People are going to handle this virus in a slew of ways.
Many will stay home as they've been advised.
Some might even dedicate themselves to service to others.
And, of course, many simply cannot be convinced to exercise precautions. Instead, they're opportunists, they use the moment to build internet fame.
And in 2020, that means licking things apparently.
Some even choose to lick public toilet seats with an attitude. Then they get the virus.
As with every crisis ever, the least productive, most problematic voices during the pandemic have been the loudest.
For proof, look no further than the latest social media challenge that cropped up on TikTok in early March 2020. To gain attention and cultivate a platform on the video-sharing social media site, people began to film themselves posturing invincibility, licking obviously germ and pathogen-ridden objects in the midst of the pandemic.
And where better to go than a public toilet?
"Larz," aTikTok "influencer" joined the ranks of the public lickers with his contribution to the TikTok challenge. The video is not some close-up, poorly filmed monstrosity.
This is no quick, fuzzed out, tongue-licking-a-box, low budget production like those ice cream lickers.
Larz struts in carrying a gym bag that matches his outfit EXACTLY, gives a quick glance in the mirror during the lavatory cat walk, enters a waiting stall, drops the bag, braces himself with a hand on the toilet, and does two full licks along the rim before popping his head to the side.
WTF!! Really!! Licking toilets now!! https://t.co/C2iaRHxHHa— Gabe Slaybaugh (@Gabe Slaybaugh) 1584969484.0
It is unclear whether he washed his hand for 20 seconds after this.
But for all that confidence, reality slapped back. The licking and the strutting came to a screeching halt.
Larz had flown too close to the sun.
On March 26, just a couple weeks after the bathroom video, Larz posted another video of himself laying in a hospital bed, the caption claiming he got the virus.
While it is not certain that the bathroom licking excursion particularly caused him to contract the virus, the optics are not great.
There was a near-unanimous lack of sympathy for Larz's new plight.
@JustJared Fecal-Oral Route transmission done right 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼🤦🏽♀️ Kids these days... pffffft— Trish #StopAsianHate (@Trish #StopAsianHate) 1585238057.0
@lovebscott Larz: I’ve tested positive for Coronavirus Black Twitters response: https://t.co/W7QpiC2tfh— Porsha’s 3 Part Commercial (@Porsha’s 3 Part Commercial) 1585268258.0
Larz (@gayshawnmendez) licked a toilet seat with a visible stain, called it the coronavirus challenge, and is now h… https://t.co/creOSeJUR3— #excessivelyBlack jos (@#excessivelyBlack jos) 1585168842.0
@news18dotcom https://t.co/Q6Cj3iXp0g— Arthur Morgan (@Arthur Morgan) 1585276086.0
@news18dotcom Think the funniest thing is other patients in hospital gonna say “so what you in here for ?” Lol— TheCorporateHustler (@TheCorporateHustler) 1585288135.0
Larz will now learn how a fall from grace impacts internet clout dynamics.
In the influencer world, perhaps even bad press is good press. But after this, there will undoubtedly be at least a few people on TikTok that can't help but picture him licking that toilet seat and knowing where it lead.