Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Ask Smidge - The Viral Edition

As you know, America, and dare I say, the entire civilized world, is currently panicking about the coronavirus. Trustworthy answers are scarce, so naturally many of you have turned to the only truly trusted source for information left – the Ask Smidge advice column.

Our inbox has been overflowing with questions from concerned citizens, like yourselves, who just want straight answers about the dangers we face from this hideous, devastating, completely unique in every way, threat to our very existence.

You ask, we answer! (As always in a fact-based and completely non-controversial manner.)

What is the name of this thing? Is it the Corona virus, the coronavirus, the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19?
Curious in Coeur d’Alene

Dear Curious,
It’s all of them. It actually started as four different viruses that were all ganging up to take over the world. When they meet, they form a totally new strain. There are actually six million different strains now, they’re just not telling us. And speaking of names, Coeur d’Alene translates to “heart of an awl.” Love your city, but that name is kinda dumb.

Why are they calling it the “novel coronavirus?”
Confused in Carson City

Dear Confused,
They call it that because each day someone sends you a novel on how to wash your hands. They are considering renaming it the J. R. R. Tolkienvirus.

Why are people hoarding toilet paper? I don’t understand the connection between the flu and toilet paper.
Shopping in Sheboygan

Dear Shopping,
There is no connection. These people are also buying and hoarding paste as well as toilet paper. They are making large toilet paper forts inside their homes, then they sit in the forts and eat paste. And their boogers.

I have been to five stores and can’t find any toilet paper. What is the matter with people? And where can I get some TP?
Frustrated in Fargo

Dear Frustrated,
I feel your pain. The stores are all sold out, but the good news is that the CDC and the WHO (the band, not the health people) both recently endorsed looting and pillaging at this time, as long as proper “social distancing” rules are observed. Stay safe out there!

Why are stores sold out of soap? Shouldn’t this coronavirus thing maybe account for a small increase in soap purchases? Didn’t people wash their hands before this?
Soapless in Seattle

Dear Soapless,
No, most people are gross. This situation is many people’s first encounter with soap. Case in point, they tested a bunch of McDonald’s order touchscreens and every one of them tested positive for fecal bacteria. And boogers. If you see someone hoarding toilet paper and soap, you can have some fun by telling them that you heard peeing on an electric fence is the best way to become immune to the coronavirus. Enjoy!

I’m getting conflicting information at my local bar. Does the Corona virus come from Corona beer?
Switching to Pacifico in Pacifica

Dear Switching,
No, Corona beer does not carry the virus. Not the beer itself. The bartender who handed you the beer after eating at McDonald’s carries the virus.

Are the people who want their Instagram posts to go “viral” the same people who can’t understand why politicians can’t stop the coronavirus?
Wondering in Waikiki

Dear Wondering,
Yes. They are toilet paper fort-building booger eaters.

My stock portfolio is taking a major hit with this whole thing. What can I do?
Worried in Wichita

Dear Worried,
Sell everything and dump it all into any company that makes toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or soap. Hurry.

Should we continue to shake hands with each other? I want to be careful, but I don’t want to be rude.
Cordial in Cambridge

Dear Cordial,
No, stop shaking hands immediately. But not because of the coronavirus. Because half of the country is out of toilet paper and soap.

They just canceled school for an entire district near us, and our school district just canceled every non-classroom event, including outdoor sports. This is madness. What on earth are we doing? What has happened to common sense?
Frustrated in Fairfield

Dear Frustrated,
Don’t worry. We’re planning on holding a mandatory meeting of all school district administrators soon. We’re holding the meeting on a cruise ship.

What ever happened with the swine flu, the bird flu, SARS, MERS, that Zika virus, and acid rain?
Questioning in Queens

Dear Questioning,
What a great question.

Stay safe out there, folks. Wash your hands as often as you can with rum, tequila, or lighter fluid, and stock up on coffee filters and fast food napkins. (Just not the ones from McDonald’s!)

See you soon,


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