Hindsight is 2020, the Year of the Sloth
Three weeks ago I was tasked with writing a review of 2020. My brain immediately clogged up as I tried to flush this massive turd of a year down the toilet of my mind. 2020 is now jammed somewhere in my spinal cord and I can’t get it out. Ever since, I have been in a perpetual state of creative catatonia, paralyzed from the neck down. The only thing I can say for sure is this: Either I drank way too much mushroom cactus juice and I’m stuck in the longest nightmarish trip ever, or I didn’t do nearly enough and I should really start chugging. Hindsight, they say, is 2020, but I still have absolutely no idea what in the world is going on.
But from what I can make out from my underground bunker, I hear that…
…after three and a half years of meticulous painstaking negotiations going through every conceivable detail with a fine-toothed comb, a comprehensive Brexit agreement was finally worked out between the U.K. and the EU, never to be reopened again. Britain finally left the bloc on January 31, and we all moved on with our lives.
But then Prince Harry pulled the old switcheroo, stole the agreement from under Queen Elizabeth’s pillow, replaced it with an old TV Guide from 1982, and abdicated with Meghan Markle to America. Back to square one! In January, the real Brexitnegotiations began and they would definitely be finalized at some definite point in the indefinite future.
Then, some virus with a median survival rate of 99.95% for people under 70 started spreading rampantly throughout the world and everybody totally freaked out.
Sensing that irrational fear of the virus was starting to grip the United States a bit too firmly and President Trump was blaming China, America’s grandma, Nancy Pelosi, wisely proceeded to calm everyone down with a big public visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown. “That’s what we’re trying to do today is to say everything is fine here. Come because precautions have been taken. The city is on top of the situation,” she said.
But then some guy named Neil Ferguson made a computer model or something that predicted that 7 billion people would be infected and 40 million people would die of the virus within the year. Completely stunned about the city not being on top of the situation anymore, Pelosi immediately ducked into an emergency hair salon for a makeover.
In the face of Ferguson’s prediction of utter doom, world leaders didn’t know what they should think of doing, so Ferguson told them that the only thing they could think of doing was to lock down the whole world. And so they did, and this stopped the virus, and everything was fine.
True, Ferguson’s model turned out to be a bit wide of the mark in the sense that Andromeda is wide of the Milky Way and his model was called the most “devastating software mistake of all time” (AKA the DSM), but if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that if something doesn’t make any sense, then you probably should quarantine. Including Ferguson, who during the initial lockdown that he demanded was absolutely necessary, was busy having lockdown sex with a woman who was somebody else’s wife. In his defense, Ferguson said that this woman was the model who predicted 40 million deaths, and that yes, he apparently got screwed. And so he resigned, and, realizing they made a terrible mistake, world leaders immediately ended the lockdowns.
Just kidding! But really, in his defense, Ferguson said that in sleeping with somebody else’s wife, he “… acted in the belief that [he] was immune.” To the virus I think. Or the law. I’m really not sure on that point. Then…
Anthony Fauci, some kind of doctor of something in the government, alarmed that people in Asia were starting to wear masks all the time, assured everyone in the U.S. that there was no point in wearing masks at all. “When you’re in the middle of a pandemic, wearing a mask might make people feel better,” he said, but it “isn’t providing the protection that people think it is.” He later changed course and said that masks were essential, and that people should wear goggles too. Asked what had changed, he said, “The science.”
Meanwhile, as the virus ran rampant throughout Europe, President Trump halted all flights, stock markets around the world completely crashed, even Las Vegas and Macau totally shut down, and the global economy went into a tailspin. Luckily, central banks around the world acted in the nick of time and pushed a giant button and $10 trillion dollars came flying out of nowhere and everyone was suddenly rich.
As it become clearer that the virus was mostly a major threat to the elderly causing a scary (seriously) fatality rate of 5%, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York ordered that all nursing homes admit all those who have tested positive for the virus. Soon after, and to Cuomo’s shock and dismay, 5% of New York’s nursing home population proceeded to succumb to the virus. In his defense, Cuomo probably said something. It is still unclear at this point what it was, but fact checkers may have been involved, though several witnesses confirm that the fact checkers were having an illicit affair with somebody else’s science at the time.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a Passover lockdown, making it illegal for anyone to celebrate the Exodus from Egypt with their extended families, except for Netanyahu, and Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, neither of whom had to lock down because whatever. In his defense, Netanyahu said (seriously) that his son “lives nearby,” in an area that happens to be very close to the science. Then…
Three people from Indonesia went to gamble in Macau. According to reports, they played strip baccarat, which is fine because Indonesia apparently lives nearby, too. Meanwhile, in the United States, the prospect of overcrowding of hospitals from Covid patients becomes a serious issue, so much so that field hospitals are set up to manage the impending overflow. Meanwhile, 1.4 million essential healthcare workers lost their jobs for lack of health to care for. In the U.K., real Brexit negotiations continue, using Harry’s 1982 TV Guide as a firm base from which to build trust.
In some surprising good news, the science finally got tired of being followed and was finally found hiding in people’s butts, as it was now rumored that Covid can spread through explosive flatulence. The following police sketch of four giant coronaviruses hovering around a massive fart cloud was then released to the public amid cries of panic:
Quick to quell the panic, the addendum “Image for representation” was added to the sketch, clarifying that the above is only a representation, and as far as anyone can tell from the science, the coronaviruses were not drawn to scale and nobody is completely sure if the one on the upper right actually had a tail or whether that black squiggly was merely the representation of flatulent vibrations.
As April turned into…
It became clear that people weren’t exactly dying in droves of Covid, so U.S. field hospitals stood down, most without treating any Covid patients. The staff of these field hospitals were all reassigned to following the science and report immediately on where it went. Over in Asia, two people from the Philippines visit Macau, meeting up with one Korean and one guy from Germany. They walk into a bar. I can’t say for sure if that’s even a joke.
Macau begins to recover, with the major casino stocks returning to pre-pandemic levels, thanks to four Koreans, one Filipino, one Japanese and one American, who singlehandedly spring gross gaming revenue right back to where it was before this nightmare started. According to reports, what happens in Macau stays in Vegas, where the science is reported to be hiding out. Then came…
At which point it becomes clear that the infection fatality still wasn’t rising, and that now the science should focus on cases and exposures instead of deaths. The science, however, spreads a little too far and data from Waze is used to determine that 115 million Americans are exposed to traffic accidents on highways every day, most of them without any symptoms of a crash at all. But that could change at any time.
In the U.K., Brexit negotiations continue, though a major argument ensues over which season of Happy Days aired in 1982 according to the TV Guide. Negotiating teams, unable to overcome this major hurdle, return to their huddles in Brussels and London and immediately quarantine.
Two Russians, an Italian, and an Indian show up at Macau, and have an absolutely amazing time. Then came the dog days of…
…and Penn National Gaming investors are so rabidly excited about regional casinos having their worst year ever recorded that shares of Penn rocket to a new all time high. Dave Portnoy, president of Barstool Sports and leader of an army of a million or so retail Robinhood speculators, is thrilled, and tells his followers that stocks only go up so keep buying. Barstool Sports is then acquired by Penn, which ends up eventually pushing the stock to about three times the previous all time high of June 2018 back when casinos were actually allowed to fully operate.
Central banks are asked timidly if maybe them printing $10 trillion dollars this year has something to do with this, but they are unable to respond due to quarantine restrictions.
Eldorado, whose stock plummeted 95% in March, goes on to merge with Caesars, neither of whose casinos are actually allowed to operate either for an indefinite period of time, and the combined company climbs to new all time highs. Caesars then reports losses of $926 million for the quarter ending September. In response, the stock keeps climbing.
Then, In The Fall
California governor Gavin Newsom bravely suggests that Californians wear masks between bites while eating. One month later, he is spotted having a dinner party with big political donors at one of California’s fanciest most expensive restaurants called The French Laundry, “The best food your taxpayer can buy!” He reportedly was with a mask between bites, though it may have been transparent or else not big enough to cover both sides of his mouth. In his defense, Newsom said that he got confused and was told it was a Laundromat and he really needed clean clothes, but later admitted that he “made a bad mistake”. Making up for it all, he said, “I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice.”
One day later, San Francisco mayor London Breed was found having dinner at the same laundry, without wearing a mask between bites, after which she expressed what she called “regret”, followed by, two days later, an order enforcing the strictest lockdown in the U.S. on the entire city.
In Europe, Boris Johnson, showing Brussels who’s boss, tore up Harry’s TV Guide and threatened a no deal Brexit, and then proceeded to immediately return to the negotiating table after reluctantly agreeing that Happy Days was in its 9th season in 1982. According to the science.
What will 2021 bring? I really do not want to know. But when I first sat down to figure out this article, I thought of what animal 2020 might be named after. The first animal I thought of was a sloth. 2020, in hindsight, must be the Year of the Sloth. So I Googled it, and I was right.
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