Ode to COVID-19

it’s just a f*ckin’ flu
it’s not going to kill you*
(unless you’re very young, old, or immuno-deficient
… but then just maybe)

after all it’s here to stay
it ain’t ever going away
(it’s the fifth strain of the flu
and it will be back next year, baby)

so get on with your life
and don’t avoid your wife
(even though it’s a good excuse,
just trust me on this one)

and stop buying TP!
it doesn’t make you shit or pee
(it’s just fever and a cough
and two weeks of rest and it’s done)

which is very very great
because for containment** it’s too late
(as it’s been asymptomatically spreading
far too long to be contained)

so unless you’ll scorch the planet
please don’t panic ’bout this pandemic
(just be careful and sane
wash your hands and use your brain)

but if worried you doth be
eat raw onions and red meat
(they’re high in C and zinc
but please don’t eat meat pink# )

the calm they will survive
(it’s stress that eats you alive)
and life it will go on
(even though I end this song)

So, in simple terms, DON’T PANIC!***

# it can cause salmonella, and that will make you shit!

* Honestly, we are in the unfortunate situation where it might kill you, especially due to the gross global mismanagement of the situation and the unpreparedness of the health care system to deal with it and get the right people the right treatment at the right time as the mortality rate for the healthy should not be any more than it is during any bad flu year and the overall mortality rate should be a lot less, but, we’re in the situation where …

** the only containment strategy that’s workable now is if we quarantine all the uninfected infants with their healthy caregivers, all the at risk elderly, all the at risk immuno-deficient people (and include those with respiratory disorders), and other high risk individuals in private homes or hospitals so those at high risk of death do NOT get it and just let COVID-19 take it’s natural course and spread like wildfire [like the Spanish Flu did 102 years ago] among the rest of us (because that is essentially what is happening in a number of countries due to delayed inaction, and in some cases, no action at all — there are still states without any measures whatsoever and as of April 7, 12 states in the US are exempting religious gatherings!  one breakout will be contained for 2 more to pop up!)

It’s harsh, but maybe Boris was right.  If it’s too late to stop, once the rest of us are exposed, either we will fight it off right away (through natural immunities) and not get sick at all [like all the individuals who have asymptomatically spread it and given us patients zero all over the world with no way to tell how they got it], or we will develop an immunity post-infection. [Of course, this is predicated on their being enough flu medications to treat the hundreds of millions of people who will get it and enough health care and delivery professionals to make residential drop offs as (a) the health care systems couldn’t handle so many sick people and (b) we want the hospitals to quarantine the uninfected individuals who aren’t strong enough to fight off the flu.  But if 1/4 of the population is home in bed, there should be less fires, crimes, and war and we can redeploy our protectors to make doorstep deliveries on their routes.

In other words, we have to stop talking about containment (as it’s already too late in most places) and start talking about ongoing management and getting on with our lives. We need to ramp up production of treatments 24*7, continue working on the vaccine TODAY (now that the virus has been isolated), and make sure that we bring common sense back when we get sick (and stay home — which also means companies need to either let people work remote more when they are sick, but not sick enough to not work at all) or, if that’s not possible, payout sick days until this passes (without having to be forced by legislation).

*** After all, no one’s about to blow up the planet to make a new hyperspace motorway!  The situation is grim, grimmer than it’s been since before any of us can remember, but we will survive.  So we need to maintain hope and, most importantly, not panic.  Any idea what anxiety does to your immune response?  Or what hypertension does to you?