Matthew Jelalian 01

Matthew Jelalian poses for a portrait in the Daily Herald studio on Friday, March 6, 2015. SAMMY JO HESTER, Daily Herald

Before my wife and I got married, I was living in the Colony.

It’s a complex southeast of BYU. If you’re a student at the Y or you know someone who is, I’d highly recommend checking it out. It’s great. I met my wife there and Lindsey Stirling lived there too.

I can’t remember if it was late at night or early in the morning, it doesn’t really matter because it eventually led to our eternal marriage, but I was driving home from her place and it was dark and foggy outside. I drove slowly as to not hit any of the poorly parked cars on either side of the road.

While I was driving at a snail’s pace, a person came out from behind a car dressed in a giant Easter bunny costume.

For a little bit of extra context, it was springtime, right around Easter.

The giant bunny person threw their arms up T-rex style and started hopping toward my car.


Like in a horror movie.

I know that someone probably rented an Easter Bunny costume for a ward get together and figured to have some fun creeping out passersby like myself before their 24-hour rental ran out, but I couldn’t help but think of the Purge when I saw the hopping hooligan.

Once in a while I think about the creepy bunny person and it’s exactly how I imagine the end of the world.

I’ve always imagined that the end of the world would start with someone chanting “Eat the rich” and it would end with people wearing animal masks rioting in the streets and rooting through the garbage.

Since that night I’ve learned two things.

First, that fateful night was not the beginning of the end of the world. It was just a dork in a bunny suit hopping around Provo.

Second, the real end of the world is so much more boring than I imagined.

Instead of animal suits and anarchy, the end of the world consists of working from home, intense denial from a highly at-risk demographic, and a dearth of toilet paper.

And I’ve got to be honest, it’s bumming me out.

The best way to protect ourselves from the disease creeping across the face of the Earth is by washing our hands, staying at home, avoiding crowds and skipping church.

All of these are things I perfected years ago.

Sure, the economy is in the tank thanks to the largest market drop in U.S. history coupled with the longest drop in history since the Great Recession, but at least I get to work from home. Sure, Smith’s and Costco were an absolute nightmare to navigate and full of passive-aggressive hoarders buying eight packs of toilet paper so I couldn’t even get one, but at least there are no zombies. And sure, we’re doing a horrific job trying to mitigate this disaster and the government is arguably doing too little too late, but at least we aren’t acting out the movie “Independence Day” in real life.

What I’m getting at is things could be so much cooler, and they just aren’t.

All I’m getting out of this pandemic is three things.

First, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was 100% in the right to encourage us to store food and supplies in case of an emergency, and most of us didn’t listen.

Second, the old adage, “In socialist countries people wait for bread, but in capitalist countries, bread waits for people,” is dead wrong on a long enough time line. I’ve seen plenty of people waiting for bread over the last couple of days.

And like I said already, nobody can find toilet paper.

Third, the terrorists cannot do anything to us worse than what we’re already doing to ourselves.

The three biggest at-risk groups are older people, those who are somehow immuno-compromised, and those with asthma, diabetes or a similar disease.

If you listened to the president’s speech this week, you could tell he read it through gritted teeth, which makes sense as he’s been calling the now-pandemic the new Democrat witch hunt.

And his supporters have been lockstep with him on that narrative.

If anything, the people who are trying to get Trump and his supporters to take COVID-19 seriously are trying to save those people’s lives.

People who disagree with the president could just let his supporters pandemic their way into extinction, but they’re not.

And that’s the craziest part of this entire lame apocalypse.

Mankind is its own legion of zombies.

We’re self-cannibalizing in the lamest way possible.

If you don’t want to avoid the coronavirus for yourself, at least do it for the at-risk people in your life. Let’s not so far past caring about the well being of others that we’re fine with a pandemic as long as we know we won’t be affected.

The best part of apocalypse movies is how mankind always joins together at the end to help one another survive despite their differences. Let’s try to do the same during this pandemic.

And lastly, to all of the soon-to-be unplanned parents out there, please don’t name your kid Kovyd when they’re born nine months from now.