Stories in The Radish, WSS’ satire series, should not be taken seriously, as they bear faint resemblance to reality. (Sachiko Goto)
Stories in The Radish, WSS’ satire series, should not be taken seriously, as they bear faint resemblance to reality.

Sachiko Goto

The Radish

WARNING: The contents of this page are entirely satirical. These stories should not be taken seriously, as they bear faint resemblance to reality. Unless…

April 27, 2021

A new variant

Sachiko Goto

Despite several warnings from the CDC, thousands of Iowans left the state during spring break. Surprisingly, no new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Iowa since March 23. 

“We expected a dramatic influx of cases, considering how many Iowans crossed state and international borders,” said Dr. Kirk O’Dile, director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. “The fact that there have been zero in the last month is honestly mind-boggling.” 

Gov. Kim Reynolds attributes these numbers to her admirable leadership and a successful vaccine rollout.

“We did this together, Iowa,” Reynolds said. “Thanks to your hard work, we can finally return to normal and say goodbye to masks.” 

Oddly, the sudden halt in COVID-19 cases contrasts with a disturbing increase in missing persons reports, especially for those who traveled during spring break. Even more bizarre, for every missing persons report filed in Iowa, there has been an alligator sighting to match. In the past month, there have been 928 separate reports in 67 of Iowa’s 99 counties. Some experts theorize the two are related. 

“Although it may seem impossible, a new COVID-19 variant may be behind all of this,” O’Dile said. “An extreme mutation may be causing those infected with the virus to turn into alligators.”

Since spring break, over 100 Iowans have called animal control services describing puzzling run-ins with these giant reptiles. The alligators have been transported to an empty warehouse in Des Moines, which is now acting as a make-shift containment center. 

Contrary to typical alligator demeanor, those moved to the warehouse have been described as overwhelmingly docile and agreeable, displaying characteristic “Iowa nice.”

Despite many Iowans’ fears of contracting the presumable variant, which is now commonly referred to as “GATOR-21,” Reynolds insists there is nothing to worry about.

“Until I see proof that these reptiles are truly the result of some COVID-19 mutation, we can say, ‘See you later alligator’ to this pandemic,” Reynolds said.

O’Dile disagrees.

“While it is unclear what is going on here, it’s evident that we have not taken COVID-19 precautions seriously enough,” O’Dile said. “Had people not ignorantly taken these vacations, I doubt we would be seeing all of these things. The pandemic is not over.” 

Oh, Biden!

Sachiko Goto

Many citizens have been shocked by what the Biden presidency has done for America; or rather, what it hasn’t done. After a few months in office, he has successfully retracted some policies from the Trump administration, such as the transgender military ban and the Muslim ban, but beyond that, very little has changed. 

The most surprised demographic seems to be those of the Republican base. 

“I was very surprised to see no gay, Sharia, Antifa communism when he stepped into the Oval Office,” one Trump voter said. 

Many conservatives shared the same experience after repeated claims from Republican politicians that a Democrat president was a sure path to socialism. Republicans were dead set on creating a radical leftist Biden narrative to garner support.

“If you drop that word into a speech or something, everyone gets scared immediately. We said [Biden is a socialist] so much that I forgot it wasn’t true myself,” Sen. Ted Cruz said. 

On the other side of the aisle, Biden supporters seem certain that Biden is a godsend for American politics, but despite optimistic views from his voters, many actions the Biden administration has taken are deserving of criticism. One startling example is his continuation of an age-old American tradition: violence in the Middle East. 

In almost every way, Biden has shown signs of upholding the political institutions that have plagued America for years, but many have begun to idolize him alongside socialist revolutionaries of the past.

“I just got this sick t-shirt with all of my political heroes standing side-by-side,” a Biden supporter said. “There’s Che Guevara, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.”

This political phenomenon has been a cause of great confusion for academics.

“It’s remarkable that American political discourse is skewed so far right that centrism can be confused with leftist ideologies,” Professor John Brigham said. 

Mediocre medium

Sachiko Goto

Americans are tired of all things COVID-19. Despite the current vaccine rollout, an end to the pandemic and a complete return to normalcy seem like an intangible ideal. After failing to contact an actual disease expert to answer all of your virus-related questions, “The Radish” turned to the supernatural. In an exclusive interview, Floridian rapper and oracle Chee T. Aiz sees into the future to predict what will become of COVID-19 over the next year.

The transcript of the interview reads as follows: 

Radish: We’ve been in a pandemic for over a year. How do case numbers look in 2021?

Aiz: Way too high, yeah, yeah, huh? Woah, woah, woah, what? Way too high. What? What? What? So high, man, I can’t even feel.

R: What needs to happen before the pandemic can end?

A: When them vamps outside, you better be ready. When them guns outside, you better be ready. When the stars align, you better be ready. 

R: Some are skeptical of the vaccine’s safety. Is the vaccine truly effective against COVID-19?

A: One thing I hate the most is some friendly people don’t talk to me. [They are] not with us … We can find out, we can find out, we can find out … if you feel like dying. 

R: When can we expect COVID-19 precautions, such as mask wearing and social distancing, to end?

A: I just hit a lick with a mask, MF DOOM … Don’t get close, yeah, baby, don’t get too close. What you don’t know, it won’t hurt because you don’t know, what?

R: What do we need to know about COVID-19 right now?

A: Uh, as the king and the queens gather the cheese, no fees, you count the bodies … running the streets. [I told them], “All my life, it’s been troublesome things.”

R: Why should our readers listen to what you have to say about the future of the virus? 

A: Never too much, never too much, yeah, never too much, never too much, yeah. [I’m] rockstar made, rockstar made, rockstar made. What? What?

Note: It wasn’t discovered until much later that all of Aiz’s responses were various lyrics from Playboi Carti’s 2020 album “Whole Lotta Red.” Aiz’s credibility subsequently came into question, but “The Radish” made the executive decision to still print the interview, citing Aiz’s clairvoyance and creative genius as a potential explanation for their often perplexing and convoluted statements.

Masks on

Sachiko Goto

The pandemic has proven that anything that can be turned into partisan politics will be turned into partisan politics. This has gotten to the point where stopping the spread of the COVID-19, more specifically wearing masks, has become a supposed fight over individual freedoms. 

“We simply can’t have members of the Congress waltzing around without a mask on,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “It’s just not safe for the rest of us.”

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so Democrats and COVID-19-cautious Republicans banded together to find creative ways to get anti-mask representatives to stop the spread while vaccine progress slowly advances. 

“It’s no secret that some of our peers who refuse to wear a mask are really into conspiracy theories,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar. “And while I absolutely abhor those kinds of lies, we figured we could use them to our benefit.” 

The plan involved convincing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that Antifa was responsible for the anti-mask narrative so she would relay this info to other conspiracy nuts. Representatives would have hushed conversations in front of Greene about weakening the conservative voter base with COVID-19 and anti-mask policies. Greene and many of her colleagues came to work with a mask the next day.

Of course, only a very small percentage of the Congress is that gullible, so other measures had to be taken as well. Omar once again came to the rescue with another brilliant idea. 

“We found out that if we put out free masks with stuff like ‘MAGA 2020’ and ‘STOP THE STEAL’ on them, they couldn’t help but pick one up and put it on,” Omar said. 

The newly designed masks were completely gone an hour after they were laid out in front of the Senate and House chambers.

Thanks to these few safety measures, no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Congress for well over a month.

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