COVID-19 Appreciation Day

April Fool's Day is a good day to consider life from a virus's perspective. Our tiny friends have many positive attributes.

April 1, 2020, 10:00 AM PDT

By Todd Litman

Social Distancing

Linda Bestwick / Shutterstock

Have you ever considered a pandemic from a virus's perspective? I suspect you haven't. Today is a good day to start.

Those virus just want to use a few of your cells to reproduce. Why should we be inhospitable? They might be selfish, but that is their genetic nature. Imagine how viruses feel when we reject them.

At least, give these little guys and gals credit. They certainly punch above their weight! Per micro-gram, they have more impact on the world than any other living or semi-living creature: they have shut down polluting industries, reduced dangerous and dirty activities, forced overly-busy people to take a holiday, and created lots of at-home family time! We are now enjoying a long-needed global sabbatical.

How do we express our appreciation? We abuse them with anti-viral attitudes. All too often our response is eradication, which is just another word for extinction! Poor bubonic plague. Poor smallpox. Poor polio. Poor COVID-19. It's unfair! Shouldn't viruses have rights? It's time to establish virus advocacy organizations to promote the interests of our tiny friends.

At least lets appreciate pandemic humor. How about, "Every disaster movie begins with the government ignoring a scientist" (perhaps that strikes too close to reality), or "A man walks into a bar and says to the bartender, 'I'll have a Corona, hold the virus please'."

There is lots of anti-COVID propaganda, including this pop song produced by the Vietnamese Health Department, Masaka Kids Africana Dancing Let's Fight COVID-19, and Ugandan singer Bobi Wine's catchy Corona Virus Alert. Fortunately, not everybody is so anti-viral. Henrik Widegren sings, I am Corona. The Tiny Microbes Company produces COVID-19 plush toys; the perfect gift for younger humans living in quarantine. Hug a virus today!


What do you think? Today is a terrific day to celebrate human-virus relationships. Thanks, COVID-19, for all you've done for humanity!

Todd Litman

Todd Litman is founder and executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transport problems.

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