Coronavirus Thanks The Human Race
Transcript of the SARS-CoV2 Virus of the Year Awards acceptance speech
Oh wow! I mean, I’m beyond honored. I’d like to pretend I’m so overcome that I don’t know what to say. But, hey, no surprises, I prepared a little speech because I knew this was coming. I mean, where’s the competition this year? Nowhere. Am I right? ‘Course I am.
Dear humans, wonderful, delightful, credulous creatures that you are, I want to thank you for all that you’ve enabled me to accomplish. Being a virus isn’t easy, but you’ve made my presence worthwhile beyond my wildest ambitions.
When I mutated into existence I saw right away the odds were stacked against me. Of course I was small, but hey, that’s part of being a virus, right? I mean, we don’t exactly go to Gold’s Gym and gulp down steroids in the carpark, do we? Being small is part of what we are and it works for us. Not unlike that slick white suit David Bowie took to wearing during his Thin White Duke phase.
Work with what you have, that’s what I say.
Anyhow, I’m digressing. My problem was that I’m not very infectious. I mean, here we are, a whole year into my existence and I’ve only infected forty-one million people in a population of nearly eight billion. That’s basically a rounding error. My cousin Vinnie of the famous Flu Virus family infected more people than that in the very first week of flu season last year and went on to score a very acceptable billion-and-a-half infections before the season ended.
Oh, sure, you dummies are terrified out of your wits, wearing masks and sanitizing everything in sight, but if you weren’t such dumbos you’d look at the data and see that you could totally ignore me if you wanted to. Compared to what you do to yourselves with smoking and eating junk food, I’m totally harmless. I mean, you kill thirteen million of yourselves every single year with that behavior. And what have I accomplished in a whole year? A measly million. Less than a month’s worth of your own self-harm. If numbers mattered, I wouldn’t be here on stage accepting this award.
But let’s return to my story, because despite it all I am here.
So there I was, looking at my pathetic inability to infect you and my even worse ability to inflict harm, and I felt pretty sorry for myself, I can tell you. I mean, left to my own devices I can kill maybe 0.02% of the population and even then it’s only the very old, the very frail, the very sick, and the obese who go down. More than ninety percent of you humans don’t have any symptoms at all, and those who do just experience a mild cold. Cousin Vinnie the flu virus kills children, healthy adults, pretty much anyone he wants, as many as six hundred and fifty thousand every single year. And there I am, stuck with only the edge-cases.
Things weren’t looking very promising for me. At times I doubted I’d even get a mention as an also-ran in the annual WHO report. There was no way I was ever going to be picking up an award like this.
And then, mirabile dictu, you wonderful marvelous mindless humans came to my rescue!
If there’s two things you humans do, it’s (a) believe whatever you’re told without bothering to fact-check anything, and (b) rush into mindless panic at the drop of a viral particle. I totally love this about you! I love you guys! Truly I do!
OK, so now here’s where I feel like some Hollywood celeb giving an Oscar acceptance speech. Because, really and truly and honestly, I couldn’t have done it without a lot of help.
First I want to thank the mass media. Always eager for a new sensation with which to grab credulous eyeballs, the media at first tentatively and then wholeheartedly embraced me as The Next Big Existential Threat To Humanity. I couldn’t believe my luck! Every day the story got bigger and bigger, the distortions got larger and larger, and there I was: front page billing. I totally adored those wide-eyed journalists earnestly talking to camera, genuinely frightened because their tiny little minds actually believed the nonsense they were babbling.
If a virus could laugh, I’d probably have done myself a serious injury. Which is more than I could do to the average human! Yes, we call that irony. Love it!
I also want to thank the medical profession. Take a big bow, folks. Had it not been for your relentless insistence on thrusting perfectly functional people into induced coma and then shoving them on ventilators, I could never have achieved the pinnacle of global fame. The fact that doctors everywhere were killing 80% of their patients by forced ventilation and then blaming it on me was, let’s face it, something I could never have dreamed of. I felt like a small-town girl suddenly cast as the lead in a major movie. If a virus could blush, I swear I’d be a very fetching shade of rose right now.
The best part is, you guys have worked yourself up into such a frenzy of fear that you can’t see the obvious right in front of your noses! You’re still running around like headless chickens, convinced the sky is falling on your heads, while the data piles up higher and higher to show you it’s all totally unnecessary. I seriously love you guys, I really do. If you had even a single iota of sense you’d realize all this self-harm you’ve inflicted on yourselves was and is totally unnecessary. But what do you do instead? You keep on doing it!
Thanks to your support I feel confident I can extend into 2021 with the same level of success I’ve enjoyed this year. And who knows? If there’s no new sensation like a string of airplane crashes or some murderous ultra-right-wing incel group slaughtering people at random, I could even get extended into 2022.
A virus can hope, right?
So thank you all, every one of you, for having enabled this virus to accomplish so very much with so very little.
I love you guys! See you again next year!