Apparently, when they told you to keep your ass home, they meant it literally: It turns out COVID-19 is a fartborne illness.
Yes, it turns out that along with your food hole and your filth mitts and your horrible ghastly used lung junk, you should now be concerned about transmitting the novel coronavirus via butt fumes.
That's according to Scottish-Australian physician Dr. Norman Swan, whose Coronacast podcast recently covered the topic of viral ass gas. It's worth listening to the entire episode. The hosts are charming, the science is interesting, and the whole thing is only eleven minutes long. I might listen to it three or four more times just because my level of activity and diet right now have brought me back to college, and I basically had the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old boy in college, and even in the face of a devastating pandemic, it is a truth universally acknowledged that farts are funny.
And yes, I just dropped a Jane Austen reference into a butt joke. I am an EDUCATED twelve-year-old boy, BITCHESSSSS.
Anyway, if you don't have eleven minutes with your busy schedule of bingeing whatever middle American racist sideshow Netflix has decided to elevate with a docuseries this week, here are the highlights.
Number one, YES, if you are carrying the coronavirus, you can probably transmit it via passed gas. The virus shows up in feces, and since farts are basically airborne poop clouds... well, you do the math. Or science. Whatever. I was an English major.
When I heard this, it rang true for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I mean, the person saying it was a highly regarded medical doctor and not an unsourced meme or somebody's half-estranged sister-in-law on Facebook, which is who seems to be responsible for a lot of the "information" on which some people are basing their bad decisions these days. But it also squared with this article I read recently about how during the 2003 SARS outbreak, a high-rise apartment complex in Hong Kong was particularly hard hit. It turns out the virus was spreading through the building's faulty plumbing.
Fortunately, Dr. Swan points out, you are already conveniently wearing a mask to cover your farts! It is called pants and if you are out in public, which is where you should also be wearing a mask for the snot-generating parts of your body, you ideally are also wearing pants or some other form of butt covering. (What you do in the privacy of your own home is entirely up to you.)
Finally, Dr. Swan literally suggests the following, which he says is grounded in "science-based, hardcore evidence":
"Don't fart close to other people ... (and) don't fart with your bottom bare."
There's been a lot of talk about how when life goes back to "normal" after "this" is "all over" (ask me if I think any of those things will truly happen), it will actually look very different, and we'll get used to doing things differently. I figured that meant, like, we'd stop shaking hands and start wearing masks and maybe everyone would finally learn to stand behind the yellow line while waiting to collect their suitcases at the baggage carousel, but what if we could also take this opportunity to both (a) normalize not farting next to other people (thus F**KING REVOLUTIONIZING air travel in another unexpected way) and (b) pioneering new advances in fart filtration technology?
In the meantime, guys, cover all your various wind-generating openings. For everyone's sake. But first, call your brother and tell him you were right all along: His farts are literally deadly.