We are reopening! We have decided, I guess, that the best way to respond to the coronavirus is to … ignore it and go about our lives. I did not realize that ‘kind of stopping halfway through and deciding to ignore all the problems that remain’ was an option, but now that I do, here is what would have happened if we had applied it to other important moments.

The Great Depression: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. With that in mind, we are not going to make any effort to relieve the current economic suffering; we just need to act as though it is already over, and it is bound to go away on its own. Feel free to build a dam, if you want; you will not be compensated.

Hole in the Ozone Layer: Now that we have seen how well eliminating chlorofluorocarbons worked to prevent this hole from getting bigger, we can resume using them! Hooray! A return to normality! *spritzes hair spray joyously into the sky*

World War I: Achieving an armistice sounds costly and boring. You can only spend so many minutes in a big hall full of mirrors before you want to claw your hair out! Instead, maybe the best thing to do would be to just keep the guns blazing but let people start walking through No Man’s Land.

The Galactic Empire: We have functionally destroyed the Death Star. No, we have not attacked it, but if we stopped looking for it, we wouldn’t see it at all. Please, go about your lives, Alderaanians.

D-Day: A great victory! We are not sending anyone to invade Normandy, but we are confident that the Nazis are as sick of this as we are and will probably lose steam on their own after being exposed to summer and, uh, the rays of the sun, and things.

The Matrix: Why should the discovery that the world you know is an illusion created by machines who are using you as a battery require any action on your part or changes to your routine? If you resent your body being used as a battery, remember that the machines who are drinking your energy are probably supporting some kind of economy.

The Horrors of Meat Processing As Described in “The Jungle: A Pure Food And Drug Act? Nonsense! All of these problems can be solved, I think, by ordering more meat and keeping our chins up.

Marshall Plan: Good news! We have a plan for rebuilding Europe! It will require the expenditure of billions of dollars and years of effort! Better news! We can save all that money and effort by deciding that maybe Europe just has spontaneously recovered on its own!

Thanos: Yes, Thanos once posed a serious threat, but just by gathering here together, we have already won. We can go back about our lives, just as those millions of people who disappeared as though by magic probably can somehow. We have no plans to fight him; just having the Avengers assembled is victory enough.

The Moon Landing: Just getting to the moon is success enough; also returning safely seems excessive and could inconvenience lots of people.

Reconstruction: Wait.

Gun Violence: Hang on.

Climate Change: Dammit.

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