The Rant knew that at some point during the pandemic someone would craft the perfect COVID humblebrag.1 So imagine our excitement when this showed up in the old Twitter feed:

Hey, just wanted to let everyone know I found out I have COVID. Don’t worry, I feel fine, in fact I ran five miles this morning before I found out. I have been calling and texting everyone I might have come into contact with. Stay safe out there.

Where to begin with this master class in narcissistic indulgence? We have to say, the attempted casual mention of running five miles fills us with joy. I think we all know this guy loves to show the time of his run on his Apple Watch with “New Personal Best!” in all caps. Followed by a little inspirational speech about “taking care of yourself” during times of stress. We’d join right in, but currently our shoes serve as overflow storage for our supply of Little Debbie Nutty Bars. That’s just how we take care of ourselves, Paavo Nurmi.2

Just wanted to let us know? Please, there will be an endless stream of posts describing every harrowing cough, every heroic effort to continue running five miles, every new perspective on life that has been gained from wrestling with this monster in a way none of the other millions infected have done. The calling and texting is beautiful. In case you haven’t seen one of my 3,000 tweets about having COVID, wanted to let you know so you could pour out the sympathy I so richly deserve, but demure from accepting, directly.

Can the humblebrag reach ever greater heights? Yes, when dealing with a a genius of this magnitude. Stay safe out there. The humblebrag aficionado makes a gesture suggesting that while all this has been about him, he’s going to retire making you believe he somehow cares for you too, It’s the final, brilliant end to the performance. Now our champion must discover how to properly convey his embarrassment at how his supermodel partner is nearly unable to maintain her number one status in the most difficult spin class on Peloton because of her concern for his recovery.

Slow clap for you Humblebrag Jedi. But perhaps The Rant should slow clap for all the poor, poor victims on social media. Somehow you have managed to turn even the slightest inconvenience during this time of unspeakable heartache into an attack on your very existence. When the woman pulling a double-shift at the grocery store to try and make up for her partner’s lost income kindly requests you don a mask, you recoil in horror. The audacity! The assault on the constitution! The brazen effort to demand a shred a human decency instead of trusting that Jesus will keep you immune. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to make the ultimate sacrifice by driving two blocks out of my way to honk at the hospital where the doctors, the true heroes that make twenty times your salary and agreed to expose themselves to viruses when they signed up for medical school, reside. Because I do my part. The nerve.

The Rant vaguely remembers a sociology class from years ago where the professor informed us a community reinforces the traditions, morals, and laws of a culture when an individual feels the impulse to act against the interests of the whole. The wider you draw that circle, the greater the inclusiveness, the more people that can succeed. But what if we created a community that indulged our every slight, endorsed our every selfish impulse, cheered our darkest thoughts about others. What if this community argued that the death of everyone else is a small price to pay so that we are never asked to question our responsibilities or beliefs or prejudices?

Slow clap to you, social media. This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but an outraged Tweet.

  1. We know, like so many things on the social manias, you believe the humblebrag magically appeared from the hive mind. But the term was coined by Harris Wittels, just another funny Jewish boy from Oklahoma City. Harris wrote for Sarah Silverman and Parks and Recreation. He immediately recognized the faux self-deprecation on Twitter so people could really indulge their self-absorption, and he started collecting his favorites. Harris died much too young but his perfect coinage lives on
  2. Can’t you just feel The Rant’s sarcasm dripping as we compare this guy to the Flying Finn, a man that won the 1,500m, 5,000m, two cross-country races, and the 3,000m relay in the span of four days during the 1924 Olympics. Five gold medals. The first person to do it. He would have won a sixth in the 10,000m but Finnish coaches feared he might drop dead. Instead, he went home and set a new world record in the 10,000 for spite. Throwing shade doesn’t get more arcane than that, rantsters

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