New vaccine TARGETS TERROR!
Coronavirus is disrupting American lives. No doubt about that.
But as the market convulses, students learn from home, businesses flounder, and ordinary citizens wake up every day worried that the tickle in their throats will turn into full-blown pneumonia, commentators have begun to raise a question: what’s worse, the virus of fear of the virus?
Medical Situations, a private biotech firm outside of Boston, is addressing the problem with a new vaccine that targets not coronavirus, but the fear of coronavirus.
SANDRA SPEAKS UP
“We were watching the news in early March, and Sandra said that while the virus is certainly bad, the fear of the virus is also bad,” said Fred Fritt, a researcher at the company. “There’s healthy fear, of course, that keeps people at home and promotes social distancing. But there’s also unhealthy fear, which can make people mentally and even physically weaker. When she said that, I looked around, and nearly everyone was nodding. Sandra’s good like that. She says what everyone is thinking.”
MedSit got right to work. Within weeks, they had what they call a “first draft” of a virus against fear. “Because we’re purely private, we were able to fast-track it,” said Fritt.
They have tested it so far on more than a dozen voluntary subjects, with promising results. “One guy was afraid of spiders,” Fritt said. “We gave him the vaccine and within a day he was letting spiders crawl across his hands. Another woman had a lifelong fear of the dark. A week after taking the vaccine, she’s sleeping without a night light. And all the subjects so far are markedly less afraid of coronavirus.”
“Coronavirus, eh,” said one subject, who gave her name as Susan. “There’s flu, there’s swine flu, there’s SARS and MERS and ebola. This is a virus. We should be smart about it. But I’m not going to run around screaming.”
“I am using good habits,” said another subject, who gave his name as Abe. “What else can I do? I’m not going to wipe down every blade of grass in my yard. And yes, I am going out in my yard.”
THE DAREDEVIL EFFECT
There are problems, which the company readily admits. “Ideally, the vaccine would only target unreasonable fears,” said Fritt. “We are discovering that a small number of subjects are developing a resistance to any fear. That would be catastrophic. If they cease to believe that social distancing is prudent, that’s obviously counterproductive, not to mention that we don’t all of a sudden want millions of people skateboarding wing suiting, and skydiving.”
MedSit is hoping to bring the vaccine to market by the end of the year. “One guy was saying that he’s afraid that we’ll be too late. Sandra picked up a syringe and ran toward him jokingly. ‘Afraid, Bob?’ she said. ‘Let me take care of that.” He shook his head. “Sandra.”