As the setting for an unnerving number of movies about pandemics — a zombie outbreak in World War Z; a deadly virus in 12 Monkeys; killer plants in The Happening — Philly is rightfully concerned about when and if the coronavirus will strike here.
But Philadelphians have strange coping mechanisms, and when things get deadly serious, sometimes Philly gets seriously silly.
From humor and hostility to hustle and hubris, here’s how Philly is reacting to the coronavirus.
Some Philadelphians are under the impression that their immune systems are impenetrable because they’ve already been introduced to every germ here — a city where aggressive smells hide around corners waiting to punch you in the face, and litter seems to asexually reproduce.
Others feel that if the coronavirus tried to introduce itself to Philly, the city would introduce itself to the coronavirus just like it does to sports fans from opposing teams.
As hand sanitizers and face masks fly off store shelves faster than Nick Foles’ Eagles jerseys did in Philly on Feb. 5, 2018, people are finding uniquely Philly ways to prepare in the event the coronavirus strikes our area.
When it comes to who might be struck with the first area case of coronavirus, Philadelphians have theories — a lot of them — including a certain mascot who recently underwent a questionable enhancement procedure at an undisclosed location.
Long known for our distaste of authority and our love for doing whatever we damn well feel like, many Philadelphians are actively wishing the coronavirus this way in order to escape school, work, and the existential anxiety of daily existence.
For some, self-imposed quarantines, the smell of fear, and the realization of the finality of life hold the promise of everlasting love.
While there’s been no scientific studies we’re aware of, we can only imagine that as more people stay indoors, birth rates will rise across the region.
A photo posted on the Philly Reddit channel over the weekend shows one industrious man standing on a corner holding a cardboard sign over his face that reads: “Coronavirus Protection.”
At the man’s feet: a standard air purifier.
The Reddit user who posted the photo, who asked only to be identified as Sergio, said he saw the savvy street salesman at the corner of Second Street and Glenwood Avenue in North Philly on Friday afternoon on his daily commute, but has not spotted him since.
“My reaction was ‘Wow that’s funny, his marketing is on point,' ” Sergio said. “I respect his hustle, and he also made my day.”
It is unclear if someone purchased the man’s lone coronavirus protection device or if there was no market for it.
Listen, we know the coronavirus is a problem, but we got a lot of problems in Philly. Way more than 99. From reports of a gas odor throughout Center City on Monday to stolen ambulances, safe injection sites, and unrelenting violence, here’s what some Philadelphians think the city should be worried about more than the coronavirus.
To be clear, we checked with Philadelphia police and the reports of a “completely nude man armed with a shovel," from the Citizen app were unfounded. So there’s one problem we don’t have. Today.
But, no matter what happens, Philadelphians will find a way to cope.