It’s frankly a miracle that everyone’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons island isn’t riddled with COVID-19 by now.
Have you seen how bad a job Dodo Airlines is doing? It’s not even reading anyone’s temperature. Whatever the case, it’s best to follow those guidelines and keep safe – stay alert, control the virus, UK peeps – until this all passes. This raises an important question, though: which Animal Crossing villager should you self-isolate with?
There are a lot of options, is the thing. So many, in fact, that I’m going to have to impose a limitation in my quest to narrow it down to a reasonable selection of candidates. That limitation is a sensible one, I think: I can only pick one of each of the different villager species. In that sense, it’s a bit like if you cut Noah’s Ark in half. Remember, though: this is my personal list. You can tell us which villager you would self-isolate with in the comments, if you want to.
Hazel is a chilled-out and definitely gay butch squirrel with a monobrow. She reminds me a lot of myself, a chilled-out and definitely gay butch human being with (the beginnings of) a monobrow. It’s for this express reason that she makes it on this list; I’ve already self-isolated and got on with it just fine, so if Hazel is basically me but if I were a squirrel, then we should get on like cheese and crackers. This also means that she’ll forgive me for my slobbish, trashbag behaviour, which during the COVID-19 pandemic has become an almost obscenely-exaggerated personal trait of mine.
Tank is the loveliest rhinoceros I’ve ever met. He’s the only rhinoceros I’ve ever met, but I don’t think that diminishes the sentiment. My favourite thing about Tank is the way he waves goodbye with both hands and all his enthusiasm. On more than one occasion, Tank has brought me close to tears because of how nice he is. Tank makes me feel like getting active and being healthier is actually possible. I’d never grow tired of him.
Leopold is a proper fancy boy. Not Tory fancy, though. Maybe champagne socialist fancy at best, and liberal democrat fancy at worst. I don’t really think any Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers (besides Chops) could be Tories. Which is good, because I couldn’t stand self-isolating with a Tory. But what about a fancy lion who may be smug, but petitions to get schools built (a-la Pocket Camp) and wants to be a professor? Yeah, I think I could manage that just fine.
I don’t know about you lot, but every time I see Clay, there’s a 99% chance he’s building something. Indoors, too. Just imagine that BDE (Big DIY Energy) in your home while you’re quarantining. What about a custom window-frame plant holder? A bespoke behemoth battlestation desk to put all of your video games on? An end table made specifically to fit that weird corner in the hallway of your flat that’s at a 120° angle for some reason? You’d be living the pallet furniture Pinterest board lifestyle of your dreams.
Apollo is an eagle with Awkward Dad Energy. Apollo will check in on you if you haven’t left your room all day and will make you eat some breakfast. I need this, because I haven’t left my room all day and need to eat some breakfast. Apollo seems like the kind of guy who’ll play fetch with you, too, an activity easily enjoyed indoors, where we will both have to remain for at least 14 days. He also seems like a whiskey drinker. That’s not unfounded within the universe, either. What else could be in Isabelle’s glass on her desk every morning? In any case, this means Apollo will be a good companion – not because I desire a father figure to physically care for me, but because I need someone to validate my excessive alcohol consumption during this lockdown.
Fuchsia’s loads of fun. She’s that one friend you had at university who by all accounts is a horrible person, but directs that horrid behaviour towards people more horrible than her. You’d probably spend quite a lot of your time in self-isolation with Fuchsia listening to cool grrrl punk music that she likes, making art, and bitching about that one dickhead who (before all of this) always tries flirting his way into getting free drinks at the student bar. Fuchsia probably has a bottle of poppers and a stick-and-poke tattoo kit in her bag at all times.
According to the Animal Crossing Wiki, Frobert’s favourite hobby is eating quickly. I can only assume this means he enjoys eating contests. Now, with all the free time I’ve had in lockdown, I’ve been thinking a lot about new hobbies I’d like to try. One of those hobbies is contest-eating, because I think I’d be pretty good at it and I can squash down all the pain with delicious food. Frobert could act as a mentor of sorts, coaching me through the optimal methods for getting as much food inside my body as possible in the least amount of time. Is this potentially detrimental to my health? Probably, reader. Probably.
Since being in lockdown, I’ve actually taken quite a liking to TikTok. I never thought I would, but what really sealed the deal was Cottagecore. It’s an aesthetic subculture, a bit like cybergoths or rockabillies. But instead of thinking about death in the future or having greasy hair, it’s all about portraying the platonic ideal of the cottage lifestyle. Preserved citrus fruits, baking bread, that sort of thing. Gayle is without a doubt a Cottagecore TikToker. It wouldn’t shock me if she woke me up at 4am having just made some strawberry shortbread. As a stress-baker myself, I find this upsettingly relatable. I also like strawberry shortbread.
If there’s one thing I struggle to do in lockdown, it’s anything. That’s why Raymond is such a great pick for a villager to self-isolate with. I mean, have you seen all of the screenshots on Twitter? All the fanart? Of Raymond in a maid’s dress? With how prevalent this is, you have to assume the guy enjoys it, alongside all of the duties associated with the uniform. Raymond can just do everything for me, in a time that I need it the most. And, most importantly, he’ll do it all while looking really cute.
On first impression, Eugene the Koala might appear to be a bit of a dickhead. It’s clear that he’s just discovered the concept of being “edgy,” and based on his sunglasses alone, he’s gotten a little bit too excited about it. He’d probably try to cheesily hit on you in an inappropriate setting. But he also seems like the kind of guy who would immediately feel bad about it and turn out to be quite a sweet boy, the friends-for-life kind too. He still thinks AM by Arctic Monkeys is underground and his favourite band is Tool, but I can put up with it.
Like Fuchsia, Pancetti seems like the kind of person nobody should really be able to get on with. She’s basically if Regina George from Mean Girls was a pig in a video game. This means backhanded compliments about everything. But isn’t that just a pessimistic way of saying “good banter”? I bet she’s great at fancy eyeliner too, and given her constant desire to be at peak performance, keeping the place tidy is unlikely to be an issue.
Not only is Pashmina a goat, she’s also the GOAT. A goat-to choice for a self-isolation buddy, even. Not only is she big into making music – a fantastic hobby to get into when you can’t leave the house and want to do something else besides order your fifth pizza this week or cry – but she’s a repository of knowledge when it comes to sick fighting tips, which will come in handy to dispense justice upon all of the Karens trying to deliberately cough on marginalised service workers at the moment.
Perhaps the most compelling argument you could make against Pinky as a companion for self-isolation is that she’s just so aggressively lovely. As her profile on Pocket Camp states, “Her guests often leave exhausted by all the attention, but then they always come back for more.” That may sound like hell to some, but during lockdown, I’ve come to terms with the harsh reality that I’m an extrovert, and nothing would bring me more joy than being surrounded by a security detail of really intense, positive people at all times. Pinky will do.
There’s no way in hell that Tom Nook isn’t a chronic stoner. Look at his eyes. All that money, all that business, and seemingly no stress? That’ll be the devil’s lettuce, that. I’m not speaking from personal experience, of course. I’ve just heard about it from a mate. But, even with it being technically an illegal Class-B substance under British law, there’s a first time for everything. I imagine being zonked out with Nook on a sofa watching Attenborough-style documentaries presented by Blathers could help quite a bit with all the COVID anxiety. It’s also a private island, you can get away with anything on those. Boris can’t hurt us here.
There aren’t very many who have the luxury of choosing who they self-isolate with right now, depending on where you are in the world, at least. That’s the beauty of Animal Crossing’s little island paradise, though. It’s untouched by all the misery and detritus of the world in a pandemic. It’s a place we can go to escape, to live a life we wish we could live, and experience a world so kind and positive that it fills us with hope for what could be. And that’s good, because if I did need to self-isolate with one of the game’s villagers, much like real life, it’d probably only be a couple of weeks before I couldn’t fucking stand any of them.
If you’re playing Nintendo’s hit, here’s how to play the turnip stalk market in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. We also have a bunch of cool QR codes for you to scan to get some nice custom Animal Crossing designs. And lastly, here’s how to crossbreed flowers – a perfect project for self-isolation.