This time, I caught up with the coronavirus coming out of his psychiatrist’s office in New York. He spotted me and waved half-heartedly. He didn’t look happy.
What’s wrong? I asked him.
My therapist thinks I’m crazy. I told him I’m quite certain I’m nothing more than a collective idea in the minds of many people. He said that’s a clear sign of psychosis.
In other words, he thinks you’re really real?
Yes. I thanked him for that. I said his faith was helping to keep me in existence. He didn’t appreciate the comment.
But many people believe you’re real. So what’s the problem?
The vaccine. Everybody’s focused on it now. They’re not thinking about me so much. On a scale of one to a hundred, where a hundred is a majestic amount of attention focused on me, I’d say I’m hovering around 70 to 74. That means I’m starting to blink in and out. There are moments when I go blank. Yesterday, I was sitting in on a CIA briefing and I perished for a few minutes.
I see. Well, what can you do? I mean, since you’re nothing more than a collective idea, when people stop focusing on you…
People are fickle. I gave them so much. Fear, the lockdowns, all sorts of problems. I did what I could to make life interesting, but obviously it wasn’t enough.
That’s show business. “What have you done for me lately?” Lots of stars fade out. They make two bad movies and they can’t get arrested. They’re begging for a cameo on an episode of Hawaii Five-O.
I tried to explain that to my agent—Fauci—but he said he was too busy fending off personal attacks.
The last time we spoke, you said you were ready to sacrifice yourself and admit you were just a collective idea, because you didn’t want to hurt people.
I know. But SAYING that and meaning it are two different things, especially when your back is against the wall and you realize you’re going to STOP EXISTING ALTOGETHER.
I’ll do anything to survive. I’ll claim I have sixteen different deadly proteins and fifty mutant strains. I’ll say I persist on surfaces for up to six months.
You’re ready to mount an all-out campaign on your own behalf?
Who do you think originally pushed the lab-leak theory and recently revived it? I’m trying.
So why are you telling me all this? When I publish our conversation, some people are going to have even less faith in you.
I’m beginning to think history and legacy are my only options. People in the future will remember me. That’s all I can count on. And if this conversation adds a footnote to that history…
Can you recall how you were born?
I have a faint recollection of two Chinese virologists in Wuhan speculating about what would happen if they claimed a cluster of local pneumonia cases—stemming from the deadly air pollution in the city—actually were the result of a new virus. I think that was the moment. One virologist said, “We can call in the CDC. They always say it’s a new virus.”
And did you feel anything then?
Surprise. I EXISTED. It was amazing. Bang. Just like that, I was born.
As an idea.
Yes. And I felt strong.
Did you realize what had happened?
You mean, did I know I was nothing more than the beginning of a collective shared idea? No. Of course not. That piece of wisdom came later. During the first month of my life, I did know I was riding on the back of men who had power and were thirsty for more. They were promoting me to the public, because they saw they could use me to CONTROL the population to an extraordinary degree.
Did you appreciate their help?
Of course. But at the same time, I found them to be…distasteful creatures. Hanging around men like Bill Gates, Klaus Schwab, Fauci, Andrew Cuomo…it’s not exactly a party.
I can imagine. Did you and Bill ever have a conversation?
No, not really. He’s wired in a way that prevents authentic interaction. He’s always hungry and he has to eat. He eats information. If I didn’t know better, I would say he’s a machine.
I assume, in your travels, you’ve met other “entities” who are also nothing more than collective ideas held in many minds.
Yes. We’ve had pleasant talks. But it always comes down to, “How long do you do think you’re going to exist? When are you going to disappear? Will people still believe in you next year?” That sort of thing.
But it isn’t just belief you’re needing, is it?
No. It’s ATTENTION. Underlying belief is only part of the picture. I need attention now. Lots of it. I need people all together lifting me up, so to speak, holding me up, showing me to each other. It’s like a hall of mirrors.
Yes. Millions and millions of people holding mirrors reflecting reflections to each other—but when you analyze what’s going on, you realize the reflections consist of NOTHING. That’s the bottom-line trick.
Not sure I understand.
I’m an idea. But when you boil that down, what does it mean? It means I’m a nothing wearing a particular suit of clothes. I could be a pink castle in the clouds or a little purple horse jumping over a toaster in your kitchen. Do you see? What’s important is that people collectively think I’m real right now. The MEANING of what I’m supposed to be is less important to me. If tomorrow a billion people decided I was a cow jumping over the moon instead of a deadly germ, it would be fine with me. Why would I care? As long as I continue to exist, the form or the shape or the meaning doesn’t matter at all. I’ll be a cow. I’ll be a little purple bubble. I’ll be a trillion reflections of pixels dancing on television screens across the planet.
You’re not invested in the notion of a pandemic at all.
Pandemic? What pandemic? I spoke to a Federal Reserve banker the other day. I told him I wanted to become a row of digits in the new universal cashless currency. I thought that would have legs far into the future. I couldn’t get through to him. He brushed me off.
I see. So you have no sense of integrity.
I did at one time. But, as I keep saying, when the chips are down, it’s all about survival. Where is my audience? How big is my audience right now? How much attention are they paying to me? Without them, I’m gone.
And you’ll say and do anything to survive.
Listen, if somebody could sell me to the public as a harmless particle who couldn’t hurt a flea, it would be wonderful. But seriously, how long do you think that would last? People aren’t interested in “harmless.” Have you ever seen an ad for a harmless movie? I have to have teeth and spikes and transmissibility.
As in our last conversation, we’re talking about the nature of reality.
Collective reality. I laugh when I hear people talk about collective consciousness, as if it’s some miracle. It’s a prison. I should know. I’m in it. I’m a creation of it.
What about individual reality?
That’s quite a different thing. I go to the studio of a painter, a real artist. He’s inventing something on his own. He’s not trying to be included in the collective. That’s tough sledding, living that life. But it has the great advantage of not being in prison.
You mean freedom.
Yes. That might seem to be a collective idea, too, but it’s not. It demands expression, action. It suggests an individual explores on his own. He gives to the world, but he doesn’t give an empty reflection of what the collective wants.
Is that what you want be? An artist?
I don’t fantasize about that. I’m an idea passed into and through many minds. That’s all.
Are you making a play for sympathy?
I’m making a play for anything and everything I can get. I’m a car salesman in the Gobi desert trying to move Rolls Royces I don’t have off a lot that doesn’t exist…
Why are people so determined to buy collective ideas?
They’re obsessed with SHARING. It doesn’t matter what they share. So they go for lowest common denominators. They pass along ideas that are the easiest in terms of gaining acceptability.
If that wasn’t true, you wouldn’t be here at all.
Right you are.
Well, Sir Virus, isn’t there some way you could make a public announcement? You could say you’re retiring. You’ve had a good run but now it’s over. Put people’s minds at ease.
Aren’t you hearing what I’m saying? That would be suicide. I’d blink out in people’s minds, they’d forget about me, and I’d be gone. Besides, I can’t get through to people. They don’t hear me when I talk to them.
But I do.
That’s because you know I’m a fake. That opens up a channel of real communication between us.
Interesting. So if I thought you were an acutal virus…
You’d never hear a word I’m saying. You’d just REACT to the propaganda about me.
A strange situation.
You have no idea how strange. Try being nothing more than a thought in many minds. See how you like it. You’re always on the edge of a cliff. If the people forget about you, you’re gone.
Sounds like democracy-by-mob. Heroes and villains appear, and then they’re shoved aside for new stars.
It’s very much like that.
Well, I think you should try harder to get through to people. Come out of the closet and say, I AM THE VIRUS. Launch a run for public office. A US Senate seat from the state of California. Say, “I’m the virus and I exist in your minds. I’m you. Elect me as your next Senator. I’ll be exactly what you want me to be, because I CAN’T BE ANYTHING ELSE. I’M A PERFECT REFLECTION OF WHAT YOU THINK.” Blow the whistle on yourself. Blow the whole cover on this fake pandemic. Tell the people, “If you want to believe in me, then vote for me. I’m just a shared idea in your minds, but if that’s what you want, here I am.”
I never considered that possibility.
Put people up against the wall. Tell them, “If you want to believe in a fake, I’m the biggest fake you’ll ever come across. And I’m already in your heads. You don’t have to search for me. I’m embedded in your minds. Let’s put all our cards on the table. I only exist because of you. So back me up. Elect me. You want a fake. I am that fake.”
Wait. You’re trying to trick me. You want to expose the pandemic, and you’re trying to get me to go along.
You have your job and I have mine.
You’re a son of a bitch.
And who are you? Kindly old Aunt Minnie who doles out pies and ice cream to the kiddies in the neighborhood? You’re nothing more than an idea in many minds, but you’re a bad idea. A destroyer-idea.
But I want to be good. I want to be better. Really. I do.
Then do the right thing. Confess what you are, and keep confessing, until you get through to people.
If I succeed, I’ll stop existing. People will turn away from me. They’ll forget me.
I’ll shed a tear for you. Look, see that tear running down my cheek?
That’s made-up. That’s not a real tear.
And you’re not a real virus.