COVID-19, in an attempt to bully Flu and potentially gain precious lung space in humans this year, provoked the veteran virus, labeling him as "irrelevant." Flu responds.
The Flu virus called a press conference to respond to COVID-19 virus' claim that “Influenza has become a minor player and, quite frankly, is no longer relevant.”
Bad blood between the coronavirus family and influenza has existed for years. Remember the Flu's press statement 3 years ago in response to coronavirus’s statement that the Flu is “...just a bad cold?” To quote Flu's comeback:
“Coronaviruses can't do much more than cause a runny nose. Who needs a vaccine against that? Look at how multiple vaccine manufacturers scramble every winter to try to stop me. Yes, many of my infections aren't much worse than a bad cold but check out the ICUs and hospital beds during Flu season...full of Flu patients. Coronavirus is not only not in the same ballpark as the Flu, it’s a minor leaguer wannnabe.”
At today's press conference Flu issued a statement in response to this new charge of irrelevance by Coronavirus and then took questions. The statement read:
“We do admit that the upstart coronavirus called COVID-19 has made quite a splash this past year, but its track record is very short. Look at Coronavirus’s last attempt to usurp Flu's headliner status with the promising rookie, SARS, back at the turn of the 21st century. SARS had some amazing early stats, like an average death rate of about 10% but it just disappeared after killing fewer than 10 000 people in 2 years. A real killer like me can kill that many in a month in a bad Flu season.
Also, if COVID-19 is so good at killing people, and we must admit 700 000+ dead Americans is an impressive start, what's going to happen next year when uptake of those vaccines with 95% efficacy is really widespread. Flu is not scared of vaccines that have been trying to stop us since 1942.
A first for Coronavirus
In a good year the Flu vaccine might be 70% effective. That's why we have such staying power. We have a much higher mutation rate than Coronavirus. This is Coronavirus’s first pandemic. Influenza has been causing 2-3 pandemics per century for hundreds of years. Our mortality rate in the 1918 pandemic was about the same as COVID-19's and we didn't need airplanes to spread it around the world.
Plus, in that pandemic we took down 20-year-olds in droves. COVID-19 likes to pick on old people. We put a lot of kids under the age of 5 in the hospital every year, although we do admit we do not kill many, maybe only 150 a year. But we can do it year after year. That's what a champion does. Influenza will never become irrelevant. We will now open up the floor for questions.”