Skip to content

Virus Snark

This is a snarky article from The Independent, a UK newspaper:

Thank God we have Trump to do what the scientists won’t – build that coronavirus wall

by Mark Steel

We’re so lucky. Because in a time of global danger, we need leaders who are clear, informed, sensitive and decisive. So, truly, we have been blessed.

“The virus will not have a chance against us,” said Donald Trump in his presidential message. Clearly he thinks the coronavirus is a nationality, and tomorrow he’ll explain “we have to stop these Virutians from coming here, there are millions of them, coming to our great country, they’re very bad and they want to live in our stomachs and I’m going to stop them.”

This could be how Trump will defeat the virus, with mass rallies chanting “bomb the virus”, and “send it back to Virussynia”, and tens of thousands of people huddled together in an enclosed area high-fiving each other will ensure the virus can’t possibly spread.

Trump supporters will then prove their determination to defeat the virus by putting one of its spores in a petri dish and firing at it for 40 minutes with an M60 machine gun while screaming “see you in hell, you infectious asshole”.

Trump also assured us it’s a foreign virus and that’s the problem: this virus doesn’t share American values. It doesn’t speak English, it kills people by restricting breathing rather than going berserk in a shopping mall with a rifle, it makes people croaky on purpose so they can’t sing the national anthem.

But he’ll reassure us: “I’ve convinced the doctors to build a wall around everyone’s kidneys. And who’s going to pay for the wall? Coronavirus is going to pay for the wall.”

In the address, he said: “Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of health insurance industry […] who have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments.” Later, a spokesperson amended this to say they weren’t waiving any payments for the treatment.

Then he announced a travel ban applying to US citizens, and later had to correct it slightly, to “the ban will not apply to US citizens.” But the important thing is he’s taking a clear lead so this isn’t the time to quibble about grammar.

The ban applies to almost all of Europe, but not the UK, because diseases are always careful to leave countries in the middle of an important trade deal with Trump alone.

He’ll explain: “It was the same with the plague in the 14th century. It was doing bad things, very bad, and I banned Europeans from coming here but not Britain because I was making a very good deal with Edward VIIII, wonderful king, and it worked, because no one has had the plague here for a hundred years.”

It’s also fortunate that the most powerful person in the world is someone whose specialist subject is science. For example, on the issue of the climate crisis, Trump has thrown doubt on all other scientists in the world, with their so-called “analysis”, with devastating theories such as: “I don’t believe it”; “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese”; and, “If there’s global warming, why is it so cold in New York?”

These detailed studies have all been extensively peer-reviewed and established Trump as an authority on the subject, so the scientific world anticipates his next pronouncement on coronavirus could be: “It’s all fake news made up by Chinese face-mask companies, believe me.”

The common feature of every mass outbreak of disease in history, is the population must be reliably informed about the ways to prevent it from spreading. This must be why news channels have invited experts such as Kelvin Mackenzie and Nigel Farage onto programmes to educate us. Mackenzie told us the best procedure was, if you catch it, “you should sue the Chinese government”.

He should put this expertise to wider use, and work for NHS 111. When someone calls gasping, “I think I’m infected, please please help me, oh God I’m scared”, he can advise them “The important thing is to make a claim against the president of China three times a day, after meals, and you’ll be running about like a whippet by Friday.”

US presenters are even more medically trained. Fox business presenter Trish Regan said: “Coronavirus is yet another attempt to impeach the president.”

Her colleague Sean Hannity answered a physician who explained the virus is “10 times more lethal than normal flu”, by saying: “Sadly, these viruses pop up from time to time.”

This is the strategy that will ensure the virus doesn’t have a chance against us. It was how we beat the Nazis. We told everyone “sadly, these Third Reich’s pop up from time to time” and off they went.

Luckily, we in Britain copy everything Trump does. So Priti Patel will tell us she’s designed a points system for any virus that wants to come here. “It has to prove it can survive on its own and not rely on sponging off our tonsils” she’ll tell us.

And some of us are dealing with it in our traditional measured manner, calmly buying 8,000 toilet rolls and setting fire to anything we bought from Primark as it was probably made in China.

There would be a certain justice if it turned out the fastest way to spread coronavirus is to assemble large quantities of toilet rolls together, as the virus keeps warm in the packaging, then jumps out and stabs you with a fork.

Every biologist and chemist is warning us about this virus being particularly sneaky, due to the way the symptoms don’t appear until the carrier has passed it on, and its ability to mutate. But they still underestimate how clever the virus is. Because it’s so smart it’s deliberately waited until we’re led by Johnson and Trump, then shouted: “NOW, over the top everyone, with them in charge we can take over the world by August.”