Last Week Tonight is back after a long hiatus, and John Oliver is already dishing out prescient advice for Animal Crossing fans. His message was bleak, as he suggested that you should keep Villagers of different species separated – otherwise you might spark the next pandemic.
While much of the world remains focused on the current pandemic, Last Week Tonight looked ahead to “The Next Pandemic.” Analysts are worried that as we climb out of our current public health crisis we’ll simply jump back to our normal lives without taking proper precautions to prevent this from happening again.
One of the biggest contributing factors that needs to be addressed is wet markets – specifically, markets that allow animals from around the world to be sold in close-quarters without proper quarantine procedures. This amalgam of animals with unknown backgrounds is a serious public health hazard, and one that Oliver says we’ve normalized with Animal Crossing.
“You honestly still think it’s a good idea to live in close proximity with a raccoon, an owl, a tiger, a sheep, a koala, an octopus, a hamster, a penguin, a rhino, and a chicken named Goose?” said Oliver. “All of whom traveled there from different parts of the world? That’s not an island paradise, it’s a disease Chernobyl waiting to happen. Shut that shit down!”
Jokes aside, as we hopefully round the corner on COVID-19, Oliver suggests we take a close look at why things got so bad in 2020 and what we can do to prevent it from happening again. Beyond carefully quarantining your Animal Crossing villagers, it’s also suggested we continue to fund public health initiatives, even when we’re not currently in a public health crisis. This will allow us to be better prepared when the next pandemic inevitably comes around.
Animal Crossing and COVID-19 are tightly correlated, as the popular title released right as the world was entering lockdown. It was a cathartic escape for millions of people, giving them an enjoyable way to bide their time indoors. This isn’t the first time Oliver has joked about the title on-air, as he did a similar bit last May.
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Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.
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