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John Oliver Looks Forward to the Next Pandemic on Last Week Tonight

It’s February 2021 and we’re all still up to our nasal passages in the COVID-19 pandemic, but on this week’s season premiere of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver is taking a look at our next pandemic. In other words, “If you want to see a British person do something hot or interesting, go watch Bridgerton,” he warns. “A lot of jizzing in blankets on that show. However much you expect … there’s significantly more.”

As the late-night host points out, from SARS to Ebola to Zika, infectious-disease outbreaks have experienced a significant increase since 1980, and, given how flat-footed the coronavirus caught most of us at the end of 2019, we should do ourselves a solid and actually learn from this experience. However, that doesn’t really sound like us. “Unfortunately, there is every chance that, after all this is over, we’ll end up treating the coronavirus like a really bad fart at Thanksgiving,” Oliver predicts. “That is, waiting patiently for it to dissipate so we can never speak of it again, and collectively pretend it didn’t just kill Grandma.”

So, where is the next pandemic going to come from? Human encroachment on the Earth’s ecosystems through deforestation and other land changes seems like the most likely culprit, the Last Week Night host explains. And that’s not to mention the global exotic animal trade, factory farming, and, of course, Nintendo’s Animal Crossing.

“You honestly still think it’s a good idea to live in close proximity with a raccoon, an owl, a gorilla, a tiger, a sheep, a koala, an octopus, a hamster, a penguin, a rhino, and a chicken named Goose?,” he demands. “All of whom traveled there from different parts of the world? That’s not an island paradise. It’s a disease Chernobyl waiting to happen. Shut that shit down!”
Oliver concludes that our best bet is to remember and actually apply the lessons of 2020 and plan to invest a lot of money in practical solutions. And, if at all possible, please, do not to inhale guano. It’s just a recipe for disaster.

Last Week Tonight John Oliver Looks Forward to Next Pandemic