National Politics

Surgeon General Redefines “Elderly” To “Older Than Trump”

Trying to allay his boss’ fears about COVID-19, Surgeon General Jerome Adams has announced that the “elderly” label does not apply to 73-year-old President Donald Trump. “From now on,” he said in a statement, “elderly people are defined as people older than President Trump, who is healthier than any human alive right now or ever.”

The President, who is known to prefer fast food and consume as many as 12 cans of Diet Coke day, is, according to the Surgeon General, “in no way elderly or even all that old.” The 45-year-old anesthesiologist then favorably compared Mr. Trump’s health to his own, saying that the overweight 73-year-old who refuses to exercise “could run circles around everybody here.”

While speculation has swirled around the President’s health during an epidemic that has disproportionately affected people in his age group, sources around the President have assured him and the public that he is in no danger. One anonymous administration official notes that “President Trump has the strongest immune system known to man,” which they attributed to “his overwhelming manliness and patriotism.”

Medical staff around the President have routinely praised the septuagenarian for his willingness to avoid all health precautions and recommendations for men his age, including eating better, sleeping more, and avoiding contact with those who may be sick with COVID-19. Instead, they cite his avoidance of Chinese food and aversion to “depleting his battery” through undue exertion as signs that the President is keeping himself healthy.

In a separate statement, the Surgeon General also followed Trump’s orders to define “elderly” in women as “above 35.”


Africa Just Glad That This One Isn’t Its Fault

Millions of Africans have breathed a sigh of relief as the latest epidemic ravaging the world does not have it origin on the continent. COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China, which many in Africa are quick to point out is very far away from the area where many other deadly epidemics have sprouted.

“We’ve had some real doozies,” said Jane Aceng, Minister of Health in Uganda. “Ebola, Chikungunya, Zika, HIV, West Nile; it’s been pretty crazy here.” Now, she said, “it’s nice to see some other continents take the heat.”

As US President Donald Trump repeatedly refers to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” Africans are looking at the fact that he hasn’t banned travel from Africa yet as an encouraging sign.

“He’s normally such a racist asshole towards us,” explained Chidi Osinbajo of Lagos, Nigeria. He pointed to the famous “shithole countries” comments Trump made in 2018, widely thought to be directed at African immigrants. “He’s still a racist asshole, but now it’s the Chinese he’s going on about, which is a change.”

Other Africans are excited to be able to hassle white people at the airport for once, as many countries suspend or restrict flights to and from Europe. Morocco has suspended all international flights, leading to many displaced and desperate tourists. As they turn to local governments for assistance, Moroccans are reveling in the change of circumstances.

“We can’t afford to pay for all of these migrants,” Mahmoud El-Fassi of Marrakesh gleefully insisted, “and they can’t expect us to just give them handouts. If they want basic human dignity they’ll have to prove that they’re not riddled with disease.” He tried to remain serious as he laid out his concerns about “unchecked foreigners spreading the virus to citizens,” but giggled with delight as he described the restrictions he would put in. “Something with big barbed wire fences, probably,” he proposed, “and somehow both denying them access to basic sanitation and medical care but also insisting that they are dirty and sick.”


Local Musician Bemoans Hundreds In Saved Gas Money

On a normal night, Scott Atkinson would be loading up his van with equipment and driving to one of many low-paying gigs. But with the COVID-19 epidemic closing bars and restaurants across the country, he is forced to stay at home, saving hundreds of dollars in gas money.

“This is really going to affect my finances,” Mr. Atkinson explained, detailing the many money-losing trips he takes in an effort to “get [his] music out there.” He routinely drives to engagements up to four hours away from his home, playing for paltry sums in the hopes of “getting noticed.”

Alongside the money he would have spent on gas, Mr. Atkinson will also save money by not paying for parking, drinks at open mics, or for replacement gear after his inevitably gets stolen. “I don’t know what I’m going to do about all this gained income,” he said despondently. “I may have to resort to giving money to charity just to stay afloat.”

Recently, Mr. Atkinson has taken to playing in the street, handing out cash to anyone who stops to listen. With more people working from home, though, he’s having trouble finding any takers. “I only lost $17 yesterday, and I played for three hours,” he complained. “It’s like I’m not even a musician anymore.”


Millennial Renters Eagerly Eye Houses Of The Elderly, Infirm

Having long resigned themselves to being renters for life, Millennials are preparing to move into the soon-to-be-vacated houses of the elderly in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. The death toll has climbed in recent days, leaving many prime properties unoccupied. Still more are expected to go on the market once their owners have succumbed to the devastating illness, prompting Millennial renters to scope out potential purchases.

Martin James and his fiancée Rachel Dwyer have been visiting nice neighborhoods, looking for signs of illness in the older residents. “We’re just looking for three or four bedrooms, and preferably a nice garden out in front,” Ms. Dwyer explained. “We drove by a nice one yesterday, and the older gentleman who was getting his mail looked like he was coughing.”

Mr. James added that they “obviously don’t want anyone to die,” but seeing as that was an inevitability given the spread of the epidemic, they “want to be prepared.” He has also added news alerts on his phone to notify him of interest rate drops, so that the couple can find the best mortgage rate.

One renter, who asked not to be named, has been asking around his town about the health of older residents. “I just want to make sure I know what might become available,” he said. “I’d given up on the idea of owning a home, but there are some really old people around here that I know aren’t going to make it.” He has compiled a list of over 20 properties that he thinks may be on the market soon, although he concedes that “realistically, only about five or so of them will actually die.”

Others, like 34-year-old Jessica Browne, are looking towards possible inheritances. “My great-aunt has a nice three bedroom, two bath ranch only about 20 minutes out of town,” she said, “and she doesn’t have any kids. We usually visit about once a month, but since the social distancing guidelines came out we’ve upped it to once a week.” 

Realtors have been quick to jump on the trend, with some reaching out to shut-ins to gauge their respiratory health. 

“I haven’t seen Mr. Lavelle around town recently,” said Mary Sullivan of Crowne, Mooney, and Sullivan. “I stopped by his house and he seemed to be wheezing a little. Hopefully he’ll be OK,” she added, “but I called my appraiser just in case.” 


Annoying Coworker Still Thinks Corona Beer Jokes Are Funny

Oblivious to the fact that it’s been old for weeks now, your coworker Gary is still making jokes about Corona beer. The 51-year-old who everyone already socially distances from has been repeating the same tired lines to anyone he can corner.

“I bought a case of Corona since it was on sale, for obvious reasons,” he cracked, leaning in much closer than the recommended six feet to give an unwanted nudge. “Just hope I don’t get sick!”

Anne from the office next door reports that she spent a “horrible” fifteen minutes this morning listening to Gary trot out such groaners as “they had to quarantine the Corona at the liquor store” and “I just hope it doesn’t spread to the Bud Light.” She was finally able to escape when Gary was told he had a call waiting for him at his desk. “It was awful,” she said, “he seems to have completely missed that everyone has already made these same jokes a thousand times.”

While some see working from home as a possible way to avoid Gary’s lame attempts at humour, others aren’t so sure. “He’s been saying that he’ll be having a Corona or two while he’s supposed to be working, and giving this dumb wink” said Glen from accounting. “If anything I think that the social isolation will mean he’ll have fewer outlets for his terrible jokes, meaning that anyone who he talks to on the phone will experience increased levels of cringe.” Others worry that more time on Facebook will give Gary more fodder for his comedic endeavors.

At press time, Gary was heard chuckling over a picture of a Corona bottle with a mask  that he was about to forward to the entire office.


As Cafés Close, Hipsters Unable To Conspicuously Write Screenplays

With coffee shops and cafés around the country shuttering due to the COVID-19 outbreak, hipsters are finding it increasingly hard to flaunt their “creativity.” Many have been forced to “work” at home, where no one can casually come upon them and ask what they’re working on. Some wonder if they’ll ever be able to write conspicuously again.

“I normally get a table near the counter of the coffee shop around the corner,” explained Jason Daniels, an unemployed 26-year-old living in Seattle. “That way, everyone waiting in line can see what I’m working on. It’s my latest project, a screenplay about a writer in his mid-20s trying to find his voice.” After a 10 minute explanation of the plot, characters, and themes, he added, “I just hope that I can get back to working on it soon.”

Josh Danvers, who works part-time as a waiter in Chicago, has also been struggling to find a visible place to work. “I tried going to a few parks, but the benches don’t face the right way. Everyone ends up walking in front of me, where they can’t tell that I’m working on my screenplay. It’s about a young writer’s journey to discover his place in the world.” 

Some areas have seen even further restrictions due to COVID-19 outbreaks. San Francisco, once a haven for hipsters, has instituted a shelter-in-place order. Aspiring screenwriters there have turned to live-streaming websites like Twitch in an effort to maintain visibility. 

“I have only had a few viewers, but it’s something,” shrugs James Delmar, who recently quit his Silicon Valley job to devote himself full-time to screenwriting. He has been live-streaming for two days, and worries about how many passing glances he has lost. “My screenplay is about a Millennial writer’s struggle for self-expression, and the themes have never felt more relevant.”

As the nation’s hipsters brace for weeks or even months of uncertainty, they find solace in the attention they can still demand from friends and family. When reached for comment, Mr. Delmar’s mother issued this statement: “If I hear one more word about that fucking screenplay, I’m going to strangle him.”

International Politics

Boris Johnson Playfully Bungles Tracheotomy

LONDON – During a visit to Kensington Medical Centre, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cheerily botched a routine tracheotomy. Johnson mugged for the onlooking press as hacked inartfully at the throat of a patient stricken with COVID-19. The visit was designed to calm Britons’ fears about the epidemic and show solidarity with the nation’s health professionals.

Mr. Johnson had been touring one of the intensive care unit wards when Richard Broadworth, 78, was wheeled in. Mr. Broadworth had been admitted into the hospital two days before and tested positive for COVID-19. As doctors prepared to hook him up to one of the hospital’s few ventilators, Mr. Johnson asked if he could “have a go at it,” to the delight of the assembled crowd. 

Mr. Johnson started by accidentally puncturing the patient’s larynx before slightly nicking his carotid artery. As his hands became increasingly slippery with blood, he managed to drop the scalpel multiple times, but continued to joke with the doctors and nurses on hand. With the patient writhing and gasping for air, Mr. Johnson quipped that “this is harder than it looks” before pointing roguishly at a photograph and saying “you’re next!”

The Prime Minister has cultivated a charmingly oafish persona since the beginning of his public life. From getting stuck on a zipline to knocking over a small child during a friendly game of rugby, Mr. Johnson has endeared himself to the British public with his clumsy exploits.

A Tory spokesperson later confirmed that the patient had died, but added that “the British people are willing to make whatever sacrifice is necessary against this terrible disease.”