Today—April 1, 2020—the most compelling question on everyone’s mind is: Which is better? Coronavirus or prostate cancer?
Well, maybe it’s not on not everyone’s mind, but it popped into mine, resulting in a bizarre comparison that made me chuckle a little. Not meaning to diminish the severity of either condition, I hope it’ll have the same effect on you. If you are suffering right now, then you more than anyone could use a little laugh, and maybe you’ll find one here.
The Coronavirus has had an impact on nearly everyone, while most readers of this blog have also crossed paths in some way with prostate cancer, as have I. And okay, I admit that probably nobody is wondering whether prostate cancer or the Coronavirus (a.k.a. Covid-19) is better, especially if you’re challenged by one or the other right now, in which case that one is definitely not the better one.
But since we’re globally stuck with these two maladies at least for the present, allow me to poke at them a little. I have identified six categories in which to score a point for one or the other, and the results will determine which disease is the better one. Sound like fun? The outcome might surprise you.
Here we go …
Testing for the Coronavirus never involves a doctor’s digit exploring the depths of uncharted regions …
To us prostate cancer guys, this comparison is a no-brainer. The infamous DRE—a rear entry digital rectal exam—is of no use in diagnosing Covid-19. Testing for the Coronavirus never involves a doctor’s digit exploring the depths of uncharted regions that should have remained that way. Only for prostate cancer is this notorious intimate encounter between a physician and a man used as a diagnostic tool.
In contrast, the standard COVID-19 test involves a simple swab up each nostril, which I’ve not yet experienced. I did find this video and it admittedly doesn’t look especially pleasant, but given the choice I’d probably take it over a DRE. At least it’s a face-to-face encounter. Better yet, it can be done in a drive-through setting without even getting out of your car. Can you imagine a drive-through DRE?
Up the nose or up the rump? The Coronavirus gets the nod in this category, while prostate cancer gets a shrill shriek.
In your experience, has there ever been a shortage of toilet paper attributed to prostate cancer? No. But when Coronavirus landed on planet earth, all the toilet paper disappeared almost instantly, like a massive alien abduction of TP. I still don’t understand why this happened. Covid-19 is not a virus of the derriere, but nevertheless, the toilet paper correlation is undeniable.
In the good old days when prostate cancer existed without the annoying Coronavirus, toilet paper could be found in abundance. Charmin Ultra Soft, Ultra Strong, and the new Ultra Gentle—all on your grocer’s shelf. Now, since Covid-19 appeared, you can’t even find Charmin Extra Rough. Should we expect a Coronavirus-inspired black market for toilet paper?
In this category, prostate cancer easily wipes out the competition and gets the point.
Everyone knows what cancer is, and patients quickly learn what a prostate is if we don’t already know. Put them together, and “prostate cancer” is a perfectly logical, understandable name. It’s intuitive: Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate. We don’t even need to Google it.
Sure, we know what a virus is, but why name this one after a beer?
But Coronavirus? What does that mean? Sure, we know what a virus is, but why name this one after a beer? Was it a marketing decision designed to make us want it? Was it someone’s misguided biased attempt to unfairly focus attention on Mexico, home of the popular Corona Beer, not the virus?
As a name, “prostate cancer” makes sense, but it’s boring. And although you can’t deny the cleverness and catchiness of “Coronavirus,” it’s unfair to our neighbor to the south.
The name game must be declared a draw.
You can’t catch prostate cancer by shaking hands with someone who has it. There’s no such thing as exposure to prostate cancer. We can cough, sneeze, and touch our faces all day long. We can even hug each other and our loved ones. We go to concerts and sporting events whenever we want, and there is no need to quarantine us for fourteen days or fourteen minutes.
In contrast, Covid-19 mandates vigilant management of every sniffle, forbids face-touching, and requires a so-called social distancing of six feet. If you even suspect you’ve been around someone who knows someone who knows someone who might have had it, you are expected to self-quarantine for a couple weeks.
Shake hands with prostate cancer, the winner of this point.
Prostate Cancer men invariably become obsessed with urination. We analyze and track how often, how forcefully, how completely and painlessly we manage to do it. We map the location of every rest room within a fifty-mile radius of our current location at all times. We do this because we feel we must, and we will be compelled to continue for the rest of our lives.
We map the location of every rest room within a fifty-mile radius of our current location at all times.
If you happen to have the Coronavirus, nobody asks or cares how frequently or how well you pee, and neither will you. If you need a rest room, you’ll go find one wherever you happen to be. And you’ll do so with no advance planning, free from any urination affliction. Granted, you’ll have other things on your mind, but urination is not likely one of them.
Covid-19 easily gets the pee point.
While it appears that anyone can get the Coronavirus, prostate cancer is reserved for men only. Is this fair? It depends how you look at it.
The traditional definition of fairness implies equal opportunity for all. With that view, Covid-19 wins. But do we really want to say it’s unfair to women that they can’t have prostate cancer? Surely not!
Unlike the Coronavirus, prostate cancer clearly has a gender bias. But this bias is one we like, and we’re not going to apply a point penalty. Logic and common-sense dictate awarding no point to either.
It’s a dead heat with equal points, so we need to settle the question with a bonus round. There’s no better way to do so than with a People’s Choice Award tiebreaker, so let’s cut to the chase and find out which is most popular.
At first glance, Covid-19 would seem to have a clear edge. At the time of this writing, it is in every headline in nearly every publication worldwide, every day. How can you beat that for popularity? Politicians, social media, the medical community, religious organizations, businesses … all talking about it all the time. Maybe not in a good way, but talking, nonetheless.
Even the Internet has been transformed into the COVIDnet.
Even the Internet has been transformed into the COVIDnet. Today, April 1, 2020, a Google search for “Coronavirus” returns a whopping 11,590,000,000 results. Whoa. Searching for “prostate cancer” gives us a paltry 104,000,000 results. That’s only about 100 million for the cancer compared with over 11 billion hits for the virus. No contest.
But wait …
To prove popularity, there is nothing more convincing than a public display of interest such as the one just seen in New York, the current epicenter for the Coronavirus in the United States. Despite social distancing warnings and stay-at-home policies, COVID-concerned New Yorkers gathered closely together, united in their desire to welcome the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort to provide much-needed hospital relief.
Has there ever been such a public display of support for prostate cancer? Actually, yes. Many, and without any risk of spreading the cancer to others. A great example is the annual SEA Blue Chicago Prostate Cancer Walk and Run sponsored by the US Too support group. A quick look at this short video shows that not only can crowds gather to support each other while raising money, they can have fun doing it.
In fact, prostate cancer events occur year-round across the entire country. This long list of events on the ZERO website (ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer) shows rallies throughout the year from coast to coast. There is certainly no lack of public support for prostate cancer awareness and fund-raising.
Well, darn. The people’s choice tiebreaker failed to break the tie. It’ll have to be up to you to decide which is better, the Coronavirus or prostate cancer.
There’s one thing we can all agree on: we don’t want either one, and that’s no laughing matter. But we can still try to find a bit of humor in life, such as it is. There’s no harm in that.
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