As the world wages a battle against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, Mercer Island is becoming a hot spot of its own inimitable kind: A record number of Islanders have contracted a malady known as Self-Proclaimed Epidemiological Expertise Wielding, or SPEEW.
“It started small, but it appears to be growing exponentially,” said Island psychologist Dunning Kruger. “Walk down the street, shop for groceries, or read local social media, and you’ll encounter neighbors who are exhibiting the telltale signs of SPEEW.”
The primary manifestation of SPEEW is the offering of unsolicited guidance on such topics as the minimum acceptable distance to keep from other people, when and how to wear a face mask, and the proper criteria for relaxing social distancing restrictions.
“The propagation of perceived subject matter knowledge here is especially remarkable,” Kruger noted, “When you consider that prior to February of this year, few Islanders had ever studied or worked in the field of, or could even correctly spell the word, ‘epidemiology.’”
According to Kruger, Mercer Island residents are especially susceptible to SPEEW because an unusually high percentage of them are afflicted with a pre-existing condition known as Chronic One-Upmanship Complex, in which subjects present with an uncontrollable urge to demonstrate superiority to the people around them. Preliminary research suggests that software company executives, attorneys, and real estate developers are particularly prone to dispensing benighted information on pandemic management best practices.
Kruger acknowledges the difficulty of preventing the spread of SPEEW amongst the local populace and recommends instituting “knowledge distancing” measures to prevent further contagion. If you are exhibiting the onset of SPEEW, he advises keeping one’s mouth closed when out in public and avoiding all non-essential use of the Internet.
In related news, authorities report that an increasing number of Islanders are at risk of developing Macroeconomosis, a pathology in which people offer forceful but uninformed prescriptions on how to reinvigorate a stagnant economy.