Rubbing It In

Billions wiped off the stock market in the worst trading day since the 2008 financial crisis. People bashing each other up in supermarket aisles over the last packet of toilet roll. Countries placing themselves into voluntary lockdown,

Where will the absurdity end?

The only respite from the madness was the troll who ventured that the virus was spreading via infected cardboard in Chinese-manufactured bog rolls. The wag’s solution? Rub Deep Heat into your anus.

It’s a lot more sensible than you might think. Everybody needs a wake-up call on this lunacy because the repercussions from the panic will leave us infinitely more butt-hurt than the illness itself.

I’ve already banged on about this until I was blue in the face mask, way before the UK death toll had skyrocketed to, erm, 3. (Of course, may they rest in peace and condolences to their loved ones.)

Those at risk will be those who are always at risk from influenza viruses that have existed since the year dot. The effective guidance for avoidance remains the same. What we are now seeing is sensationalist rhetoric triggering terror and selfishness that have quickly overtaken the potential risks to individual health.

As ever, the world’s mouthpieces clamoured for a soundbite that might connect them to a sense of crisis leadership and the EU’s ‘Nice’ Guy ‘Vehoffa’ Verhofstadt popped up last week with a tweet about the ‘horror’ of COVID-19. He was doubtless briefly frisked for facts before being allowed onto the corona-bandwagon. In a few months’ time, he’ll be there with the rest of them working out how to fund the damage caused when the EU get shafted for the bill.

We can all in the meantime look forward to medical facilities grinding to a crippling halt owing to the influx of those who *think* they have a serious illness blocking care for those who *need* it; hospitals getting looted for supplies like face masks; and a shortage of goods in stores due to panic-buying.

They’ll be digging out Anderson shelters in their back gardens next.

While all this lunacy unfolds, the globe keeps turning. The Western world is continuing to ingest trans fats at a rate of knots that contribute to coronary heart disease that removes UK citizens at a rate of 64,000 per annum, every year. But no sign yet of demands for people to isolate themselves from fast food or cigarettes. Add to that the deaths from alcohol and drugs to that and then consider the costs and the damage that these factors necessitate, and you have a colossal, steaming mass that grossly outweighs the harm of a bad cold.

But nobody wants to let common sense get in the way of a good story. Tales of a slow-burning societal demise don’t quite generate the same level of readership as the panic of an invisible ‘killer’ virus. By focusing on contagion and death, there are just two dots to join up to a conclusion of fear and then panic. Can anybody recall a more irresponsible press coverage on any other event?

At the end of it, you’ll see a death toll comparable to that of any other influenza, and the hardest hit will be those with supressed immune systems (quelle surprise). Most of the people who have it will simply shrug it off. A massive number probably already have. All the numbers and ‘tolls’ will be massively skewed because only a fraction of the essential data will be reliable.

The government should send these journo-hacks the bill. I’d settle for them to receive a mandatory application of a copious amount of Deep Heat where the sun doesn’t shine.

unsplash-logoMacau Photo Agency

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