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March 30, 2020

#2287: Pathogen Resistance

Pathogen Resistance

[A small colony of coccus bacteria, a bacteriophage, and a protozoon, with an eye, are floating together.]

Bacteriophage: I’m worried about humans developing resistance to us.

Bacteriophage: Using pasta.

[In a half height panel we see two macrophages, each with an eye, and lots of Y-shaped antibodies chasing three protozoa, also with one eye each. One protozoon is already covered in antibodies and seems to have fallen over. Above the panel is the text that the bacteriophage is narrating.]

Bacteriophage (narrating): The human immune system is a nightmare.

Bacteriophage (narrating): It’s the worst.

Bacteriophage (narrating): It’s the scariest thing in the universe.

Macrophage: Who wants a Huuggg

Antibody-covered protozoon: Nooo!

[Close-up on bacteriophage]

Bacteriophage: We can only survive by staying ahead of it. Keep jumping from person to person, keep mutating and evolving.

Bacteriophage: But now humans are adapting too fast.

[Water pipes. A mosquito net with a bed under it. An unopened condom package.]

Bacteriophage (narrating): We spread through their water. They built pipes.

Bacteriophage (narrating): We used mosquitoes. They put out nets and poison everywhere.

Bacteriophage (narrating): We spread through sex, and suddenly they all had these plastic things.

[Depictions of seven coronavirus with spikes, one very large, one large, two small and three tiny. They are above a picture of Hairbun and Cueball shaking hands, while exhaling a cloud and tiny droplets spraying all over from both their clouds from exhaling.]

Bacteriophage (narrating): This time, we really thought we had them.

Bacteriophage (narrating): One of us got good at transmission through everyday contact.

[A row of four sets of human lungs and their trachea is shown. The first set of lungs has just one black dot in the left and a few black dots in the right lung. The second has the bottom right lung covered in black, and the left lung has a bit black on either side and still some black dots in the middle. The third has most of each lung covered in black, except maybe a quarter of each lungs top. The fourth set of lungs are completely filled with black. Below them is a graph showing exponential growth with an X-axis with 17 equidistant ticks and to the right a Y-axis with eight equidistant ticks. This time the narrating is indicated to come from off-panel left with a speech line, and so are the two answers, coming from the off-panel right. It is like if the speakers are looking at this chart from off-panel.]

Bacteriophage (off-panel left): It was great. We were tearing through lungs, spreading like wildfire.

Voice (off-panel right): Hooray!

Voice 2 (off-panel right): I hate lungs.

[Close-up of bacteriophage “head”.]

Bacteriophage: Then, all of a sudden, humans everywhere just…stopped. They stopped working, stopped seeing friends.

[Megan is sitting on a couch with a remote control in her hand, watching a flat screen TV. Cueball is at a sink with a mirror, washing his hands under hot water indicated by heat lines coming up from his hands. They are facing away from each other. Again speech is come from off-panel left and right with speech lines]

Voice (off-panel left): What are they doing?

Bacteriophage (off-panel right): Nothing!

Bacteriophage (off-panel right): They’re just sitting there in their houses washing their hands.

[Cueball stands in an otherwise empty room He is surrounded by falling droplets, many of which are now lying on the floor around his feet. Among the droplets is a coronavirus that shouts out.]

Bacteriophage (narrating): Suddenly humans became dead ends. We tried to jump from one to the next, but there’s no one to jump to.

Coronavirus: Help!

Bacteriophage (narrating): We can’t escape.

[Three large Coronaviruses and several smaller ones are encroached on by at least four macrophages, one showing a large eye, surrounding them as well as streams of Y-shaped antibodies mowing in towards the viruses. A rectangular panel at the top, is placed over the top edge of the panel. The narrating text is inside this panel:]

Bacteriophage (narrating): We’re trapped in there with those ghastly immune systems.

Antibodies: It’s huug tiiiiime

Macrophage top left: Come here for a huuug

Macrophage bottom left: Huuuuugs

[A slim panel, with text above and below the panel with narration. In the panel there are two larger coronaviruses covered in antibodies and attacked directly by macrophages. Smaller coronavirus are shown covered in antibodies as well. Some of the macrophages are actively devouring viruses. While others already contain broken-down remnants of a coronavirus. Most of the macrophages has an eye.]

Bacteriophage (narrating): Even if we win a fight, there’s nowhere to go.

Macrophage a the top: Huuuuuuuggss

Macrophage at the bottom: Huuugs

Bacteriophage (narrating): By staying inside, humans have become resistant.

[Back to the discussion between the coccus, the bacteriophage and the protozoon with eye.]

Coccus bacteria: How could they evolve that fast? Humans take decades to reproduce!

Bacteriophage: It’s not evolution. It’s something with their brains.

Protozoon: I wondered what those were for!

[Bacteriophage pointing with a leg to Cueball and Megan who are looking at their phones; Megan and Cueball are then walking to the right; Megan and Cueball are shown at separate sinks with mirrors washing their hands.]

Bacteriophage: Humans started looking at their phones, talking, writing words, and making signs. A human named “Gloria Gaynor” filmed herself singing at her bathroom sink.

Bacteriophage: And then they bought lots of pasta.

Bacteriophage: Then, around the world, they all went home and started washing their hands.

[Bacteriophage and protozoon with eye.]

Bacteriophage: They saw what we were doing and changed their behavior to stop us.

Protozoon: Brains are the worst.

[Coccus, bacteriophage and protozoon with eye.]

Coccus bacteria: It’s not over, right? They can’t sustain this. They must be bored and tired.

Coccus bacteria: Will they give up?

Bacteriophage: I don’t know. They seem determined to protect each other.

[Coccus, bacteriophage and protozoon with eye.]

Bacteriophage: And

Bacteriophage: They have a lot of pasta.