Title: The Road to COVID-30: Self-Help Satire for the Soul
Author: Dunk Dougan IX
Genre: Humor / Self-help
In The Road to COVID-30: Self-Help for the Soul, Dunk Dougan IX uses heavy satire to dismantle the response to COVID-19. He paves a way forward for the next proposed pandemic, COVID-30, by getting back to the roots of self-preservation and breaking down what went wrong with how COVID-19 was handled. He touches on topics such as different countries’ governments’ responses, the ignorance toward other persisting societal issues, and personal betterment.
Humor is subjective, so satire takes a risk when used to expose shortcomings, whether on a personal level or a societal level. No doubt with the COVID-19 pandemic still underway, the release of a novel like The Road to COVID-30 carries with it some risk. Talk of the pandemic and how it was/is handled by the different world governments is a potentially delicate subject matter. Dougan’s courage to tackle such a difficult topic should be commended. He uses direct quotes from several sources from early on in the pandemic, creating compelling proof for the backdrop of his commentary. Even if the reader disagrees with some of what is written, the author’s satire is thought-provoking. Anything that gets people thinking is a positive thing, for we ought to use our minds to move forward and solve problems.
While Dougan’s humor is not usually laugh-out-loud, there are a few instances of this. Most of the humor elicits a grin from the reader, although it’s a bittersweet smile. Writing humor is no easy feat. We must laugh at the absurdity of life at times to get through it, especially during a pandemic, yet just below the surface is the sobering fact of what is going on in the world. The balance between levity and the gravity under it is a careful balancing act, and the author pulls it off well. He is not making light of the seriousness of COVID-19, yet he is also telling us it is human to need some semblance of normalcy in this “new normal.” Dougan breaks from the satire tone at times to remind us of the truths of taking care of ourselves holistically and how choice comes down to the individual, not anything a higher authority tries to enforce. How we treat ourselves and our fellow human beings at any time, not just during a crisis, is vital to humanity’s future.
While Dougan is rife with humor and sarcasm, he often uses profanity to make his points. While this may not bother some readers, the excessive use may be offensive to some. However, that should not deter the reader from understanding Dougan’s message.
The Road to COVID-30 is a satirical balancing act of exposing the fallacies of our response to COVID-19, employing both humor and facts. Dunk Dougan IX possesses an uncanny ability to make the reader laugh or smile, while also reflecting seriously on how we have failed to come together as a society during the pandemic. Dougan’s message of valuing human life, not only during a pandemic, transcends current times and circumstances and also stands as a warning and a hope for the future that there is no COVID-30.
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