Exclusively Online | Fall 2020 Issue

“A Lighter Look” — Dr. Wit

Rick Meyer's regularly appearing column takes a lighter look at politics and public affairs around the world. This month: John P. Moore

By Richard E. Meyer

Meet John P. Moore, microbiologist, immunologist and man of humor. He tucks wit into his academic work like flashes of sunshine.

“We use our accumulated knowledge of the structure and function of the HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoprotein trimer to design and evaluate recombinant forms of these proteins as immunogens for vaccine development.”

Got that?

“COVID-19 Vaccines: ‘Warp Speed’ Needs Mind Melds, Not Warped Minds.”


Moore, who holds a BA, MA and PhD from Cambridge University, is a virologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. He is at the forefront of debates in his specialties. Moore has champions and critics, but he is rarely without drollery.

Here are some Lighter Look favorites from a list of observations and quotations about COVID-19 that he received from friends who found it on the Internet. Moore included it in one of his academic literature surveys.

  1. The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.
  2. I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone.
  3. 2019: Stay away from negative people. 2020: Stay away from positive people.
  4. The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!
  5. This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog. It was obvious she thought her dog understood her. I came into my house and told my dog. We laughed a lot.
  6. Every few days, try on your jeans just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
  7. Does anyone know if we can take showers yet, or should we just keep washing our hands?
  8. This virus has done what no woman has been able to do: cancel sports, shut down all bars & keep men at home!
  9. I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole,” would become a national policy, but here we are!
  10. I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.
  11. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard. I’m getting tired of the Living Room.
  12. Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask and ask for money.

Lest we forget…

  • “It’s just like the flu.”
  • “It will disappear, just a like a miracle.”
  • “It’s only 15 cases and soon it will go down to zero.”
  • “I don’t take responsibility at all.”
  • “Herd mentality.”
  • “100,000 deaths is a very good number.”
  • “Our response was a perfect 10.”
  • “I’m a big TV rating hit.”
  • “I’m number one on Facebook.”
  • “President authority is total.”
  • “It is what it is.”
  • “We’ll have a robust third and fourth quarter.”
  • “Kung flu.”
  • “Nobody will be talking about the Covid-19 on November 4th.”
  • “There’s nothing more we could have done.”
  • “We are rounding the corner.”
  • “I don’t want to create a panic.”
  • “Fake news!”




The Last Laugh:

A day without laughter is a day wasted. – Charlie Chaplin


Richard E. Meyer

Richard E. Meyer

Meyer is the senior editor of Blueprint. He has been a White House correspondent and national news features writer for the Associated Press and a roving national correspondent and editor of long-form narratives at the Los Angeles Times.

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