We’re not even done with this pandemic and here’s John Oliver talking about the next one. Thanks, buddy!
Last Week Tonight returned last night with a deep dive into disease. Not to be alarmist, but Oliver paints a convincing picture of how at risk we are for yet more pandemics down the road, noting the increased frequency with which they’ve been happening over the last 40 years and how humanity’s rapacious exploitation of the ecosystem and other animals has broken down some of the natural barriers that used to separate us from zoonotic diseases. He runs down some of the things we can do to help prevent future pandemics—from the most beneficial but utterly impossible, such as ending factory farming, and shutting down markets, fairs, and other businesses that put us in close contact with wild animals, to the more practical, like increased funding for virus researchers, or an app used in Thailand to report potential farmland infections. And along the way he makes time for jokes about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, “boat fouls,” and Paris Hilton’s kinkajou. It’s a fairly standard and typically well-made John Oliver segment, then: a depressing subject studied at length and peppered with legitimately hilarious jokes.
Check out the full clip below, and hey, maybe think twice before walking around inside a bat cave again.