron Von Richtnehoffer, renowned international gentleman thief, or perhaps Crabtree Gus, the quirky railway caretaker with a penchant for tall tales.”
“Clearly the only way to relieve the pressures of spending all day together during the pandemic is for one partner to shift effortlessly between an endless panoply of whimsical disguises, with even more outrageous wigs and moustaches,” explained Dr. Jones.
While research into the psychological effects of self-isolation during the 2020 COVID pandemic remains preliminary, U of C’s team has seen positive results from the at-home disguise strategy, which they are terming “The Doubtfire Effect”. Researchers are confident that pressures within any cohabitation scenario were significantly relieved provided one partner could spontaneously emerge from the washroom wearing a theatrical cape and adopting a curious Eastern European accent.
“I was nervous about how we’d just moved in together before the pandemic hit,” explained Michael Wong, a local court reporter, “But the fact that Emily is an expert level master of disguise has saved our relationship. It’s like I’m quarantining at home with a rich coterie of fascinating individuals, or at the very least, the cast of a pretty good one woman Fringe show.”
Wong proceeded to run down the dozens of unique and mysterious personas that his girlfriend cycles through on a daily basis, including: Dame Marjorie Shenk, Mrs. Rapelli the saucy landlady, Dr. Fantastico Phd, a precocious Australian schoolboy named Malcolm, and one time “disguising herself like the wallpaper and blending in” to give her boyfriend the feeling of being home alone for a while.
“The only real drawback is how often Emily takes in the bathroom removing all the spirit gum,” Wong added. “Oh, and I thought it would spice up our sex life, but it’s actually made it super weird.”
At the end of the study, researchers concluded that couples where at least one member is a master of disguise saw outcomes 80% more positive than other quarantining couples. However, researchers warned against those living alone attempting a lifestyle of disguise and illusion, as outcomes were “actually pretty sad”.
In a related story, U of C researchers are eager to publicize their findings, though have politely refused an offer from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to demonstrate the benefits of “fun disguises” during one of his televised press briefings.