So, COVID-19, can you tell us where you came from?
Please, call me COVID. I know there has been a lot of speculation about my origins; was I born in a lab? Did I start out as an animal germ that morphed into a human virus? They actually have a name for that – zoonosis! Who knows, but at the end of the day, does it really matter? I mean, I’m here, and apparently I am not going anywhere, so I think it is best to just get used to me.
In a very short time, you’ve caused global disruption the likes of which the world has not seen in years, what do you hope to accomplish with all this mayhem?
As a member of the virus family, we are the most abundant entity on the planet (with all due deference to cockroaches and mosquitoes). And let’s just be blunt, we are parasites. And we specialize in causing human diseases. We’re talking smallpox, shingles, the flu, the common cold, herpes, HIV, SARS. We are brutal. We wreak havoc. We cause death and destruction. Ideally, we’d like to rid the planet of humans… just like we did the dinosaurs.
Wait, you killed off the dinosaurs?
Yeah, I know, everyone thinks it was an asteroid. I mean if you think Coronavirus is a bad name, how about Chicxulub, the great dinosaur killer. I mean, yes, it is true the asteroid did hit the planet and it did kill off a lot of life. But seriously, it was a plague; we call it the Cretaceous Crud. And it took out all of the dinosaurs, with the exception of a few that managed to evolve.
But if you manage to kill off the human race, don’t you also kill off yourself?
Well, we still have the animal kingdom, but yes, you are correct, once you die and we have no host, so we die too.
So, what is the point?
We’re parasites! This is what we do. Not all of us, but most of us. I mean some of us actually do good… we are apparently beneficial to human health and agriculture. It’s disgusting.
Yes, but wouldn’t it be better if we all just learned to get along and live in a more cooperative environment?
Well, in theory, I could become like a seasonal flu and co-exist with humans. But eventually some big pharma will create a vaccine and that would be the end of me. Or if you guys survive long enough, we will likely adapt to each other and just live in peaceful disharmony. Meanwhile, I’ve at least turned your world upside down, thanks in great part to the cooperation of leaders worldwide not stepping up to provide any leadership. It’s actually awesome.
Wait, what are you saying?
Think about it. This is a global pandemic I created. But who in the entire world has actually stepped up to lead the world with words of wisdom and assurance? I mean, I did get worried in the beginning when Bill Gates took a stand on COVID-19, but he disappeared faster than your investments in the airline stocks. And, of course, there are people like Jacinda Ardern and Leo Varadkar…
Exactly! Thank you. Jacinda is the prime minister of New Zealand, and Leo is the Irish Prime Minister. They have been very good leaders! Fortunately, no one knows who they are and no one is really listening. Then you have true global icons, like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, who are actually making my job so easy!
You seem exceptionally confident, is there anything that has you worried?
In fact, there is. I must admit that I am both surprised and chagrined at the common man, who seems to be rising above the lack of leadership and showing an unusually high degree of humanity. Many, if not most are being cautious and appropriate, which I did not count on. They are wearing their masks and gloves and washing their hands and staying home, despite my ability to manipulate leaders into making bad decisions simply to protect economic growth. And the average Joe and Joanne is actually being productive from home, which I did not see coming. I mean, I was counting on Netflix and Fortnite to keep humans busy for months on end, but instead they are actually working. And even with some of the social discord that has been happening, people seem to be pulling together instead of apart, which is not good for me. So, yeah, I guess I am a little worried.