Coronavirus Merch Exists Because of Course It Does

Might as well cash in on the coronavirus before it kills us all

Coronavirus merch
Get it?
Etsy
By Kayla Kibbe / February 28, 2020 12:29 pm

Medical masks aren’t the only trendy coronavirus-wear you can rock these days. As the disease continues to spread throughout the world (and your dating apps), entrepreneurs are capitalizing on the global crisis’s virality (both literal and figurative) to hawk coronavirus merch.

As Vice reported, coronavirus-themed offerings currently available for purchase from online retailers like Etsy and Redbubble include graphic tees, virus-shaped plush toys and even a 3-D printed coronavirus model designed to be gifted so one can use the phrase “I gave X the coronavirus,” according to the product description.

While much of the coronavirus merch takes the form of a (potentially pretty insensitive) joke, some of it has a more serious (somehow much more absurd) tone, like this $100 “Pray for Coronavirus Victims” bedspread available from Redbubble.

Potentially offensive merch designed to make money off a viral moment, while making light of the underlying crisis beneath it, isn’t anything new or particularly surprising, but it seems some sellers of coronavirus merchandise weren’t aware of the gravity of the situation when they first began hawking their wares.

“I started listing them on my shop when coronavirus wasn’t so much of a concern,” Ryan, the owner of the Etsy store LucidGraphic, told Vice. Ryan also noted that as the disease becomes a more serious threat, the merch hasn’t proven as profitable as initially expected. “It seemed like a profitable niche, but clearly as tensions are rising and people are getting arrested for saying they have coronavirus on the subway, nobody is going to want to wear merch about a disease that’s already killed almost 3,000 people.”

Be that as it may, I stand by my theory that if the coronavirus sticks around (which, unfortunately, it seems like it’s going to, barring a miraculous intervention from Mike Pence), we are mere months away from Yandy‘s original Sexy Coronavirus Halloween costume.

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