Lately, I have suffered from nightmares, which ended in murder and blood. Sometimes my imagination is too vivid, or the movies I watch on Mubi are too violent.
Anyway, last night was different, as I dreamed I was watching a talk show, and the experience was even quite enlightening. Imagine a studio, with a host, a virologist, a politician, and… the Corona Virus! A dapper gent, dressed in a three-piece suite, with oily hair. The discussion went something like this.
Host: “So what do you propose should be done to stop the increase of infected people?”
Virologist: “We only have one possibility! We need a lockdown for those that are not vaccinated. Otherwise, the numbers will explode over winter.”
Politician: “A lockdown is out of the question. The incidence rates may be up, the mortality exploding, but we need freedom, for all citizens.”
The host to the virus: “And what do you think about that, Mr. Corona?”
Corina (looking slightly confused). “Well, I… I have no preference.”
Host: “But don’t the masks help? And the social distancing?”
Researcher: “Definitely! We will need to reimplement these! If people stick to those simple rules and wear masks, the problems are solvable. And the vaccine… people must get vaccinated! It also depends on how we calculate the R-value. And let’s not forget the incidence.”
Corona (managing to look bored and satisfied at the same time): “Sounds like a plan.”
Host: “You do not seem to be overwhelmed…?”
Corona: “Look at it this way. at the moment the infection rate is, without a doubt, satisfactory. Sure, I could have infected hundreds of millions of people, but I have already bypassed HIV and the Spanish Flu in mortality rate. I am pleased with the outcome.”
Host: “But aren’t you afraid that you will be eradicated? Haven’t you read about the vaccines, the safety measures, the vaccines, the new medications?”
Corona: “I’m a virus. I do not read newspapers.”
Politician (snorts): “That is absolutely irresponsible! I bet you do not vote either!”
Corona: “I do not watch the news, I do not listen to researchers or politicians, nor do I listen to people who object to wearing masks or those who refuse to get vaccinated. I am indifferent to public opinion… to any opinion. Certainly, for us viruses, plants, and animals are easier prey as they cannot plan ahead at all, yet humans… they are still sufficiently primitive. Take your scientists… on the one hand, their salaries are paid through taxes, collected from the public, yet when the rubber hits the road, nobody listens to them! It’s a contradiction… hilarious and sad at the same time.”
Virologist: “Now listen…”
Corona (hanging back in his chair, suddenly with a whisky in his hand): “For a virus, the job is easy. Multiply, multiply, make the most of the stupidity of our hosts. It’s a slam dunk! No kidding, it’s as easy as drinking water and, after that, as much fun as peeing in the snow.”
Politician (red-faced): “So what you are saying is that we haven’t made any difference? May I perhaps remind you of the billions we have invested with our anti-pandemic plan?”
Corona: “Yes, you did. And it slowed me down a bit. But… I am still here. And I will be here for many years to come. I have already branched out into a dozen other species.”
Virologist (looking clever): “So what do you suggest we do then?”
Corona (looking more clever): “I will gladly tell you, as you won’t be able to implement this within a reasonable timeframe. By the time you will finish discussing and planning I will have mutated into something new and much more exciting. Anyway, the key is education. At the start of the pandemic, people didn’t understand an exponential growth curve. By now most have at least an inkling of what it encompasses. But, now, humans do not understand the benefit of vaccinations… so in most countries, more than 30% are not getting vaccinated. I love it! It’s a gas! Without proper education… without proper information, I’m on a roll! Ooooh yes… Somebody Stop Me!”
Host (looking sweaty, with a slight cough): “Ahh… urghuurghu. With that our time is, alas, up. I thank our panel for the discussion and valuable input… urghuurghu… and I wish all our viewers a perfect night. Urhurghuuu and please stay healthy.” (Thinking he is off-camera, he whispers) “Is it too late to get the vaccine, once you start coughing?” (The virologist covers her face with both hands and shakes her head violently).
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