The takeaway from U.S. President Donald Trump’s historic – dare I say, heroic? – three-day battle with COVID-19 is that the way to conquer the virus is to be unafraid. To face it head-on, like a proud citizen drafted to serve his country in warti – uh, I mean, like ... someone who is brave enough to call out your enemies from behind a computer screen. Yes, that’ll do.
Anyway, the President’s miraculous recovery – from feverish, lethargic and requiring supplemental oxygen one day, to showing off his brand-new tan (which he somehow acquired at Walter Reed hospital) on the balcony of the White House the next – should be a lesson to us all. Don’t let COVID-19 dominate your life, as he said. Keep working, if you still have a job. See your family, if they’re all still here. Take a vacation to the countries that still allow in Americans and/or won’t force you to spend your entire vacation in quarantine.
If you start to feel a tickle in your throat, just take your private helicopter to your nearest world-class military hospital to receive 24/7 surveillance by a team of medical professionals. (Make sure someone packs you a colouring book for the couple of minutes you’ll have to wait for a nurse to come take a blood draw.) Then enjoy a cocktail of unproven and experimental treatments, to which everyone surely has access, and boom – back to normal! In fact, you’ll be better than normal; you’ll feel stronger than you have in 20 years! Has Mr. Trump found the cure to aging? Uh, I suppose, in a rather dark way, he has.
One thing that’s rather important, if you do get sick, is to find a doctor who practises medicine in a way that works for you. Someone who can, say, look at a sucking chest wound and call it a scratch, if that’s what you like, or who has no problem labelling a 74-year-old obese President “slightly overweight.”
Make sure your doctor understands the fundamental tenets of the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act – namely, that a doctor may publicly disclose personal medical information when it is in the public interest, but only if the information makes his patient sound strong and healthy. A good physician, of course, should be able to expertly navigate prying questions from nosy outsiders:
Was the President on oxygen at all? He is not on oxygen right now.
Is he supposed to make that gasping noise? It’s because he’s so excited to work for the American people.
Has the President passed away? I am pleased to confirm he was not dead yesterday.
A couple of days of isolation is really no big deal if you happen to test positive for COVID-19. Just exercise your mental acuity by practicing signing your name to a blank piece of paper, and if you get really fussy and can’t find a way to settle, someone will take you for a ride in the car around the block until you calm down and fall asleep. Kudos to the Secret Service for getting Mr. Trump inside and to bed without waking him up.
Obviously, there are some things in life that we genuinely should fear: terrorism, war, the words “Sir, they got your tax returns,” violent crime, natural disasters, the “hell” of suburbs forced to endure low-income people. But a little old virus – nothing more than a cold, really? If you are tough and ferociously masculine, like America’s favourite President, you will be just fine. And if you exude confidence and resolve, the people around you will feel good, too. Bravery is contagious, after all. (Or maybe that’s COVID-19 in the White House; I always get those two mixed up.)
The bottom line is we should not let this virus control us, as Mr. Trump tweeted from his hospital bed on Monday. Forget about masks and physical distancing; smoke detectors are for wimps. Tetanus shots are for losers. We must go back to living our lives as normal: licking doorknobs, coughing on infants, physically sharing space with our political opponents while potentially still contagious with COVID-19. Sharing is caring, as someone once said, and that goes doubly for SARS-CoV-2, especially when your rival is beating you in national and some swing-state polls.
If you are a strong person – a winner, an American gladiator, a feral boar – the virus will be able to tell, and it will yield to you within just a few days. If not, well, that is very sad, but your poor outcome is probably due to an underlying condition such as elevated blood pressure, chronic obesity, or because your private helicopter was undergoing repairs. The way to conquer this virus, as the cured President can attest, is to understand that it is really no big deal. And if they were able, I’m sure roughly 210,000 Americans would agree.
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