One of the tropes going around is that the Covid 19 virus doesn’t care whether you’re Democrat or Republican, Christian or atheist, pro-Life or agin’ it, or whatever. But that’s not true. If you mock the draconian efforts being deployed to combat its contagion it will single you out. Were this not so – or at least not widely believed to be so – there’d be a whole lot more mocking than the very little there is.
The counter-explanation is that we’re biting our tongues not because we’re afraid of the virus but because we’re afraid of being censured by our fellows for our insensitivity. But this makes too much sense, and things that make sense are less likely to be true than things that don’t. So I’m going with the virus-is-listening hypothesis. And if it turns out my non-mockery saves me from the censure of my fellows, well, that’s just gravy.
That said, I’m reminded of when the Bubonic plague swept through Europe, from 1347 to 1352. I was only a kid at the time, but I clearly remember that it too was accompanied by a spate of Sinophobia, because after all, the first recorded outbreak was in China in 224 BCE. It took a scant 1571 years to make its way west, and it wouldn’t have had we closed the border to those damn … Hell, we didn’t even have a name for them back then.
In the Peak District of England, a town named Eyam managed to close itself off entirely from the rest of the country, and lo and behold, no one died there, at least not from the plague, though it was widely reported – well, as widely as can count as such among only fourteen people – that church attendance dropped to a single sidesman, and no child remained a virgin past the age of eight.
It remains to be seen what will be the consequences of all this domestic self-isolating this time around. I suspect there’s going to be a whole lot of divorces, as women realize the bastard was only tolerable because he was away at work most of the day. I don’t even want to “think of the children!”
Apparently this is all about keeping the virus away from grandma. That seems fair enough. But is it really elder abuse to have a little fun pretending not to feel so good and then asking her for a hug?
Yes, desperate measures and all that. But surely desperate times call for comic measures too. That’s why I envy Americans. We have a prime minister who hasn’t cracked a smile since this whole thing began. They’ve got a president who thinks this’ll all be over by Easter Sunday, ‘cuz after all, isn’t that the day Lazarus rose from the dead?
I should shut up now. The virus might be listening.