POWAY — Just when we finally got swine flu fear out of our heads, today the department of health and human services announced that a new pandemic, cooties, is spreading rapidly across San Diego County.
So far all we know about the illness is that you can contract it if someone points at you and accuses you of having cooties in a playful, teasing tone of voice. The odds of catching cooties is increased if you’re surrounded by a group of peers while someone teases you.
“You can only get cooties verbally,” said Dr. James Kindler, a local physician who specializes in cooties research. “It’s okay to touch, kiss, and have unprotected sex with people that have cooties,” he added. “However, if your partner claims that you have cooties, then there’s a good chance you’ll be infected. Currently, the best way to avoid cooties is to go out and buy earplugs.”
Since Dr. Kindler’s announcement, local pharmacies have been selling earplugs like hotcakes.
Robert Graiser, manager of the Serra Mesa CVS said, “We took in record revenues last month selling face masks to people worried about the swine flu…we’re going to surpass that figure with this month’s ear plug sales. Thanks to the 24/7 news coverage of cooties, business is great!”
Sources say the illness was started on the playground of Poway Elementary School by a 3rd grader named Timmy Leibowitz.
“It was devastating” said Leibowitz’s teacher, Gillian Freeman. “He gave cooties to eight other kids that day.”
The kids infected by Leibowitz were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, where they were quarantined in a soundproof isolation booth to prevent them from further spreading the disease.
Feeling concerned that the public isn’t panicking enough, this afternoon Vice President Joe Biden issued a statement recommending that people stay home and avoid any sort of traveling.
“One person on an airplane could shout ‘everyone on here has cooties,’ which would infect all of the passengers,” said Biden.
Though the majority of the population is unfamiliar with the health effects of cooties, the fear of contracting the mysterious illness is so great that many people can’t help but stay home and follow the ongoing media coverage.
“Cooties must be a horrible sickness because it’s being covered non-stop on CNN,” said one scared local resident, who is convinced that locking himself in his basement is the best defense against cooties. “Until Anderson Cooper stops talking about cooties, I’m not going outside,” he added.
Not everyone is convinced that the cooties outbreak deserves the amount of media coverage its receiving. One local psychologist explained, “Cooties, like swine flu, is an over-hyped illness, and the constant news coverage is causing people to drastically overreact to a condition that is for the most part, mental. I’m convinced CNN invented both cooties and swine flu purely for ratings. They did the same thing with heebee jeebees in 1982.”