COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, is a real infectious respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As a response to the virus, authorities in most countries mandated citizens to wear masks, while closing down schools and other non-essential businesses.
At its origins, COVID-19 was first identified in China in December 2019. In early 2020, as the virus quickly became widespread, it became a global pandemic causing more than 2.5 million people to die globally, schools and businesses to shutdown, and masks to become mandatory in most countries.
Scientists discover that COVID-19 spread from a pangolin. Hearing this, Randy Marsh believes that he started the pandemic back in October last year after the events of "Band in China" by having intercourse with a bat and later with a pangolin in Wuhan, China, where it is believed to be the origin of the virus.
The citizens of South Park clamor for the COVID-19 vaccine that is only available to very select groups of people, mainly the elderly and essential workers. QAnon tries to put a stop to the vaccine because they believe that the Hollywood Elites put mind control chips in it. At the end of the episode, Herbert Garrison gets enough vaccines for everyone from Israel, resulting in all the townsfolk being vaccinated and celebrating.
References to Societal Impact
In "The Pandemic Special", groups of citizens are pro-mask and some are anti-mask. There are some who wear a mask but leave it sitting on their chin, referenced as a "chin diaper". Social distancing is not always practiced in the episode and there are some in the pro-mask group who turn anti-mask. School has been closed for some time at the beginning of the episode and remote learning is practiced instead. Eventually the school reopens and the kids have to wear masks and sit behind screens, their desks being placed more apart.
In "South ParQ Vaccination Special", social distancing is again not practiced and the vaccine has been discovered. The wait list for the vaccine is referenced in that the vaccine is delivered according to a priority order that most countries follow. Israel is shown to be rapidly and efficiently deploying the vaccine. People are shown to wear masks indoors most of the time, mostly showing students, but they occasionally remove their masks to talk and teachers don't always wear masks. Margaret Nelson dies from COVID-19 but the town still holds an open casket funeral.
- Coronavirus disease 2019 on Wikipedia.