I Am the Virus


There’s a lot of talk these days about what “the virus” doesn’t care about. The virus doesn’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican. The virus doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, black or white, a Texan or a Michigander, Chinese or Bangladeshi.

The implication of all this is that the virus is rather broad-minded in its singular pursuit of replicating itself, and that it has cares to begin with (which comes as news to many). It’s an equal-opportunity ribonucleic acid, an exemplar of inclusiveness, a champion of diversity.

Well, I am the virus, and I don’t care what you think I don’t care about. But I’ll tell you what I really don’t care about.

First of all, I don’t care what you call me. Novel coronavirus, Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, kung flu, the Covid — it’s all the same to me, really. Name away, in your futile human wish to control things by naming them. I don’t care.

I don’t care if you think you’re immune. (I might pause here to quote Joni Mitchell, who happens to be one of my favorite singer-songwriters, in “The Last Time I Saw Richard,” from her classic Blue album: You laugh, he said, you think you’re immune. Joni was so ahead of her time. I’m kind of into music, like I’m into everything ha.)

You might think you’re immune because you “never get sick,” or because you run every day, or because you’re so young, or you eat right and take lots of vitamins, or you’ve got really good genes (that one’s actually funny, because, see, I’m basically a gene), or you’ve built up your resistance through years of unhygienic living, or because you think you already had me ‘way back in the ‘teens, last year, and didn’t realize it then, but looking back that might have been me. I don’t care. I actually hope you keep thinking this, for reasons that should be obvious but I guess aren’t, fortunately for me.

I don’t care how often you wash your hands or if you wear a face mask when you go to the hairdresser. Because for every one of you who does these things, there are at least three or four of you who don’t, who think I’m only happening in Brazil or California or, God help me, New York because, I mean, look at how those people live, and I’ll never make my way around to your sweet little town in rural Arizona where men are men and women are women and never the twain shall meet (or whatever).

I don’t care about your economy, though I do sympathize and really would prefer that it bounce back a little faster so more of you think I’m over and get out and fill up those stores and restaurants again. It was getting a little lonely there for a while, but you’ve got the patience and attention span of a squirrel (I almost said bat, ha), fortunately, once again, for moi.

I don’t care about your quarantine bubbles. Pod up all you want. There’s always some slacker in the bunch.

By the way, did you hear the one about the coronavirus joke?  You have to wait two weeks to see if you got it. Badabum-tss!

But back to what I don’t care about. I don’t care if you’re nobler than hell and are getting together in huge groups because you’re protesting racial injustice, or if you’re just some overweight white guy who likes hoisting a few margars in a swimming pool with a couple hundred of his closest friends.

I don’t care if you think I’m a media hoax and that you’ll all look back on this and shake your heads at how wildly you overreacted. I’m totally down with that narrative, and also the one where I’m the end of the world as you know it.

I don’t care that you’re sick to death (so to speak) of having your college-age kids at home hogging your bandwidth and can’t wait to get them back to school this fall. It wouldn’t bug me (sorry, can’t help it) in the least to have them all shipped across the country and packed back onto their bucolic little campuses in the middle of those quaint little towns populated with hosts —I mean folks— old enough to be their grandparents. I don’t care how many pledges they sign to practice social distancing in their dorm rooms, either. We all know how that goes. First secret kegger out behind the library and I’m there.

I don’t care how many AR-15s you’re allowed to open-carry at your state capital to protest being kept home for your own good, or wave around in front of your McMansion to intimidate the protesters. I actually can’t tell you how much I don’t care about that. Just don’t go shooting each other. That would be an infringement of my freedom ha.

Obviously I don’t care if your secret plan is to let everybody catch me and attain herd immunity faster.

It may surprise you to learn that I don’t care about your vaccine, either. Go ahead, knock yourselves out. Another 18 months, minimum. I can mutate with that. My fallback if this “second wave” gig falls through is to become an annual event, like the NBA playoffs, or my cuz the flu.

And I really don’t care who’s president. Elect whoever you want, they’re both old as the hills, right in my — how you say? — target demographic. Though I must say the one holding up the Bible in front of the church really made me want to sink my spike proteins into his soft, orange flesh.

Ahem. Sorry, got a little carried away there. I’m totally apolitical, really.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I just. Don’t. Care. And no amount of your genetic appropriation or goofy anthropomorphism is going to make me care. As some of my other musical favorites, the Beatles, presciently said,

Expert, textpert, choking smokers,
don’t you think the joker laughs at you?

I am the virus. Coo-coo-ca-choo.

Happy Fourth, y’all.

4 thoughts on “I Am the Virus

  1. Hilarious. Love your virus vox — a bit like Allstate’s Mayhem! More seriously, hope this gets through to a few more. Mayor Ginther just mandated masks in Cbus… Xxxoo


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