When people think of recent and noteworthy viral outbreaks, the SARS pandemic or Ebola epidemic immediately spring to mind, bringing with them images of stoic health workers garbed in menacing hazmat suits and stony-faced newsreaders delivering the latest infection reports.
But, when GCSE History students look back in 50 years’ time on COVID-19, what will they see? Instagram stories documenting the Karens and Wendys of the world emptying supermarkets of every scrap of toilet paper they can get their hands on and celebrities’ tweets (announcing that they’re self-isolating) being used to track the global spread of the virus.
Even the nomenclature is vexing; coronavirus is just the general name used for the class of pathogen (not to mention the whole Corona Beer thing), while COVID-19 just doesn’t slip off the tongue as easily as something like MERS.
Therefore the government has announced that COVID-19 is being withdrawn from public diction, with immediate effect, and any outstanding cases of infection are to be handled by the Ministry of Truth.
Recent research (ahem* FAKE NEWS) has categorised SARS 2.0 solely as a product of raw evolution, with there having been no artificial input from humans on its development or transmission. However, as the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ disprove natural selection, we shall instead choose to believe the Kung-Flu theory proposed by one of his most loyal disciples, US President Donald Trump.
The official policy of herd immunity will also be put into practice. Citizens are encouraged to continue their daily lives with as much social contact as possible in order to ease the pressure on internet providers and broadband companies that will occur when thousands of households across the country watch repeats of Friends for the 60th time in isolation.
Elderly, immunosuppressed and other ‘susceptible’ individuals worried by this new policy will be provided for by the Ministry of Love. Everyone else is instructed to head to their nearest Winchester, grab a pint, spread the love and wait for all this to blow over.
Gunna hide out in the Studio and wait for this to all blow over. pic.twitter.com/N0YNQrf2SE
— Loyle (@LoyleCarner) March 13, 2020
For all school and university students who may be worried about the impact of SARS 2.0 on their studies, fear not. Banning COVID-19 is already showing promising results, and curative therapies initially trialed by our friends in North Korea are slowly being implemented across the country. We interviewed John Doe, a student at the Far Superior Solent University of Southampton (established from the post-Brexit merger of South Hampshire universities):
[One of my friends] started having a really bad coughing fit. He tried to cover it up with a fart but none of us were fooled. We called the Student Life team at Hartley and heard what sounded like a car inside back-firing. No-one’s heard from him since but we hope he’s in a better place now. And by better place, we mean Portsmouth.
We’ll have more news as the situation unfolds. Citizens are urged to remember that SARS 2.0 really isn’t that bad, but to donate any extra hand gel they may have to their local hospital all the same.
— UHS Maternity (@UHS_Maternity) March 8, 2020