Hey, American Peeps!
It’s me! Coronavirus! Technically, the name’s Covid-19, but with you guys, we can cut the formality.
I mean after all, once I latched my spiky surface proteins to your nana’s lungs, we were basically family!
Your classrooms are splattered, your hallways, infested with my slime and contagion; your athletic fields and band rooms and teachers lounges are dripping with my love.
Music to my ears.
So it’s back to school time, and – let me tell you – am I ready to return to the classroom! Actually, I’m just bursting to pop onto campuses for the FIRSTtime this year.
When I came to these shores way back in March, some spoil sports decided to shut down the schools before I could really get in there.
You locked up your kids tight at home and did this distance learning thing online instead.
That really sucked. All I had was full grown bodies to infect.
I mean I wanted some nice young things to cuddle up to and bust my viral proteins through their ACE2 receptors. You know what I mean?
But I couldn’t get to them. So you guys thought that meant your kids were somehow immune. You thought I couldn’t hurt them.
Just you wait!
Now that summer camps and daycare centers are open and even some schools have started their academic years, I am starting on a buffet of tasty adolescent cells to infect and hijack into replicating machines.
Sometimes I like to just get in there and make your kiddos’ cellular tissues reproduce me and reproduce me and reproduce me…
And other times I just sit back in their nasal cavities and wait until they bring me home to friends and family.
Kids are great! They’re not as fanatical about washing their hands as adults; if they get a runny nose, they wipe the mess on the back of their fingers; and they touch EVERYTHING!
Right now in most places I’m swirling around in aerosol plumes of nasal droplets in the occasional home, bar, and restaurant, but I’m kinda stuck.
There are only so many times I can infect the same people. And if they’re wearing masks properly and washing their hands, it’s just too much hassle.
If I really want to up my contagion game – and I do – I need someplace where I can mix with new hosts and then travel back to their cribs and just snuggle in.
I mean where else are hundreds (even thousands) of people thrown together in musty indoor spaces for hours at a time? Since large gatherings have been mostly cancelled, there’s nowhere else to go.
No crowds at concerts or big sporting events – even the amusement parks and political rallies are drying up.
But now that you’re reopening schools, I can go exponential, baby!
Mark my words – September is going to be the season of the Coronavirus! We’re going to make the spring look like a mere dry run!
Second wave, third wave – and I have you to thank for it.
There are so many people out there I’m indebted to.
First of all, I’ve gotta acknowledge all the anti-science folks. If it weren’t for you guys, more playas might actually be taking precautions against me.
And the libertarian crowd! Wow! You guys are working overtime! No one can tell you to put human lives before a stunted adolescent definition of absolute freedom!
Rich folks, the way you demand everyone else sacrifice for your personal benefit is truly awe inspiring. You’re making bank while everyone else suffers! The only bodily tissue I’ve encountered with your kind of drive is stage 4 cancer.
But of course, the first prize has to go to President Trump! He’s the trifecta! Science denial, me first, class warfare zealot! Not only did he disband the government’s pandemic task force, but he advised people to drink bleach – I mean BLEACH!– as a remedy to infection!
Sir, you truly deserve the title “honorary pathogen.” If we ever meet, I’m not sure if I’d infect you or you’d infect me.
Of course, it’s the everyday folks who really make the most difference.
The anti-maskers, the people holding house parties and cook outs, the families throwing care to the wind and going to amusement parks, the people who recklessly eat at crowded restaurants… and school board members opening up their buildings…
School directors, I would be no where without you.
Your steadfast determination to keep school buildings open despite any niggling facts or science or news… I just can’t tell you how much it means to me.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re opening up for full days or half days or alternate days. You’re giving me the chance to shine. I won’t forget it.
I love how you try to justify it with appeals to academics. You say in-person teaching is better than online instruction.
Sure, but you’d think an animal with a brain as large as yours could figure out that academics don’t matter much to sick or dead people.
And the whole giving-parents-a-choice thing is truly epic! Let them choose between in-person, hybrid or cyber options as if facts about safety were negotiable!
Where else in the animal kingdom would potential hosts try to shop their way out of an epidemic? I’ll tell ya, bats don’t act this way. Believe me. I know.
There just isn’t any other creature that behaves like you guys. Without your strange commitment to moving around slips of paper and bits of metal, I don’t think I would be able to infect half the people I have.
It’s funny. You could just stay home and even pay people to stay put and keep away from each other. But, no, these bits of paper and thin discs of minerals and ores have to keep circulating – so you have to keep moving from place-to-place.
I mean Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Monkey Pox, we all agree that there’s nothing like infecting humans!
It’s almost like you use your superior intellects just to find new and creative ways to screw each other over! And WEreap the benefits!
But it’s not all humans you put in my path.
For some reason you seem to think I have a taste for darker complected skin. After all, humans with extra melanin are more likely to breathe in respiratory droplets because they’re forced to live and work in less antiseptic environments, have more pre-existing conditions and go to schools that are more likely to reopen to in-person classes.
And, hey, that’s fine with me. If black lives don’t matter to you, I’ll take ‘em! I’ll burrow into the mucous membranes of anyone’s throat. It all kinda tastes like chicken.
Fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches – all attempts by your immune system to shake me off as I sink lower and lower into your respiratory system.
Most of the time, that’s it. Just a quick fling and then I move on to another unsuspecting fool.
But sometimes your lungs can’t handle me. They fill up with fluid, you can’t breathe and well… you die.
In either case, I get what I wanted. More copies of me to go and find a new host and start the process all over again.
And even if you do survive, I often leave your heart or lungs a mess with long lasting conditions to remember me by.
It’s great fun. Really.
So don’t ever change, humans.
Once your classrooms are splattered with respiratory droplets from ill-fitting, shared or discarded masks, once your hallways are infested with my slime and contagion, once your athletic fields and band rooms and teachers lounges are dripping with my love – just know this: I won’t ever forget you.
You have been truly great. Really.
Gadfly on the Wall