Musings on the Coronavirus, Part V

Rajiv Satyal
4 min readMar 29, 2020
Chronicling the End of the Empire.

1. For all of you who want to change the world, take inspiration from the coronavirus. That tiny spiked ball is miniscule and it has traveled the world and touched people. You can, too.

2.I understand this may be for people who aren’t that worried about money and kids, but it’s an important point for them: Did you know that Americans used to sleep an average of 10 hours a night before clocks were invented? Personally, I’m getting about nine hours, which is far more than my usual seven-and-a-half. It feels like the summer between senior year of high school and freshman year of college. I had no responsibilities whatsoever. No summer reading. Orientation felt like it was a million years away. You may never again get time to enjoy guilt-free rest. Use it well.

3. Last week, I performed a lyric in honor of St. Paddy’s Day.

There once was a man named Trump

Who gave all of our stocks a bump

But his response to the plague

Was vapid and vague

Now our 401(k)s are in a slump.

4. WTF is Bernie Sanders doing? Dude needs to concede. He has no path to a plurality, let alone a majority. It’s a great look for Joey Biden to begin acting like the President already. The way he suggested the military could begin supplying beds to civilians was good. He can command the respect of the American people and bring us together. Why wait till January 20, 2021? Start now. And Sanders needs to do his part to get the Democratic Party — and as much of the country as possible — behind Biden.

5. “Filming on Grey’s Anatomy has been suspended. They’re donating their medical equipment to help fight the coronavirus.” I wrote that joke, but in doing my research, this is real. Truth is stranger than fiction.

6. Every now and then, we are reminded that we are not just people but humans. We don’t live only in the world. We live on the planet. And throughout our history, the leading causes of death are plagues, famine, and war. If we go too long without a large-scale tragedy, we get disconnected from Mother Earth. Perhaps this is all a reminder that the third rock from the sun is our home and we should, you know, take care of it.

What’s the difference between Humans and People? Well, “people” is often used to describe how we relate to each other. “Humans” is used in the context of how we relate to the natural world, like animals, or referring to our more base instincts, as in, “Hey, I’m only human.” The world is what we’ve created. The world as we know it didn’t exist till humans arrived. The planet has been here for at least 4,000 years. (Heh.)

The Killers Brought That Question to Life. #irony

As the Killers sang, “Are we human or are we dancers?” The song’s theme is free will: it’s asking whether we are puppets on a stage or really have control over our lives. But it always tripped me out, because aren’t dancers human?

It’s like those Chevy ads that state: “Real People. Not Actors.” Hey, actors are people, too. Just like corporations¹.

7. There’s a homeless man who jerks off in a park I’d rather watch than Trump’s coronavirus briefings.

8. In 8th grade Health Class in 1989, our teacher, Mr. Harden, affectionately known as Mr. Hardon, speculated that you may be able to catch AIDS through sneezing. Ouch. I know. This was the 1980s… it’s so not OK to say these days. But my friend, Jason Chang, quipped: “I’d rather catch it the other way.” The entire class cracked up. He had a point. I mean, if you’re gonna get it…

Speaking of Asians, Daniel Dae Kim has coronavirus. We hugged back on Sunday, 2/23. If I have to get COVID-19, this is a pretty strong humblebrag. I mean, if you’re gonna get it…

It’d be like the time I got herpes from Margot Robbie.

Remember, herpes is only one letter away from heroes.

9. Several weeks into the crisis, India went into a 21-day lockdown. Leave it to my people to be late to the biggest event of the millennium.

(And still be ahead of the Americans.)

10.I can’t believe the UK and the Netherlands started off by aiming for herd immunity, which occurs when enough of the population becomes resistant. The risk is that many millions could die. It totally reminded me of DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.

The best commentating team since Best in Show.

“I’m being told that Average Joe’s does not have enough players and will be forfeiting the championship match.”

“It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.”

Rajiv Satyal is a standup comic. He resides in Los Angeles.

¹Boy, has Mitt Romney come a long way.