There was something missing for me before I could join the internet frenzy of posting on the current hysteria on the coronavirus, and that was the coronavirus parody songs. We’ve finally hit peak parody songs for Coronavirus, so let me present the best one of the bunch I looked at…
…there were a few others that let’s face it, just were not up to snuff, but at least they were out there trying. Of course The Knack’s My Sharona is probably one of the most easily parodiable (is this a word?) song of all time. Yes, Sharona and Corona is a happy rhyming coincidence, but you don’t even need that, as Weird Al demonstrated back in 1983 with his iconic take.
No such luck for my second guess, a parody of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire. A search found nothing coronavirus related so I’ll get it started and everyone can join in:
Black Plague, Spanish Flu, Jonas Salk cured Polio
Legionnaires, Swine Flu, Measles and Anti-Vax,
SARS and MERS, Ebola coming straight for you
And don’t forget Bird Flu!
We didn’t start the virus…
OK back to the day job…
But parody songs aside, I’ve been wondering how serious I should take this virus for the past two months. Is it “wash my hands” serious, or stock up on beans and bullets and head for the hills serious? Most of the commentary online seems to lean more towards beans and bullets. But I guess I’ve just been so over-saturated with hysteria from the media the past few years it’s becoming more and more difficult to take anything they say seriously. You may not remember, but in January we were supposed to plunge into World War III because Trump offed some terrorist. We were also supposed to plunge into World War III in 2017 because North Korea was going to nuke us. Now someday, we may well get into World War III, but I doubt it will be due to anything that the media hyped up for sweeps.
On the other hand, I am washing my hands more, and for the first time, I’ve availed myself to the Purell wipes for the carts at the grocery store. So precautions are being listened to.
However some people seemed to have gone corona-crazy, and in a way that I wasn’t even during the last time I was seriously worried about a disease as a public health concern, 2014’s Ebola outbreak. With a death rate of 50-90%, that is a disease to be feared.
But the nearest comparison is still the annual flu season (I know I know, it’s not the flu, but its symptoms are basically identical). To put it in perspective:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that last year in the U.S. alone 35 million people contracted the flu. That is million with an “m.” That means that one in every 10 Americans had the flu. There were 490,000 hospitalizations and 34,000 people who died of the flu in America during last year’s season. That was an annual flu epidemic.
So far in the United States this flu season, from October through February 22, the CDC estimates there have been upwards of 45 million cases of the flu in the U.S. Again, that’s million with an “m.” There have been between upwards of 560,000 flu-related hospitalizations and upwards of 46,000 flu deaths. This is another annual flu epidemic.
According to this website, (which updates with regular coronavirus statistics); as of this writing, the US has 950 cases, 30 deaths, and 8 cases considered “critical.” Since the coronavirus competes with the flu for the same vulnerable population (elderly with chronic conditions), the idea that this virus could kill over a million and a half people in the US seems ridiculous. The precautions being taken could save lives by reducing deaths and infection from the annual flu. If anything, the worst threat we face is the economic one from the hysteria.
Well, we’ll know in a few months. Either it will drop down the media memory hole, or at some point I’ll step out of my Fortress of Solitude to find a vacant, dead world, killed off by a Mexican beer of all things.
My bet is memory hole.