I Hate the Coronavirus Burger So Much

I don't even hate it for the right reasons.

coronavirus burger
Look at it. I dare you.
MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images
By Kayla Kibbe / March 27, 2020 12:11 pm

Unfortunately, the coronavirus burger was the first thing I laid eyes on when I opened them at around 2:39 this morning.

I woke up at 2:39 this morning because I had gone to bed at about 9 p.m., because time doesn’t matter anymore and I was bored, so naturally I thought, “I don’t know, I guess I’ll just go be mercifully unconscious for a while.”

When that brief window of unconscious bliss came to an end, I was immediately greeted by a screenshot of a diseased-looking burger with bready spikes protruding from its bun, sent to me by my best friend.

“I don’t like that burger’s growths,” I replied.

“I think it’s supposed to look like coronavirus for some reason,” my friend texted back.

“Tasteful,” I replied, before going back to sleep.

By morning, the deformed burger was everywhere, and my friend’s assumption had proven correct; it is, indeed, supposed to look like coronavirus for some reason.

The coronavirus burger, AKA the “coronaburger,” is the grotesque brainchild of Vietnamese chef Hoang Tung, who modeled the burger after a coronavirus particle in an attempt to bring “joy to others during this pandemic,” and I hate it so goddamn much.

Don’t let my snarky “tasteful” aside fool you; I don’t even hate the coronavirus burger for any of the reasons I should. It would be one thing to call out the burger and its inventor for making light of and/or commodifying a devastating pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives, which the Daily News tentatively hinted at by tacking a timid “too soon?” onto the end of yesterday’s coronaburger headline.

While I do think that’s probably a valid argument to be made, it’s not really the problem I have with the coronavirus burger. Personally, I just think the burger is gross and I hate looking at it. Moreover, I recognize that this virus and its worldwide fallout has caused extreme damage to the food service industry, so if some pizza shop in Vietnam can find a way to actually profit off of it, who am I to say they shouldn’t?

And while I hate the coronaburger unequivocally, I can’t even necessarily argue that it hasn’t accomplished its goal. While the coronavirus burger may not have brought me any “joy” amid this pandemic, per se, channeling all my rage and terror into hating a burger has been a temporary distraction from the actual virus that inspired it. So thank you, Hoang Tung, thank you for this mutated monstrosity of a distraction. I’m sorry I hate it so much.

These are weird, terrifying times, and we have to take comfort where we can find it. If somebody can find that comfort in a gross, possibly distasteful, coronavirus-themed burger, I’m not going to stop them. Meanwhile, I’ll take my comfort in hating that burger.

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