While a spiralling pandemic has hogged international news for the past sixteen months, COVID-19 is not the only fever sweeping the planet. English students, retired teachers, and lonely librarians around the globe have been driven into a frenzy trying to procure an edition of the novel, Coronavirus.
The book, which caused quite a stir at its unveiling in Wuhan over a year ago, has quickly become a worldwide sensation, spreading from country to country and inspiring increasingly potent spinoffs. While its first print run was curbed at the behest of the WBO (World Book Organization), publishers have rapidly increased production in recent weeks in various locations around the globe.
In Ontario, government incompetence has allowed publishers free rein in super spreading the novel, a move greatly appreciated by English majors who have dropped whatever James Joyce book they’ve been “reading” for the past year to pick up a copy of the easily communicable sci-fi thriller.
“My raison d’etre is not to engage in paperback fiction per se,” explains Marcel Keats, an English major at Trinity College clad in a beanie and pretentiously placed scarf. “But vis-a-vis the novel Coronavirus, even I can’t retain such a toffee-nosed persuasion.”
Following the success of the omnipresent novel, other artsy pests on campus remain hopeful that they might be catered to in upcoming mutations. Music students are awaiting the completion of Philip Glass’ forthcoming SARS Symphony, while Cinema Studies majors are lurking in the crevices of the Carlton Cinema awaiting the chance to analyze Contagion 2: The Second Strain.
As for the general public, The Boundary’s Literature and Health correspondents are in agreement: the novel Coronavirus and its pretentious literary fanbase should be avoided like the plague.
Photo Credit: Nona Jalali