The Great Coronavirus Scare of 2020: A Comedy in One Act

[Scene: a typical working-class home in the US in 2025, three years after the US workers socialist revolution establishes the United Socialist States of America – from Canada to Chile]

Grampaaaaa!

Hi sweet pea! How was school today? Learn anything interesting?

Uhhh… ummmm… no. Oh, yeah! Today in history class Mrs. Schofield taught us about the Great Coronavirus Scare of 2020! I’m glad I wasn’t born when that happened. The anniversary of it is today! Were you in the Great Coronavirus Scare, grampa?

Oh yes! Those were awful times! I was just about your age when the Coronavirus hit back in ‘20.

Mrs. Schofield said the whole city of Chicago was shut down for almost a month!

The whole COUNTRY was shut down for almost a month! It was terrible! People were out of work, everything shut down. Couldn’t even go out for a cup of coffee or to a restaurant for breakfast. Folks started hoarding toilet paper…

Ha ha ha! That was funny! Boy people sure were stupid back then weren’t they? No one would do that today!

Watch it there, girl! I was alive back then and so was your grandma, and Uncle John and Aunt Mary! WE weren’t ALL stupid as that!

You and Uncle John and Aunt Mary didn’t hoard toilet paper, did you, Grampa?

[Long pause.]

No! Of course we didn’t! But lots of other people did! And they weren’t all stupid! They hoarded water, too. And frozen waffles!

Frozen waffles! Hahahahahahahahaaaaa! That’s stupid!

[Long pause]

That’s not a nice thing to say! That was way back before the Revolution when 75% of the country still believed in angels! We weren’t stupid, we were just ignorant back then. Heck, that was even before we figured out that we could have more than two political parties at a time! We were still stuck voting for the Republicans, then the Democrats, then the Republicans again… heh heh! [Shakes his head sadly]

I’m glad I didn’t live way back then. It must have been terrible! So grampa, how did the Coronavirus Scare finally end?

Well most everyone was scared to death of the virus. All the newspapers back then could print all the lies they could fit on a webpage. There were rumors that 2 million people would die in the USA alone…

TWO MILLION PEOPLE? But grampa, only 25 thousand died in the whole WORLD! And they were mostly really old and really sick before they got the virus! Mrs. Schofield said everyone was sick all the time back then… before we even had Medicare for everyone!

Yes but we didn’t get Medicare for All until after the Revolution. You asked how the Coronavirus Scare ended. That was way before the Revolution.

Oh yeah, right. So how did it end?

Well, we were all so confused by the lies that were being told by the politicians and this gang of thick-headed health-care “experts” scaring us with the idea that if we didn’t shut down the whole world economy we’d lose 500,000 or even 2 million people! They had us running around like chickens with our heads cut off!

So then what happened?

Well the President had just gone on TV to tell us that we were all going to have to stay out of work for as much as four months, and that the unemployment rate was going to be higher than in the Great Depression, and the doctor who was the head of the Centers for Disease Control came on and said if we didn’t all stay in our homes for the next three months straight, two million of us were gonna die!

No way!

Yes, that’s what they told us! And the news kept on telling us every day how many people had died the past 24 hours and the numbers kept on getting higher and higher every day…

But that wasn’t true!

But we didn’t know that at the time, honey! We still trusted the old government! We believed what they told us and didn’t question anything back then. Well, most of us didn’t…

So how did it end then?

Well the news kept saying that hundreds of people were dying in every state and on and on… but then some folks on social media noticed…

You mean on Twitter, don’t you grampa?

Yes on Twitter and some of the others that aren’t around anymore. They noticed that the funeral home parking lots were empty all over the place! If there were all these people dying, why were the funeral homes not running 24 hours a day? So they started asking questions…

Mrs. Schofield said they started to pay attention to the… base fatality rate I think?

Case fatality rates. Yes. We’d just been listening to the “experts” all the time and we hadn’t even tried to question their scary stories. We were so scared that we just believed them and did what they told us to do! But once we started asking questions their whole story started to unravel. Turned out they had been full of beans the whole time! They scared the country so bad the economy was shut down for three weeks and it started a recession that lasted 3 years! And until the debts were repudiated ten years later – at the time of the Revolution – we were still paying them loans off to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year!

Then what happened grampa?

Well the word started getting around that the politicians in both parties had been telling us a bunch of nonsense the whole time, and at first a few people started breaking the quarantines and then more and more and then the whole world rose up and told all the politicians to go to Hell!

That was the beginning of the Revolution! I wish I could have been there that day! That must have been fun!

It was fun at first. But then folks got so carried away with themselves that they took their guns out and started shooting them in the air in celebration…

Oh no! What happened?

Well, they killed more people in just a few hours that night than the coronavirus and the flu combined killed that entire year. Killed even more people than died in the Revolution, as it turned out. It was a mess…

That was stupid! You didn’t shoot anyone that night did you grampa?

[Long pause]

No… no… I don’t think so. [Pause] Well, I told you we were ignorant back then! We didn’t know any better! But we finally woke up and a bunch of folks formed some revolutionary socialist workers parties and we ended up kicking all those worthless old capitalist parties to the curb. But that’s an even longer story and it’s time for dinner pretty soon…

That’s when comrades Britney Spears and Russell Brand joined forces and led the Revolution to victory, right, Grampa?

Who told you that?

Mrs. Schofield!

Well that’s the craziest thing I ever… it wasn’t like that at all! Your teacher must be a DemSocialist!

No, she’s with Socialist Alternative… I think. Or maybe Worker’s World. [Looks at the newspaper on the coffee table.]  Grampa… what does “Ip Chee” mean?

IWPCHI? That’s the party that really led the Revolution! Your grandma and I joined back in ‘21. Well, like I said, it’s a long story. I’ll tell you about all that after dinner! We’re having microwave waffles and bottled water and tater tots in celebration of The Day of the Great Awakening!

I love tater tots! Will we have lots of fried baloney too?

It’s The Day of the Great Awakening! Of course there’ll be lots of fried bologna!

And Corn Dogs? Hot Pockets, too? Frozen pizza and Ramen noodles?

Ha ha ha! All you can eat! Last one to the dining room is a rotten old Democrat!

[They run to the dining room, laughing. The End.]

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