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Dear The Inquirist: Please Infect My Adult Stepson Randy

By Nathan Mostow | Staff Writer

In this special public safety edition of “Dear The Inquirist,” CDC immunologist Dr. Charles Prattley answers readers’ pressing coronavirus questions.  

“Practical Virus Transmission Question”

Submitted by Mike H. from Columbus, Ohio

“Dear The Inquirist,

Over the weekend, I had intimate contact with a dancer from a local gentleman’s club who seemed very ill, though she assured me that she only had “recurring seasonal pneumonia.” I didn’t think twice at the time because I was inebriated, but in hindsight that seems like a phony excuse.

I cannot afford to catch the coronavirus, because then my wife will realize that I’ve been leaving the house without permission and suspect that I’ve been unfaithful (she’s caught me cheating before). My wife is an emergency room doctor who works double shifts and gets very cranky when she comes home, so she’d make my life a living hell.

To throw off her suspicions, I’ve been licking doorknobs around the house to “prove” I’m not sick (because obviously a sick person wouldn’t do that). Can you please offer me some DISCRETE advice to get this shrew off my case?


Mike H.”

From the desk of Dr. Charles Prattley, Center for Disease Control:

Dear Mike,

This is not what I had in mind when I took time off my busy schedule to answer important questions from the public. Please exercise basic common sense and stop wasting my time.

–Dr. Charles Prattley

“Please Infect My Adult Stepson Randy”

Submitted by Wendy P. from Queens, NY

“Dear The Inquirist,

My 46-year-old stepson Randy has recently moved back in with me after his third divorce. I can’t be quarantined with him any longer – he makes beet curry that stinks up the house and blasts CD’s by Twisted Torah, the Orthodox Jewish death metal band. If I hear the chorus of “Shreddin’ on Shabbos” one more time, I will lose my mind.

If anyone reading this has been infected with coronavirus, I will give you $40 and a roll of toilet paper to come over and cough in his mouth. This is a serious offer – no prank comments or prank messages, please. I’ve already suffered enough.

Also, if you do not have something nice to say, then keep it to yourself. Don’t interfere with how I conduct my business, and don’t judge.


Wendy P.”

From the desk of Dr. Charles Prattley, Center for Disease Control:

Dear Wendy,

Once again, I don’t think answering this letter is a good use of my limited time or considerable expertise. I don’t even know what part of this letter I’m supposed to respond to. It seems like a mean-spirited solicitation to spread the coronavirus, which my colleagues and I are working hard to prevent. Please reconsider.

–Dr. Charles Prattley

“What the Hell is Going On?”

Submitted by Marco A. from Milan, Italy

“Buongiorno The Inquirist,

Seriously, can someone tell me what the hell is going on? I just returned from a four-month business trip in Wuhan, China, and now everything is closed!? I don’t really keep up with social media or the news, so I’m a bit confused. Where did everyone go? My envelope-licking club was nearly empty.


Marco A.”

From the desk of Dr. Charles Prattley, Center for Disease Control:

I quit.

–Dr. Charles Prattley ♦

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