Everybody, including a new Netflix docu-series, is talking about the unpredictability of viruses that hop from animal to human and dig their spiked, mutated talons into our poor, unprepared immune systems.

SARS (*chirp*), H1N1 (*oink*), Zika (*bzzzz*), and now, introducing the all new Coronavirus (*refreshing bottle opening sound*--just because we humans can't hear the high-pitched sounds bats make, except when they're flapping their wings as they leave our bedrooms, Bram Stoker style.)

At this point, we are told, everyone needs to be "on high alert." Travel restrictions, quarantines, and all the masks one can get their hands on are in order.

By the way, most flat masks only protect others from you spraying viruses on them and do little to protect the wearer from other people's cooties. The masks that better protect the wearer from the dreaded viral incubators that are OTHER PEOPLE are 1) domed or 2) duck-bill-shaped N-95 masks.

N-95 mask (*quack*)

Staying away from crowds and sick people, frequent handwashing and not touching the face or eyes also are a good idea.

There's nothing like a good old media-fueled virus scare, which, like a horror movie, quickly becomes elevated to the level of apocalyptic doomsday prophesy by xenophobia and paranoia. I can see it already: a straight-to-Netflix (aka Netflix original) movie about the last humans on earth after the final pandemic flu (aka "The Big One"). It'll be Bird Box meets 2012 meets 2001: A Space Odyssey. It will trend.

I should probably start walking around wearing a N-95 mask all day, just because I'm Asian and might as well be from Wuhan because nobody can ever tell the difference anyway, bless their hearts.

Happy Chinese New Year, by the way.


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