The NCDOTOB (North Carolina Department Of Turning Off our Brain) has announced its intention to wrap the newest 2020 crisis – the oncoming storm Isaias – with the year’s first one, COVID-19. NCDOTOB held a press conference Friday evening to announce it.
Director Timmy Downtrotten – whose childhood experience of constantly having to be saved from falling in a well by some collie named Lassie has made him ideal for this job – said that the decision was made after NCDOTOB received an email wondering whether hurricanes could be carriers of the virus – if, in fact, they might actually be formed because of virus particles from multiple never-maskers that are carried into sky by wind shears and carelessly discarded umbrellas owned by magical British nannies.
"I know the umbrella part sounds a little silly, and you may wonder why we would take something like this seriously" Downtrotten said, "but remember that we are the US government.
"Besides," he added, "I’ve seen Mary Poppins and I believe that, without the added weight of Julie Andrews that bumbershoot could achieve some real elevation, while the fabric in an open umbrella could provide housing for a whole society of those little COVID guys.
"While there is no science to support COVID-induced hurricanes, we are taking the possibility seriously," he said.
"First of all, to protect our citizens, we are diverting funds from providing emergency supplies like water and generators to building a giant facemask that the hurricane will have to go through before entering North Carolina. We hope in that way to remove up to 80 percent of the virus particles that could be coming in along with it.
"The mask will be of the I-95 style, only bigger—"
"Do you mean, N95?" a reporter asked. "I-95 is a freeway."
"I realize that, young person," Downtrotten replied, "but we use that name because this particular mask will be 75 miles wide by 200 feet high. It’s got to be, to catch as much of the storm as we can when it makes landfall. I know that’s a tall order, but North Carolina is a textile state and we believe we can do it.
"To hold the mask, the state’s forestry service has traveled up and down our coast, pinpointing the largest possible southern pines that we can loop the I-95’s giant ear pieces around, and we will reinforce the trees with wires to keep them from blowing down. By Sunday we will have a good idea of where landfall could be so we will know which trees we need to use.
"As to transporting the mask, we have lined up two freight trains to carry it to its two trees."
"And if the hurricane comes where there are no train tracks for transport?"
"We don’t expect that to be a problem," Downtrotten said. "We’ve put Joel Osteen on retainer to put in a good word to help guide the hurricane’s approach."
Downtrotten then checked off a list for residents to follow. Among them:
Stay at least six feet from all hurricane-force winds;
Isaias is expected to make COVID testing easier. Instead of having to manually navigate a long Q-tip through your nasal passages, testers will simply let the wind drive it in there.
Asked if NCDOTOB would do anything to deal with the aftermath of the hurricane if it turns out it was not carrying COVID after all, Downtrotten shrugged and noted how expensive a 75-mile-long mask would be. "But we’re not going to leave you in a lurch," he said. "Our website will clearly show the addresses of all the toilet paper, meat and paper towel hoarders from early in this pandemic so you can supply yourself with everything you need."