John Craven: “Covid Coffee Underbelly”

Over many years, people have remarked that my integrity is beyond reproach. But, dear friends, I feel that I need to tell you an almost unbelievable tale about how I stumbled on a conspiracy and had no choice other than to blow the whistle and take the consequences.

It started with a paper in the Journal of Delusional Science claiming a link between holding a coffee cup and immunity from COVID. It caught the attention of a prominent, not very bright, ‘Shock Jock’ desperate for TV ratings. He saw a golden opportunity to spread the word to his followers and to reap a bonanza from coffee companies and coffee shops. The biggest risk was from the medical and scientific classes who would, in all probability, insist on properly designed experiments published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The saving grace was that no one in the scientific community listened to the Shock Jock and, as an added precaution, he told his paltry audience they must keep the story to themselves and only share it with trusted families and friends.

At first, people in the know just bought their coffee as usual and drank it in a way that attracted no attention. It worked like a charm. None of them caught COVID and their belief in the power of coffee was reinforced. Inevitably, the word spread to less reliable people and they made the leap in logic that just walking with a coffee cup rendered them immune and, in some perverted way, this validated their belief that masks were an over-kill. The pandemic rolled on and ever- increasing numbers of people were carrying coffee cups on their daily walk and dispensing with face masks or, at best, using them to warm their chins.

Respectable people were becoming steadily less tolerant with this wanton behaviour and, not knowing the coffee cup/COVID immunity theory, were beginning to challenge individuals that were in flagrant breach of the COVID laws. This, of course, led to some pretty ugly scenes and, as emergency wards began to overflow with beaten bodies, the authorities were directed to get to the bottom of this apparent outbreak of civil disobedience.

Lockdown followed lockdown and, quite by accident, I stumbled on this coffee cup underground movement. What was the honourable path forward? My timid nature prompted a retreat into doing nothing, but after a particularly harrowing news item about the COVID-induced death of a teenager, I could no longer remain silent. It was thought that the deceased teen had become infected when traversing a street full of maskless hoons who were, it was reported, all carrying coffee cups.

My disclosure of the coffee cup COVID immunity theory was sensational and, as the media blitz flourished, I was also subjected to threats allegedly prompted by the self- important Shock Jock, aided and abetted by the coffee companies. The baying chorus pointed to proof of their mad crusade in the form of more articles in the Journal of Delusional Science. It did not take long for the genuine scientific community to expose the articles as fraudulent. Not surprisingly, the dopey Shock Jock and the less reputable parts of the coffee industry thundered about the lack of real evidence and carried on as before. The science-driven COVID suppression elite thundered back, and, in time, the unmasked coffee cup mob was reduced to a nasty little rump of faux freedom fighters.

Transmission of COVID plummeted.

I am sure that you are imagining that, at least, I would be bestowed with an Order of Australia but, sad to say, I am still in hiding from the thugs that have seen their ill-gotten gains go south. Whistle blowing is, unfortunately, not on the list of Australian achievements worthy of celebration.

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