Ugh, really? Across the United States, cases have started rising… again? A new, more transmissible and deadly variant has established itself (tell me if you’ve heard this one before) at the precise moment when states are reopening? And now, CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, was reduced to tears, warning Americans of an impending 4th wave?
Really? Another one?
Kind of feels like this whole COVID thing was meant to be a trilogy. The third installment in the “Waves of COVID” franchise was huge — and well-earned — they’d been hyping the “Dark COVID Winter” for practically the entire series. But another surge after that? How much longer are we gonna keep doing these?
Who’s even gonna be the main villain? Didn’t the third installment basically finish off “big bad,” Donald Trump? Who’s gonna spread the COVID misinformation? Trump’s dumb, non-mask-wearing supporters in a conglomerate? Were “all the stormtroopers” ever a character in Star Wars? Who are we even supposed to focus on? The Bill Gates microchip conspiracy theorists — villains who have been around since the prequels?
Plus, we’re missing the comedic relief! It’s not exactly going to be a memorable COVID crisis without hilarious laugh lines like “injecting bleach” or “shining sunlight inside the body.” Quoting those hilarious lines with your best friends, doing the hilarious Trump voice—that was half the fun of these mass spikes in death and illness whose long-term effects aren’t yet known.
Even Fauci and Birx don’t have the same mojo under a president who wholeheartedly supports their research. Would Han Solo even be a rebel bad boy if he were just doing bureaucratic busywork?
Don’t get me wrong. This whole “highly infectious disease that’s killed more Americans than all of World War II” had me on the edge of my seat at first, but now, I just kinda feel over it. Are we gonna get a 5th wave? A 6th wave? A new streaming series on Disney+ every year until we die?
What’s the next one even gonna be about? The difficulty of scheduling a vaccination appointment? How do we go from a film about a mysterious illness that may or may not ever be cured to one that focuses exclusively on refreshing a CVS mobile website?
Some people might say that COVID’s not supposed to be entertaining, that it’s a deadly pandemic, and that the most dangerous thing we can do is to become so desensitized to the threat it poses that it no longer manages to scare us. But there’s just a full-on shortage of new ideas in this thing.
Oh, now the characters are wearing two masks? Not exactly the most creative addition to the pandemic that’s still as deadly as it was at the beginning, regardless of whether or not I find it novel and interesting. Oh, there’s a new, more transmissible, more deadly variant called B.1.1.7, a name that was practically made to be forgettable? And aren’t the new variants still just COVID? God, it’s The Empire and The First Order all over again.
If they want us to stay vigilant on COVID, they need to spice it up! Give a fresh spin to our existential dread. Sure we can stay in the pandemic multi-verse, but what about a black plague reboot? Or a period piece: the Antonine Plague of 165 A.D. — you could get the girl from Game of Thrones! Now that’s something audiences would really die for.