𝇤𝅘𝅥𝅯♪Always look on the bright side of…COVID-19♪𝇣𝅘𝅥𝅱

Our latest column from William Thomas

So some guy on the other side of the earth with peculiar taste buds eats a bat and before he can belch, the global economy crashes, cruise ships become floating prisons, two billion surgical masks go on backorder, people are greeting each other with toe touches instead of handshakes or fist bumps, two women in Australia get into a catfight over toilet paper and although the Pope is unable to do his job, the vice-president of the United States finally has one.

Folks, the world is no longer a global village. With almost eight billion people rubbing shoulders and breathing the same air, this planet has become a highly-contagious hamlet with issues of panic and paranoia.

The only way this killer pandemic could be worse is if it had broken out among the nine million citizens of New York City and taking charge of it, President Donald Trump assured the world it was just a case of whooping cough and he was flying the worst sufferers to Mar A Lago on Boeing Max 737’s.

Yet even in the darkest of earthly catastrophes, there is a silver lining. As the Monty Python song goes—“Always look on the bright side of life.”

I mean really, what kid doesn’t jump for joy when no matter what the reason, he hears his school is closing down?

You know that annoying little man at the office who has to be four inches from your face when he talks to you? Well thanks to this unique contagion, a one-meter distance between people is now the new rule. And doesn’t the new normal of ‘no touching’ fold nicely into the #metoo movement.

Don’t mingle. Trust me, spending quiet time alone is not just a stress-reliever, it’s good for the soul. Remember that bumper sticker: “The more people I meet, the more I love my dog.”

Back to the bright side, frequent flyers have abandoned the ‘spot the terrorist’ game upon boarding in favour of ‘ID the cougher and self-exile in the washroom.’ Also, there’s 398 Canadians who have renewed respect for our military after they were successfully sequestered at Canadian Forces Base Trenton for 14 days.

Remember how you’re having a great time near the end of your vacation and you think–man; I’d love to spend another week here! Well, if you had chosen a Princess cruise, your holiday would have been extended by two or three weeks…at no charge!

Internationally speaking, COVID-19 sure put an end to those violent street protests in Hong Kong. Had they continued, the students would have had to ‘double mask’–one to hide their identity and the second so they wouldn’t catch the virus.

And if nothing else, this contagious affliction has managed to knock Harry and Meghan off the front page of world newspapers. Strangely, it seems to have propelled Harry’s brother Prince William into the headlines after he made a lame joke about coughing and spreading this plague.

Gawd, did we learn nothing from SARS and then Conservative cabinet member John Baird’s similar gag? Answer: no. Otherwise, there would be some sort of vaccine in warehouses around the world that would stop or at least slow down the speedy spread of this pathogen.

Speaking of high-speed, much like the breakout of SARS, COVID-19 has shown the world that the Chinese can build hospitals faster than your kid can construct the Leaning Tower of Pisa with Lego pieces. After lying and denying the outbreak in the city of Wuhan, the Chinese got deadly serious by constructing a 1000-bed hospital with isolation wards and 30 intensive care units…in 10 days!

Here in Ontario where small-town hospitals have been closing down faster than video rental stores and patients are now being stacked on cots in the hallways of existing hospitals. We need to hire that Wuhan construction foreman and his drone-like workers. Hell, we could have a new 500-bed hospital built here in Port Colborne over a long weekend.

You had to love the way President Donald Trump took full charge of the national emergency as Washington and California were first confronted by the coronavirus. Or as he referred to it as “the new hoax.” Yes, with that lie and four more serious ones including blaming Barack Obama for the whole mess the president was able to nudge closer to a record 15,416 false statements since he took office, an all-time personal best.

No doubt it’s time for the world to press hard for solutions but hardly a time for global panic. To put things in perspective, more people die of tuberculosis every day and more people die of air pollution every five hours than the number of people who have succumbed to COVID-19 in the first two months. Approximately 22 million men died in WWI and the same year it ended, 1918, 52 million died of the Spanish Flu. And back then nobody was eating bats or getting into a fistfight over toilet paper.

And finally, amidst all the deadly doom and gloom, with everybody wearing masks these days–it’s a helluva confusing time to rob a bank.

The new normal: no touching, no breathing, no problem.

To buy a book or invite humorist William Thomas to be your guest speaker, go to www.williamthomas.ca


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