False modesty aside, I can claim I’ve come close to solving the problem of coronavirus.
Well, perhaps solving the problem is a bit of an overstatement. But I can certainly suggest preventive measures that have so far escaped the medics’ attention. They seem to be unable to connect the dots already in the public domain.
DOT 1: Men are dying of coronavirus at twice the rate of women. My question is, why does this misandrist virus discriminate against men? Is it to pay us back for discriminating against women?
Logical as this guess sounds, it presupposes that the virus possesses a capacity for rational thought and moral judgement, which is unlikely. Yet a physiological explanation is out there, hiding in plain view.
It turns out that men’s testicles provide a safe haven for the virus. Covid-19 gets down there, bonds with testicular proteins and refuses to leave with the obduracy of a Romanian squatter. It then strikes – and Bob’s your undertaker.
This much is well-known, to any tabloid reader at any rate. Yet no one before me had been able to draw the right conclusion. No one had experienced the same flash of inspiration.
Archimedes in his bath, Newton under that apple tree, Mendeleyev snoring in his bed – looking at that information, I experienced a similar, ostensibly spontaneous flash of discovery.
If your testicles can kill you, why not just have them removed prophylactically? (This procedure is best performed professionally. But, if you opt for the DIY solution, remember to disinfect your garden shears beforehand).
If you find this preventive measure too drastic, think of Angelina Jolie who had a prophylactic double mastectomy because she was afraid she might get breast cancer. And Angelina’s breasts were a money-spinning asset, unlike your testicles (if you’re not a Y-front model).
You won’t be able to have children afterwards, but who needs those little spongers anyway? Yet when it comes to the really important things in life, otherwise known as how’s-your-father, fear nought.
Regular testosterone injections will keep what’s left of your genitalia in working order. And, job done, your girlfriend happy, your wife none the wiser, you can still reach for that cigarette.
DOT 2. No, I’m not kidding. I realise that most of you probably don’t smoke. But, unless you wish to defy medical research, you’d better start.
It turns out that cigarette smoke keeps Covid-19 at bay. That discovery was made by David Hockney, better known for his paintings than for medical breakthroughs.
However, this amateur’s revelation was supported by professionals. For example, one US study showed that, while 14 per cent of all Americans smoke, only 1.3 per cent of coronavirus patients are smokers. In Britain, the corresponding numbers are similar.
So go ahead, light up and, unlike Bill Clinton, you can even inhale. Eventually you may die of lung cancer, but ‘eventually’ is the operative word. Whereas cancer will be years in arriving, coronavirus may kill you next week.
Leaving the domain of medical science, we’re now entering one of my personal observation.
DOT 3. Covid-19 discriminates not only against men but also against blacks, who suffer at two to three times the scale of their proportion in the population.
Since no one can explain this phenomenon adequately, here comes my observation. I wish to disclaim in advance that I’m drawing no conclusions on this basis, and neither I hope will you.
Penelope and I walk some three miles every day, with our trajectory resembling a slalom rate: whenever another couple comes our way, we veer to one side in a single file, they veer to the other, and the cause of social distancing is dutifully served.
Now it pains me to have to say this, but black couples we come across are much less likely to make such adjustments. If that’s a general tendency, could it explain the higher incidence of coronavirus in that group? I don’t know. But all the dots now connected support the ancient adage of prevention being the best cure.
P.S. Speaking of prevention and ancient adages, some irresponsible chaps complain that mandatory face masks will make it hard to tell pretty women from ugly ones.
They would be well-advised to remember the old Russian wisdom: There’s no such thing as an ugly woman. There’s only not enough booze.