John Oliver
Screenshot: Final Week Tonight

Ah, the coronavirus. Or, because it’s identified to its creepy buddies, COVID-19, the significantly virulent and insidious new pressure of the corona virus. As John Oliver helpfully, calmly, and rationally laid out on Sunday’s Final Week Tonight, there’s a sneaky, “nature finds a method” evolutionary hazard to this newest try by Mom Nature to get humanity to cease befouling her glories. In that, not like the extra clearly debilitating SARS or MERS, COVID-19 is vulnerable to infect some 80 p.c of its victims whereas leaving them cellular and pondering it’s no massive deal whether or not or not they wash their arms earlier than bellying as much as the communal salad bar. Thus the virus spreads additional, infects extra folks, and, in the long run, straight-up murders about two p.c of the individuals who get it. “Two p.c, no biggie!,” some would possibly say. However some others with human souls would possibly reply, as Oliver did, “Two p.c is loads while you’re speaking about these folks dying.” (Participating in just a little HBO synergy, Oliver identified that, when two p.c of individuals disappeared on The Leftovers, Justin Theroux didn’t shrug and get on with discovering a brand new girlfriend.)

Nonetheless, as Oliver finally summed up simply how apprehensive People needs to be about this complete factor (“a bit”), he first arrange a greater than a bit alarming overview of how numerous nations world wide have responded to the disaster. You realize, like Japan, which quarantined your entire passenger manifest on a cruise ship till the folks had been so completely contaminated with coronavirus that seven folks died, and the World Well being Group needed to create a complete separate entry for the Diamond Princess cruise liner on its record of coronavirus instances by nation. Or China, which has primarily quarantined your entire, 50-million-citizens capital metropolis of Hubei Province, Wuhan, into an deserted set simply ready for Danny Boyle to begin filming the subsequent 28 Days/Weeks Later film. Then there’s the actually chilling footage of an Iranian member of parliament making an attempt to reassure folks on TV—whereas clearly sweating by way of his shirt and coughing in what was later to confirmed to be the throes of his personal an infection. Solely Vietnam handed Oliver’s muster, as he repeatedly grooved out to the nation’s startlingly catchy anti-coronavirus pop anthem, each for its useful recommendation (wash your arms correctly, don’t contact your face, keep away from public locations), as for the way arduous it bangs. “This track fucks!,” beamed Oliver in admiration.

Nonetheless, America, proper? USA! USA! We’ve received this, proper? Particularly underneath the calm, civic-minded, altruistic, and by no means, ever self-obsessed or buck-passing White Home of Donald J. Trump. Proper? Proper? Anybody? Yeah, we’re not lighting a beacon of knowledge and affordable precaution as of late on any entrance, and, as Oliver confirmed with bile-creeping readability, the sycophantic, self-serving bullshit spewing from the Trump administration over this very actual and preventable public well being emergency is nearly as vile and virulent because the illness it’s clearly under no circumstances considering or able to containing. There’s Trump’s selection of famous non-science fan VP Mike Pence for coronavirus workforce chief, whose file in embracing medical details over fear-mongering, fundamentalist nonsense is, as Oliver places it kindly, “extremely mixed.” There’s Trump calling the very actual issues about this world pandemic-in-training a “hoax” being perpetrated by his political enemies, what with their fancy specialists and science, and altruistic issues for the security of the American folks, and whatnot. And what about that press convention the place Trump stood glowering behind some well-meaning precise specialists who instructed the nation “It’s not a matter of if, however when” coronavirus will develop into an actual problem right here, after which stepped as much as the rostrum to pooh-pooh the very issues he’d introduced them there to share. And don’t get Oliver began on that different presser the place confusion over simply who’s in control of the virus response—Mike “Pray the AIDS away” Pence or HHS Secretary Alex “Solely wealthy folks will get a doable vaccine, c’mon” Azar—noticed Trump, clearly aggravated that reporters’ questions on this real salient public coverage reality would possibly make him miss a tee time, simply buggers off out of the room.

However certainly that very same nationwide media may be counted on to responsibly inform the citizenry? Properly, not, as Oliver notes in much more gorge-rising element, from Trump’s pet propagandists at Fox Information, whose protection has ranged from irresponsibly parroting batshit Trump speaking factors, to amplifying the most recent racist web conspiracies (talking of bats), to placing on “specialists” just like the one whose “blame the non-whites” take straight-up known as China not a part of the “civilized” world. Then there’s the general public sector, the place hucksterism (within the type of disgraced evangelist Jim Bakker hawking costly silver elixir), and good previous American dipshittery (severely, don’t gargle bleach, you nimrods) drown out anybody making an attempt to place forth the precise details a few very actual well being concern. Oliver did his finest, laying out some real, factual steps you may take to guard your self and your loved ones. 1. Don’t be racist. (Good recommendation for all conditions.) 2. Don’t hoard masks. (People who find themselves really sick or docs want them, and this isn’t what they’re for.) 3. Watch the CDC website for additional data. (Since, as but, Trump hasn’t purged the federal government of everybody considering really doing their jobs.) 4. Wash you arms (for not less than 20 seconds, in sizzling water.) Oliver admits that there’s a sure “aww-mom” dullness to that final prosaic however undeniably efficient step. Fortunately, he’s received a banger to assist out with that.