A lot has changed since the coronavirus hit America. We met Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s real life McDreamy and head of the C—wait, not the CDC? Is it the WHO? No—wait, what? We pulled out of the WHO?! Jesus…Well, it’s basically something like the CDC—and Dr. Deborah Birx, who’s spent months sending us all secret messages encoded in colorful scarves.
We learned to stop worrying and love the whole work-from-home thing. We got used to using “Zoom” as a noun. We shared a few laughs at the people panic-buying toilet paper. We even learned how to cook food for ourselves! Sure, we cried when our sports got canceled, and we were pretty upset when that cruise didn’t end up happening. But all in all, we were doing pretty O.K. on the whole pandemic thing—not great, just O.K.—and then we got bored.
No fun, staying at home. No bars. No partying. No BBQs. Plus, summer’s coming up! Gee, we’d really like to get a haircut again. I mean, it’s not even that bad, right? It’s—it’s—you know, it’s ok. We did good. Good for us! Hooray! Wait, we’re not done yet? But…but…we’re not done yet? But…the
stock market economy!
So now that we’ve fucked it all up, here are the top 10 things we’re doing (or thinking about doing) that are surprisingly unhelpful and only make things worse.
1. Slowing the testing down. Here’s a question for you: If an American falls ill with COVID-19, but no swabs are available to test for it, does the American really suffer from a highly communicable respiratory infection?
Ever the fount of wisdom, President Trump revealed in a rally in
Nuremberg Tulsa that he had asked health officials to “slow the testing down,” calling it a “double-edged sword.” As Trump later explained, “when you do more testing, you find more cases.”
Incredibly, COVID-19 cases exist whether or not you test for them. And on that note…
2. Holding large indoor rallies. Surprisingly, an airborne and infectious disease like the coronavirus is more likely to spread in a large, indoor crowd. While Trump’s first Plague Party of the 2020 election cycle in Tulsa was poorly attended (like his inauguration), the mouth breathers who did attend may have discharged more than just racism with their incessant chanting.
3. Buying guns. While the sight of Americans forming long, winding lines outside gun stores in times of crisis is usually reassuring, firearms are ineffective against COVID-19. Unlike other infectious diseases including SARS, H1N1, Ebola, and QAnon conspiracy theories, the coronavirus is uniquely resistant to ballistic projectiles, including those fired from AR-15s commonly purchased for recreational hunting and school shootings.
4. Wearing masks, but only under your chin. Unlike many other viruses including influenza, rhinovirus, HIV, and ILOVEYOU, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is unique in that it does not infect—or spread—through the chin. Though certain voters’ chins may benefit from a (red) cloth covering to collect their drool, it is not an effective means of protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.
5. Putting a definite article before the word “COVID,” i.e. “I don’t believe in the COVID” or “the COVID’s just a conspiracy invented by the Democrats.” While this practice is a reliable indicator of poorly informed Trump supporters, it does not reduce one’s chance of contracting and spreading “the COVID.” However, such grammatical faux pas may help prevent transmission to those better informed, as it gives us a pretty good idea of the crowd you’re (still) hanging around.
6. Giving it a racist nickname. Though you may think yourself clever, calling it “Kung Flu, “the Invisible China Virus,” or any other racist nickname does not in fact deter the virus, which plods along unscathed despite your tiny-handed bigotry.
7. Prioritizing your shriveling maskulinity [sick [sic]]. Look, we get it. Some guys’…hands are smaller than others’. But they have medication to help with that now and refusing to wear a mask won’t make it any bigger. In fact, a customized fabric design can be a great way to solidify your status as 100% straight guy. Just ask Babe to select a material sporting your favorite athletic team logo, superhero figure, or camouflage pattern.
8. Yelling into a (shared) microphone that the government “literally” cannot tell you to wear a mask. Let’s start with what you meant to say, Karen. You meant to say that the government legally cannot tell you to wear a mask, as the government has asked you to wear a mask in a literal way—by asking you to wear one. So now that we’ve agreed you misspoke, I must admit to being a bit surprised that this is the battle you’ve chosen to wage. I guess we each have our cross to bear, and if this is yours, I encourage you to keep fighting the good fight. By all means, shout away! But please do so behind a face covering, so as not to infect other unvaccinated libertarians in the line of spittle.
9. Forcing people to vote in-person. Because the Republican Party only represents the interests of callous rich people and racist white people, it’s hard to find clever ways of securing power for this American minority apart from voter suppression. Gerrymandering was slick, but the idea of forcing people to vote in-person in the middle of a pandemic is on a whole other level. We don’t really need to get into why this is a bad idea—Republicans know it’s a bad idea for people’s health. That’s the point.
10. Trying to repeal Obamacare (again). It’s usually preferable to have exorbitantly expensive healthcare that benefits insurance companies instead of patients, but access to reliable and affordable care turns out to be important in the midst of a global pandemic—especially when your country constitutes the epicenter.
While Republicans have been understandably alarmed by the majority of Americans’ approval of the Affordable Care Act, their intent to revoke the health coverage of millions of Americans and then deny their right to insurance because of preëxisting conditions is, actually, cruel and sociopathic.
—who went for a swim in the Senate pool while awaiting results of a COVID test that turned out to be positive