I do not envy actual journalists who have to not only cover the increasingly insane news but deliver it to people who are doing their damnedest to avoid reality at all costs. I also do not envy comedians who have to address contemporary topics–like the pervasive coronavirus–and find a way to be funny without pissing people off or coming across as callous or disconnected. So it’s with much respect, appreciation, and thanks to John Oliver and his Last Week Tonight team for managing to wrangle this last week in news–which was really a year’s worth of dystopian nightmares in the century that was March 2020–and deliver it in a concise, understandable, and informative way.
That doesn’t make the news any less infuriating. You have your choice of villains to pin the blame on this week, be it those who are praising the “Die for the Economy” death cults, those who are holding “Coronavirus Parties”, or those who have the power and ability to flatten the curve, but haven’t done so. You can’t help but sympathize with Oliver as he very clearly wants to reach through the screen to strangle said villains, unless of course you happen to be one of their ilk. Luckily, Last Week Tonight also offers up a slight balm in this episode thanks to a hand-washing hamster (which I would gladly elect as President) and a sign language interpreter who very clearly communicates how fucked-up this whole situation has become.
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, John Oliver discusses President Trump’s inconsistent response to the pandemic, including his suggestion of an Easter deadline for sending America back to work, and his reluctance to use the Defense Production Act.