In a television segment reminiscent of Last Week Tonight, a variety show host in Egypt interviewed an anthropomorphized version of the coronavirus (or more specifically, SARS-CoV-2). During the segment, the humanoid virus seemed to be comically combative, although still quite frightening with his Pinhead-esque mask painted an alien green. And while much of the interview is hard to decipher, one thing is clear: This particular person-virus is what nightmares are made of.
Al Qarmouti’s interview with the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
According to Eg24 News, TV host Jaber Al Qarmouty interviewed the coronavirus on his show, which has the translated title, Talk to Any. The interview took place during a March 9 episode of Al Qarmouty’s program, although the segment subsequently went somewhat viral on Twitter days later.
Unfortunately, while Eg24 has transcribed and translated the interview into English, it is, to a large extent, nonsensical. What is clear is that Al Qarmouti was conducting a fake satellite interview with the coronavirus, during which the coronavirus expressed concerns over his portrayal on social media, as well frustration with people accusing him of doing things(?) in a WhatsApp chat group.
in totally normal timeline news, an Egyptian TV station interviewed the coronavirus pic.twitter.com/dBpOcXXdRa— Matthew Champion (@matthewchampion) March 12, 2020
For those who’ve been living under a rock for a while—or perhaps a giant, ancient armadillo shell—COVID-19, a.k.a. “the coronavirus,” is a disease that has been spreading recently in countries across the globe. Worry over the disease, which causes flu-like symptoms, but appears to have a higher mortality rate than the flu, have grown to be so bad that countless major events and social functions are being cancelled. Things are especially bad in countries like Italy, where the government has taken the drastic step of quarantining the entire country.
According to the most credible statistics we could find, it seems like COVID-19, and the novel coronavirus that spreads it, is going to continue affecting people around the world, at least for some months to come. Which means we’ll be seeing a lot more humorous COVID-19 segments on television. A trend that’s interesting to note, because it’s hard to imagine these kinds of jokes being made during another type of terrible world event. (Which is not a value judgment, but just an observation.)
Pinhead from Hellraiser. Film Futures
It should also be pointed out that this humanoid version of the novel coronavirus is wearing a Pinhead mask because the pins are reminiscent of the “spike proteins” that surround the surface of the virus. A Caesar-type figure with a crown would probably be more apt, however, as the coronavirus family gets its name from the Latin word for crown.
What do you think about this interview between Jaber Al Qarmouti and an anthropomorphized version of SARS-CoV-2? Do you think it makes sense to joke about this pandemic as it’s unraveling, or should we hold off on making light of the situation until we know we’ve moved past it? And how much did watching this interview put you in the mood to watch Hellraiser? Give us your thoughts in the comments!
Feature image: AlHayah TV Network