Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control are celebrating the discovery of an inexpensive device that if used can reduce one’s chances of contracting Coronavirus by up to 95%. It’s a mask, you idiot.

“Coronavirus is a dangerous and highly contagious disease but the risk of infection can be greatly reduced by wearing a small mask on your face when you go to the store.”

This reporter asked his least favorite Aunt on Facebook about her reaction to the amazing discovery.

“Aunt Rosie, did you hear you can reduce your chances of catching Coronavirus by wearing a mask?????” I asked my mom’s sister before sending her several articles about the efficacy of wearing masks. Aunt Rosie is one of those crazy people you see on @KarensInTheWild. She watches Tucker Carlson every night and holds very strong opinions about 5G. I love her as much as I hate her.

I waited for Aunt Rosie to respond for several minutes, seeing ellipses come and go multiple times, only to eventually vanish. Fifteen minutes later I received a call from my mom telling me that “Aunt Rosie loves me but felt she had to unfriend me because I was trying to start a fight with her.”
“I sent her information about how wearing masks can save lives! How is that starting a fight?” I asked my mom. “We’re not going to have any family left if we don’t work to keep it together,” she said to me. I told her I wouldn’t try to message my Aunt Rosie anymore.

Aunt Rosie is the third Aunt I’ve lost this year. I lost my Aunt Anne during the protests after she took issue with posts I made that criticized the police for killing people black people and firing upon protesters for no reason. “I AM INCENSED THAT ANYONE WOULD EVER CRITICIZE THE POLICE” she texted me after seeing a post denouncing police brutality. Her son is a police officer and after she saw my post she called my mother and said she felt it was best that if there is a Thanksgiving this year our family celebrates it separately.

Then, a few weeks later, we lost my Aunt Beth to coronavirus. As in she’s dead. She decided to go to church without a mask on because it was not mandatory to wear a mask in the stupid little Texas county she lives in. “I know Jesus will protect me!” she wrote on Facebook two weeks before she died. He didn’t.

You’d think the loss of my Aunt Beth would force my family to take the threat of Coronavirus seriously. But it didn’t. My Aunt Anne is still so irrationally angry about the protesters that all she can say if you mention Coronavirus is: “If it’s so bad then how come you have thousands of people in the street looting?”

My Aunt Rosie, who convinced my Aunt Beth not to wear a mask by sharing links she sort of half-read about Carbon Dioxide poisoning and God’s Law, has become even more entrenched in her ways.

“Requiring someone to wear a mask is a violation of my rights as an American!” she told me at Aunt Rosie’s funeral. She had just lost her sister so I didn’t press it. My Facebook message to her was my attempt at education, but she can’t be educated. She is just so angry at everything, all the time, and that anger has caused her to polarize things I assumed we could always agree on. And because everything has become polarized to such an extent that even a message about how wearing a mask can prevent a deadly disease is seen as starting a fight or advocating for the degradation of personal liberties, she deletes me so her world view cannot be challenged.

So now the only thing my Aunt Rosie and I can agree on is we both have one less crazy person on our wall.

A compromise has been reached with activists demanding the U.S. government remove Thomas Jefferson’s statue from the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. on account that he was a slave-owning rapist.

For many, the idea of removing a memorial to the author of the Declaration of Independence is a sacrilegious affront to our nation’s history and one of our Country’s greatest minds, while others are okay with it because he was still a slave-owning rapist even if he was really really smart or whatever. The two sides appeared to be at an impasse when representatives from both sides met over Zoom and worked out a compromise: The Jefferson Memorial will remain but the statue of Thomas Jefferson will be replaced with a 19-foot tall marble likeness of Daveed Diggs.

A new viral movement swept Miami on Sunday when
thousands of white Miamians came out for “Solidarity Brunch,” bringing together casual outdoor dining and the need for racial justice and equality in America.

“We wanted to help shine a light on the issues black America is facing today,” said Solidarity Brunch co-creator Kaleigh Andrews. Rather than protesting, contacting political representatives, or donating to relevant organizations like Black Lives Matter or the Community Bail Fund, Andrews said she “felt like brunch was the best way to bring attention to this super important issue.”

Created by Andrews and her Brickell roommate Ashley Nicols, the viral movement, which saw brunches across Bal Harbour, Coral Gables, and Key Biscayne, began as the germ of an idea among friends. “It’s literally hilarious – we were having brunch and talking about how upset we were seeing these videos of police brutalizing black people and protestors clogging up our feeds – all of a sudden, this huge mass of people came by chanting ‘Black Lives Matter!’ We would’ve joined, but we still had half a pitcher of mimosa left. As they were just out of earshot, I whispered “Brunch Life Matters!” and Ashley turned to me and said:
“Oh my God, Kay – Brunch!”

“We instantly realized that we could use our voice, our passion and our anger for something greater than ourselves,” explains Nichols. Andrews made a graphic on her phone, triple-checked it wasn’t black square day again, and shared it on Instagram. By the time they got home, more than 1,700 people had shared it, including Brickell “Southern Comfort-style” restaurant “Gentry Fried.”

“It’s literally the least we could do,” said Gentry Fried owner Kyle Blake. “We wanted to make it loud and clear to our neighbors and our community where we stand on the issues of our time without actually saying or changing anything.”

To honor George Floyd, all of the brunch attendees ate pancakes and sipped mimosas in silence for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, the same amount of time Floyd is seen being held with a knee to his neck in the video of his arrest. “It really let us savor the flavors of the moment,” said one attendee who would not share his name for fear that there were better ways to help Black Americans he wasn’t aware of.

When asked whether the movement would be viewed as insensitive to protests going on across the country, Nichols was adamant that it wouldn’t. “Just this morning I shared a picture on my feed that said ‘Activism isn’t a one-way street’ – brunch is just our street. Plus, my Wag Walker is Black and I asked her about it and she said it was fine.”

Given how many shares their graphic received, Andrew and Nichols said they knew they had to start organizing. “It was really hard work,” says Andrews. “Tagging, commenting, emailing – organizing a movement is really hard work. I even made a couple phone calls. But we brunched, like, so hard for Black people.”

Nichols says one of the hardest parts of their work was deciding on a dress code. “Attending the Solidarity Brunch was important, but even more important was to make sure everyone knows that you went to the Solidarity Brunch…Seeing all of my white friends wearing all-white in honor of black people we don’t even know – it truly does prove that symbols speak louder than actions.”

The Plantain asked Nichols if the all-white dress code might be considered tone deaf for obvious reasons, but Nichols disagreed: “First of all, I don’t see color, and white and black aren’t even colors. Second, we put a lot of thought into this. “Everyone saw what happened when we posted the black squares without thinking too much about it. We didn’t make that mistake again.”

To aid their efforts, they hired professional photographers, videographers, social media strategists, and a public relations expert “so that everyone would know just how hard we brunched for Black people…That’s why we asked everyone who attended to use the hashtag #BrunchLifeMatters and #BLM.”

Andrews and Nichols worked with Blake to create several custom cocktails for the event, including the “Pepper Spray,” which featured Hennessy, blackberries, peppercorns, club soda and lime and had “a real kick to it,” said Nichols. But Andrews says the event was about more than just sipping cocktails while others marched.

“Solidarity Brunch was about bridging divisions, that’s why we split the from the drink sales evenly between the ACLU and the Police Benevolent Association. “I can’t believe I have to say this in 2020, but police need to be more benevolent towards Black people.” While she didn’t research what Policemen’s Benevolent Associations actually do, she said her intentions were more important than educating herself.

Asked to comment, a representative from the Police Benevolent Association said that they were happy to take these idiots’ money since there were no requirements to stop killing black people, profiling minorities, violating human rights, or tear-gassing peaceful protestors.

As for timing, Nichols says it was vital to host the brunch before Brickell residents moved on to “the next viral and social trend ” – which she calls a “real concern” considering how few Black residents she sees at the Brickell dog park, though she’s pretty sure there are at least two.

While Gentry Fried said they did discuss whether to
implement social distancing measures given black Americans are three times more likely to die of Covid-19 than their white counterparts, they decided it was more important to get as many people in the restaurant as possible. “This was our chance to make a difference,” Blake said. “We didn’t want to let the Black community down.”

“I had never experienced a global pandemic before” said 34 year-old Kendall resident Michael Stevenson. He recalled bravely surviving the 2014 ebola crisis from the safety of his Westwood Lakes home, a virus that killed over 11,000 people, including two Americans, and for which President Trump recently took credit for solving even though he wasn’t in office at the time.

Amid the Coronavirus crisis, toilet paper and paper towels have been flying off retail shelves, prompting Stevenson to join the fray. The unemployed aspiring app developer and self-described scientist had wandered the aisles of an Anglo Publix, a Home Depot, a Costco, a Target, and a Navarros, but found nothing but empty shelves. After driving around for nearly three hours, a visit to a Kendall CVS y Mas changed his outlook – and his life – forever.

After giving up on his toilet paper mission, he bought three tubes of Mentos at a self-checkout register before experiencing what Republican pop-psychologists refer to as an “epiphany.” “The CVS robot was printing out a seven-foot long CVS receipt, and in those six minutes, I realized — ‘just because they call it ‘toilet’ paper doesn’t mean it’s the only thing I can use on the toilet.”

“Paper comes from trees, and then they just press it into different forms. Coffee filters, paper plates, old cardboard Amazon boxes – it’s all just paper…” Stevenson thought. “What if I expanded my horizons?’ He hurried home to test his hypothesis before rushing back to the CVS for seven tubes of Hemorrhoid cream and Neosporin.

He says he wanted to test his theory on old newspapers, but couldn’t find a Miami Herald or a New Times anywhere. “Newspapers are especially important at a time like this. Not because of the news – I get my vital information from poorly-sourced memes my friends send me – but because of the quality of the paper. Thin, pliable, and dirt cheap. I mean it’s just pages and pages of gold.”

Stevenson says he’s planning to launch an app in the next few weeks wherein users can upload a photo of an object and the app will tell them whether they can wipe their ass with it. “It’ll be called ‘Wipe With It? 2’ [WWIII]. “My cousin stole the copyright to ‘Wipe With It? 1’ after I called to tell him about it. I’m hoping it goes viral,” added Stevenson before apologizing profusely for the pun and running to the bathroom to wash his hands.

Though he feels like he’s discovered a gold-mine, Stevenson says WWIII wasn’t even his first “aha” moment during the Coronavirus crisis. “I was employing ‘social distancing’” — the CDC-recommended method of staying at least six feet away from the nearest person — “and I realized I’ve already been practicing it for like a decade,” explaining that he had spent every weekend for ten years alone in his house with the lights off watching reruns of The Office. “Honestly, the coronavirus is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Update: In related news, The Miami Herald has reportedly quadrupled its hard-copy sales. A Herald spokesperson credited Mr. Stevenson, and by extension The Plantain, with single-handedly funding its pensions for years to come. “He truly is a genius,” said the spokesperson.