Jon Stewart stopped by “The Late Show” Wednesday to chat with his good buddy Stephen Colbert about their crazy quarantine hairstyles (Jon thinks he’s “full Einstein” and that Stephen is “full ‘Shining'”) and to let everyone know that he’s been reading up on the 1918 pandemic amid the coronavirus — and he’s learned absolutely nothing useful.
“So here’s what’s crazy about it. The 1918 pandemic, the advice that they gave was, ‘Try to stay inside. If you don’t stay inside, wear a mask and socially distance.’ And I was like, wait, that’s 102 years!” Stewart told Colbert during their Zoom interview. “I was hoping it would make me feel better. I thought there was going to be some kind of old-timey, like, ‘Drink apple cider and mercury and that’ll be the elixir for your vitality.’ 102 years. We’ve literally just been driving in circles.”
According to the CDC, “The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919. In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.”
“I thought I was going to find comfort in some sort of bizarrely antiquated lack of understanding, like, ‘You could take a drill bit and try to put it into your hand.’ Like, *exact* same advice,” the former “Daily Show” host said.
Stewart joked that the “last big improvement was during the black death, the plague, somebody went, ‘Should we be going to the bathroom in the drinking water, or is that something we should stop?'”
Watch their exchange above.