Mister Virus

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Script

intro music: theme from Rise of the Planet of the Apes (on YouTube)

Virus 1 (& governor)

Reporter: We are here in the United States where a deadly microscopic virus has just come ashore and killed 100,000 people. Mr. Virus, how have things been going for you since your arrival?

Joe Walsh: ♪ Life's been good to me so far ♪

Reporter: And how do you feel about plans to reopen businesses across the country?

KC & Sunshine Band: ♪ That's the way (uh huh uh huh) I like it (uh huh uh huh) ♪

Reporter: Medical professionals worldwide describe you as a deadly threat and say we need to be more vigilant about fighting you. What do you think?

War: ♪ Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends ♪

Reporter: The Republican governor of South Georgissippiana is making an announcement. Let's listen:

Vandellas: ♪ Summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the street ♪[1]

Reporter: But sir, aren't you aware that reopening too quickly was the cause of the far larger second wave of the 1918 pandemic that killed tens of millions of people?

Sam Cooke: ♪ Don't know much about history / don't know much biology / don't know much about a science book ♪

Reporter: Mr. Virus, what do you think of that?

KC & Sunshine Band: ♪ That's the way (uh huh uh huh) I like it (uh huh uh huh) ♪

President

Reporter: I am now speaking with United States president Dumpster McTrumpster. Sir, do you feel that your administration has been doing a good job handling this crisis?

Queen: ♪ We are the champions, my friend ♪

Reporter: How do you respond to people who say we need to be more vigilant against the virus?

Ok Go: ♪ Let it go, this too shall pass ♪

Reporter: But how can you possibly say that, given all the devastation which has happened because of your inaction?

Eurythmics: ♪ Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you? Would I say something that wasn't true? I'm asking you sugar, would I lie to you? ♪

Reporter: How do you plan to deal with the lack of virus testing kits?

Rolling Stones: ♪ You can't always get what you want. ♪

Reporter: But Mr. McTweeter, isn't it your job to help protect the public welfare and ensure that everyone can get a test if they need one?

Badfinger: ♪ If you want it, here it is, come and get it ♪

Reporter: Many hospitals are reporting that they are unable to get enough tests or protective equipment -- what would you tell them?

Badfinger: ♪ If you want it, anytime, I can give it -- but you better hurry cause it may not last ♪

Reporter: It seems likely that the conflicting messages you are giving out here will result in thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Queen: ♪ Easy come, easy go ♪

Reporter: And yet you claim that things will soon be better. How can we possibly believe you?

Paul Simon: ♪ I’ve got the presidential seal / I’m up on the presidential podium ♪

Reporter: Mr. President, what is your plan for defeating the virus?

Jefferson Starship: ♪ If only you believed in miracles babe, we'd get by ♪

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. McTweetybird.

Fauci

Reporter: We are now speaking with Dr. Abdomen Ouchi, leader of the White House coronavirus task force. Dr. Ouchi, what is the most important thing we need to do right now regarding crowds of people?

Offspring: ♪ You gotta keep 'em separated. ♪

Reporter: What is the first thing that needs to happen?

Thunderclap Newman: ♪ Lock up the streets and houses, because there's something in the air ♪

Reporter: How are you advising people with regard to large gatherings and crowded stores?

Nirvana: ♪ Stay awayyyy! Stay awaaayyy! Stay awaaayyy! ♪

Reporter: Given the denialism about the seriousness of the virus, how can you have any hope that this administration will do the right thing?

Ozzy Osbourne: ♪ I'm just a dreamer... who dreams of better days ♪

Reporter: So you are continuing to push for better public health policy?

Cars: ♪ It's all I can do ♪

Reporter: What would you say about how the White House has been handling this crisis?

Alan Parsons: ♪ Something's wrong in this house today / something's been going on, there may be a price to pay. ♪

Reporter: I believe the President has just tweeted a response to that comment...

Queen: ♪ [tinny] We... are the champions, my friends ♪

Reporter: Let's talk for a bit about what we're up against. Exactly what type of virus is this?

Cars: ♪ The dangerous type ♪

Reporter: Do you feel that we're making any progress against the virus, or is it going to be a long battle?

Carpenters: ♪ We've only just begun. ♪

Reporter: Thank you, Dr. Ouchi.

Pepsi

Reporter: I am now speaking with Mr. Charles Pepsi, founder of the SMART ALEC business coalition. Mr. Pepsi, what do you feel people should be doing with regard to the health of the local economy?

Stevie Wonder: ♪ Livin' just enough... just enough... for the city. ♪

Reporter: How would you describe the economy right now?

Tom Petty: ♪ Free fallin' ♪

Reporter: And yet your stock portfolio seems to be going up.

Journey: ♪ Some will win, some will lose / Some are born to sing the blues ♪

Reporter: In the face of so many illnesses and deaths, how does your organization plan to keep drumming up public support for re-opening business?

John Lennon: ♪ Keep on playing those mind games... forever... ♪

Reporter: How do you feel about your efforts to keep workers divided over the need for safety measures?

Jonathan Coulton: ♪ This was a triumph -- I'm making a note here, huge success. ♪

Reporter: But many workers say this will cause suffering and death which could have been prevented.

Rolling Stones: ♪ You can't always get what you want. ♪

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. Pepsi.

Isolated

Reporter: I am speaking with someone who has been living alone since the pandemic began. Is there one word you would choose to describe your life right now?

John Lennon: ♪ Isolation ♪

Reporter: And how would you describe your weekly routine?

10k Maniacs: ♪ Every day is like Sunday ♪

Reporter: How long have you been living like this?

Billy Joel: ♪ Whoaa.... for the longest time ♪

Reporter: How do you feel about the current situation?

Kinks: ♪ I don't feel safe in this world no more ♪

Reporter: Is there anything you'd like to do right now?

Lenny Kravitz: ♪ I want to fly away ♪

Reporter: Do you think that businesses should start reopening, so this can all be over?

Lenny Kravitz: ♪ Honey it ain't over 'til it's over ♪

Reporter: Until that happens, where can we find you?

Alice in Chains: ♪ You'll find me sitting by myself ♪

Reporter: Thank you for your time.

Reopeners

Reporter: I see a crowd of people out in the street protesting the lockdown -- folks, can you tell me how you feel about government efforts to inform and protect the public during this crisis?

Pink Floyd: ♪ We don't need no education ♪

Reporter: But don't you think it's at least prudent to wear masks and not gather in crowds?

Supertramp: ♪ Watch what you say, or I'll be calling you a radical -- a liberal -- oh, fanatical, criminal ♪

Reporter: Every major public health organization in the world says that we need to maintain lockdown until we have more tests. How can you argue against that?

Jefferson Starship: ♪ If only you believe like I believe, we'd get by... ♪

Reporter: In some states that have reopened, people are immediately congregating in bars and dance clubs without taking any precautions. Do you feel this is wise?

Alicia Bridges: ♪ I got to go where the people dance, I want some.. ack-shawn ♪

Reporter: Don't you think the virus is likely to spread out of control if people start crowding together and dancing?

Men Without Hats: ♪ We can dance - we can dance - everything is under control. ♪

Reporter: But doesn't it seem a little foolish to immediately go for those activities most likely to aid the spread of virus?

Alicia Bridges: ♪ I love the night life... I got to boogie... ♪

Reporter: But won't that just lead to more people dying?

Blue Oyster Cult: ♪ Seasons don't fear the reaper / nor do the wind, the sun or the rain ♪

Reporter: Aren't you worried about the fact that this virus has already killed a hundred thousand people in the U.S. alone?

Blue Oyster Cult: ♪ Forty thousand men and women everyday (Like Romeo and Juliet) / Forty thousand men and women everyday (Redefine happiness) ♪

Reporter: Wait, why are you grabbing my hand? I don't want to get infected!

Blue Oyster Cult: ♪ Baby, take my hand (Don't fear the Reaper) / We'll be able to fly ♪[2]

Reporter: Okay, I need to get our of here. One moment, please...

interlude music: "Wildfire" theme from The Andromeda Strain (on YouTube)

Quarantined / Death

Reporter: I'm speaking with someone who is currently in quarantine with the virus. Can you tell me how it started?

Todd Rundgren: ♪ It was late... last night... I was feeling something wasn't right... ♪

Reporter: And how do you feel now?

Allman Bros.: ♪ Good lord I feel like I'm dyin'. ♪

Reporter: What would you say to your concerned friends and family who would like to help?

Tom Petty: ♪ Don't come around here no more ♪

Reporter: Looking back with 2020 hindsight, how do you see the way things were before the lockdown?

Mary Hopkin: ♪ Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end, we'd sing and dance forever and a day... [keeps going] ♪

Reporter: Thank you... uh, thank you... Excuse me? [music ends] Do you have anything to say to the people protesting the lockdown, who are themselves spreading the virus by gathering in groups without protection?

Genesis: ♪ There's too many men, too many people, making too many problems / and not much love to go round. Can't you see this is a land of confusion. ♪

Reporter: Many of the people who want to reopen seem to be focused on dancing and having a good time. What do you see as the biggest challenge that presents?

Bee Gees: ♪ Stayin' alive, stayin' alive ♪

Reporter: How do you feel about the politicians who want to force people back to work, for the sake of corporate profit?

Tracy Ullman: ♪ They don't know about us / and they've never heard of love. ♪

Reporter: Would you say the United States healthcare system has been working for you?

Pink Floyd: ♪ You've got to be crazy ♪

Reporter: I believe the President has just tweeted a response to that comment...

Queen: ♪ [tinny] We... are the champions, my friends ♪

Reporter: How would you respond to that comment? Hello? The patient seems to have fallen unconscious. I am now being approached by a tall man wearing black robes and carrying a scythe. Mr. Death, do you have any comments on how things are going for you and other workers in the underworld?

Zombies: ♪ This will be our year. ♪

Reporter: And how do you feel about the prospects for next year, if we continue to try reopening before we have adequate testing and protective gear?

Who: ♪ Got a feeling '21 is gonna be a good year ♪

Virus 2

Reporter: Turning back to you, Mr. Virus, what are your fondest memories of the early days of your arrival here?

REM: ♪ Shiny happy people holding hands ♪

Reporter: Is there anything you'd like to tell them to do?

Beatles: ♪ Come together -- right now -- over me. ♪

Reporter: I am once again being approached by Mr. Death... um... why are you coming over here?

S&G: ♪ Your time has come ♪

Reporter: I am suddenly feeling dizzy and feverish... the world is spinning around me... wait, that's not the way this recording is supposed to end! I wanted to wear a mask, but it didn't look good on camera! Mr. Virus -- we were just doing an interview! You can't be infecting me now!

Jessica Andrews: ♪ What comes around goes around -- I'm tellin' you babeh, it's called karma ♪

Reporter: If efforts to reopen prematurely are successful, what can you tell us about the likely second wave of infection?

BTO: ♪ Baby you just ain't seen nothin' yet. ♪

Reporter: One final question before I go [cough] -- do you have any comforting thoughts you can leave us with?

Jonathan Coulton: ♪ I feel fantastic and I'm still alive / and while you're dying I'll be still alive / and when you're dead I will be still alive... ♪

Meta

Footnotes

  1. I was a little concerned that maybe I was being unfair towards the re-openers as being only interested in partying -- but then there was this (via via)...
  2. And how else are we supposed to interpret this? (via) and this? (via)