Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: No COVID for me

By: - August 20, 2022 6:33 am

Fun fact: It has been almost two and a half years since the pandemic started and I still haven’t gotten COVID. Nope. Not once.

(I can picture my very superstitious grandmother demanding I now throw salt over my left shoulder and make an “X” on the nearest mirror.)

I would say my good fortune, so far, is based on clean living but y’all know better than that. Vaccinated and double-boosted? Of course. But we all know plenty of vaxxed folks who still got COVID; they just didn’t get that sick and certainly didn’t need to go to the hospital. Big sloppy hugs and warm cinnamon rolls to science for that by the way.

It has gotten difficult to find someone who hasn’t had a positive COVID test at least once. They even have a name for us: Never Coviders. A bit on the nose but I’ll take it. Meanwhile, TikTok recently offered a couple of truly funny answers to “How have you avoided COVID?” My favorite response was “by running in a zigzag” which, as we all know, is tried and true advice from Floridians on how to outrun an alligator. Also Matt Gaetz but mostly alligators.

Another jokester insisted he avoided contracting COVID by isolating the virus, shooting it and nailing its bullet-riddled carcass to his door as a warning to any others they might not want to come calling. (Matt Gaetz wants to hate that joke but, well, guns.)

Over on Reddit, the question was posted in all sincerity but drew “I stopped licking doorknobs” and “I’m too repulsive for anything to want to inhabit my body” responses. While most people posted earnest answers—“I continue to mask up and wash my hands frequently!”—to be clear, that’s not funny. Admirable, but not funny.

Then again, earnest people always make me laugh. A few weeks ago, a Very Earnest and enraged reader demanded of me: “Do you think EVERYTHING is a joke?” I started to respond with a decidedly unfunny lecture about how being able to laugh at life’s awfulness gives us power over it, but I fell asleep mid typing. So, instead, I just responded “Yeah.”

In the vein of running zigzag from COVID and being completely un-earnest, here are my tips for avoiding it. Clearly, I know what I’m doing. And now that I’ve whistled by the graveyard sufficiently…


  1. Make it run as a third-party presidential candidate. No one will ever see it again.
  2. Force it to only affect households that watch broadcast TV. Both of ‘em.
  3. Hang your groceries in the trees. No. Wait. That’s bears.
  4. Before it enters your nasal passages, force the coronavirus to stay for a short but informative presentation on bitcoin going on over in your intestines. (Ask Norovirus for directions if necessary.)
  5. Require the virus to make a mid-morning weekday call to the Social Security Administration. The hold time should easily surpass the life of the virus, which may also have expired simply from overexposure to Muzak versions of songs from 70s soft(headed) rock band Bread.
  6. Make it take the stairs.
  7. Force it to become a vegan. It will be so busy talking about its new lifestyle choice it will simply forget to infect you.
  8. Give the virus a few pamphlets about the end times and tell it to only infect people who open the door and greet it politely.
  9. Hit it hard right on the nose. No, wait. That’s sharks. Also, Matt Gaetz. Who, from a certain angle and with the right lighting looks…like a thumb.
  10. Make Chris Rock stand between you and the virus. He’s stronger than he looks.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Write her, earnestly, at [email protected].

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.