Thursday, August 19, 2021

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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COVIDTel Aviv, August 19 - A local pathogen confessed its chagrin today upon realizing that before invading the cells of its current host and hijacking their nucleic processes to produce more viruses, it neglected to examine the views and behavior of said host to determine whether it harbors conservative views, and therefore welcomes infection, or progressive views, in which case the pathogen must not enter.

SARS-CoV-19 unit Delta-M-Z99999933.9034594710 admitted its oversight in an interview Thursday, and expressed its regret that the process it has unleashed on the host's cells, mainly in the respiratory system, cannot be reversed.

"Listen, I'm sorry, whoever you are," the virus stated. "It's totally my bad. I know that I'm supposed to be a concern only when conservatives gather, but not when progressives do, and I flubbed this one. Unfortunately it's not up to me at this point, since all the little viruses I cloned can't tell the difference from the inside, and they're just going to do their thing. We can all hope the immune system in this host is robust enough to get this person through more or less unscathed, but obviously that's a big unknown at this early stage. Again, I'm sorry."

Mainstream media narratives have long treated conservative gatherings - both indoor and out - as super-spreader events demonstrating ignorance, selfishness, malice, or some combination of the three, whereas progressive events of a parallel nature - protests, riots, rallies, marches, speeches, even birthday parties - invite no such opprobrium, and even attract praise.

Health experts noted that the current case of a virus forgetting to determine its potential host's politics constitutes a rare exception. "Just look at the media coverage and you'll understand," explained Haaretz television critic Rogel Alpher. "All those months of marches and protests against Netanyahu were fine, because the virus knows whom to infect at such events. It's in the domestic setting, where most infections take place, that the virus has trouble distinguishing between correct and incorrect politics. Perhaps future mutations will evolve the ability to detect political orientation even in non-political contexts, but we cannot plan public health policy based on such an optimistic scenario."

Observers have noted a similar dynamic across the Atlantic, where American press coverage of conservative events always highlighted lack of adherence to conventional masking and distancing wisdom, as well as the shifting importance of COVID among thousands of illegal border-crossers depending on which party sits in government when the crossings, detentions, or releases take place, indicating COVID's politically-conscious vectoring.


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