“It’s not often we’re able to capture the public's attention the way we did with COVID-19,” said Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Stephen Hahn. “We want to capitalize on that momentum with a follow-up that really does justice to our first modern-day pandemic.”
To that end, Hahn explained, the FDA has already begun working on a much-anticipated sequel to the highly acclaimed COVID-19, tentatively titled "COVID-20" or "budlightvirus."
“It’s going to have similar flu-like tendencies, but even more so,” said Hahn. “Possibly with some autoimmune components thrown in, just to really keep people on their toes. We want them riveted.”
Hahn noted that the public response to COVID-19 couldn’t have been more positive. Populations worldwide whole-heartedly embraced the malady known as coronavirus, incorporating it into their daily lives with everything from lockdowns and grocery store shutdowns to sporting event and travel cancellations. “COVID-19 was much more than just a passing fad,” said Han. “It became a lifestyle.”
And according to Hahn, the FDA aims to outdo itself with its follow-up pandemic. COVID-20 is expected to produce an even more massive strain on economies, social life, and global food systems than that ever achieved by COVID-19. “We’re playing around with a few different concepts at this point,” said Hahn. “One possibility is having a whole sector of the population living on peanut butter and popcorn. Throw in a nut allergy or two, and the plot basically writes itself.”
Until the release of COVID-20, however, the FDA urges Americans to continue to make the most of COVID-19 while it is still widely available. “It's no exaggeration to say that coronavirus is already an all-time FDA classic,” said Hahn. “So if you haven't yet delved in, now's the time.”