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Interview with a Virus

Interviewer: Thanks for meeting with me.

Covid-19: Happy to do it.

I: There’s a lot of misunderstanding about you and I hope this interview will clear some things up. First, is it true that the term “virus” actually means “poison” in Latin?

C: True.

I: And that the goal of every virus is to make more of itself?

C: Exactly. That’s the question I ask myself every day when I wake up, “What can I do today to make more of myself?” In a way, across the animal kingdom, that’s what most all males ask themselves, even though I’m neither male nor female. So, it’s not an unusual question. For me, I have RNA inside of me. In order for me to make more of myself, I need to use what I don’t have. In this case, it’s DNA. So, each day I seek to get inside a living cell and use its DNA to make more of me. It’s what I do. Everyday.

I: So, what are you trying to say?

C: I’m saying that it is easy to point to me and blame me for the infections and deaths. Yet, what I do each day is normal. Viruses like me are only spread because of human behavior. Since I became known, humans all over the world get up each day and make decisions about whether or not they want to protect themselves against me. And, every day, as we see the numbers increasing, I get blamed for doing what I am created to do, while humans escape blame.

I: So, what do you want?

C: For every human to wake up tomorrow and take responsibility for the infection spread and stop blaming me. If they would do this, I would go away. I would become a distant memory in the history of 2020-2022.

I: Anything else?

C: Yes, I hate to say this, but there are more viruses coming your way. There are. How you respond to me and others like me will set the stage for future potential pandemics. Look, you certainly haven’t done such a good job on HIV. In the end, it’s up to all of you, not me. Unfortunately, as we all know, there are humans out there who are making it worse. Here are some of the responses I’ve seen so far:

(1) The “Denier” group: The response to this virus is overblown. It’s not nearly as bad as they say. I don’t trust the so-called scientists anyway. What do they know?

(2) “Conspiracy Theory” group: The virus is human made. It was made in China (or in a U.S. lab) with the goal of controlling the world, ruining economies and placing us in a police-like state. And, it has succeeded.

(3) The “It won’t happen to me” group: I have a strong immune system; and if I do get it, I’ll survive.

(4) The “You cannot tell me what to do” group: This is America, land of the free; and I’m free not to wear a mask.

(5) The “I don’t care” group: Whatever this virus does is fine with me—as long as me and my family survive.

(6) The “Rationalizer” group: It’s the older people who are dying. They would have died soon anyway, so it’s not really a big deal

(7) The “Exhausted” group: I’m tired of social distancing. I want to go back to work. I want to get on a plane, go to a restaurant, attend a sports event, go to a movie—all without having to wear a mask.

I: Anything you want to add?

C: Yes. Years from now, the humans that survive this pandemic will look back on how all of you responded and will judge how you did. Right now, it doesn’t look good. Right now, humans are in trouble—big trouble. As a virus, I will keep doing what I’m made to do. That will never change. Humans have to decide whether they are willing to change and ultimately stop me. Unfortunately, based on what I’ve seen of the ways humans have responded and have failed to respond, I don’t think I’m going away anytime soon.

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