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Kimmel Looks Back on What People Thought About COVID Just Before the Pandemic (Video)

Kimmel will mark the “one year anniversary of our national incarceration” with a special episode Thursday

It’s been almost one year since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic and Jimmy Kimmel is using a couple of his “Jimmy Kimmel Live” episodes this week to commemorate the corona-versary.

In Wednesday’s episode, Kimmel shared clips, filmed in March 2020 only days after the pandemic began, of him asking strangers on the street in Hollywood what they thought the coronavirus was. Most people didn’t seem phased, and you can tell some people really didn’t think it was going to last more than a handful of days, at most.

“We’ve been looking back at what was going on when the pandemic started, and we dug something up. One year ago tonight, right as the stay at home orders were hitting here in California, we went out in the street and we asked people passing by our studio to tell us what they knew about about this new coronavirus…. and this is what they said on March 10 of last year.”

In the clip called “What Do You Know About Coronavirus,” Kimmel’s staff question a few people walking down Hollywood Blvd. — one woman who’s asked what she knows about it simply replies, “I know that it’s bad.”

Bad indeed.

Another interviewee hilariously said, “I don’t know if you can drink soup and it’ll go away.”

If only it were that easy, and the cure was just a few bowls of chicken noodle, instead of vaccines that need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures, which makes it difficult to get them to everyone in need. Kimmel actually touched on this during his monologue tonight, and noted that Alaska is the first state to offer everyone aged 16 and older a vaccine regardless of pre-existing conditions. That’s because, Kimmel joked, “the whole state is a refrigerator.”

One man asked his thoughts on the virus said he’d given a coronavirus vaccine to his cattle and “it’s been around for years… if you lick salt, you’re safe,” and the person asking him didn’t really have a follow up to that bizarre (and obviously untrue) statement.  Weirdly, though, part of what he said was correct…  there are other types of coronavirus discovered much earlier, but the lethal COVID-19 variant was new to us.

Kimmel is hosting a pandemic special episode March 11, which will recognize the “one year anniversary of our national incarceration,” as he calls it, at his usual time of 11:35 p.m. EST on ABC. Guests will include “Community” star Joel McHale, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigeig, and Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz.

“It’ll be our first, and hopefully only, corona-versary special tomorrow night,” Kimmel said Wednesday.

Check out the “What do You Know About Coronavirus?” gag at the top of the page.