As if the Pentagon's lethality obsession couldn't get any weirder, the U.S. Navy is now calling on all shipmates to help halt the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus throughout the country — with a bit of humor, of course.
A recent post on the Navy's Instagram accounts advises sailors and their families to come together to help the service "torpedo" the virus
"Just like everything we do in the #USNavy, we're in this together," reads a recent post on the Navy's official instagram account. "Sailors, family and friends, stay informed. Make sure you are up-to-date on all @deptofdefense guidance issued in response to COVID-19."
While it's definitely worthy of a laugh, this cheeky post might be a bit more amusing if the Navy wasn't already on high alert over the spread of the virus.
In the last two weeks, the Navy taken a several sweeping measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within its ranks, including imposing a 14-day quarantine between port calls for ships in Europe and the Pacific; banning guests from recruit graduation ceremonies; postponing an upcoming drill weekend for nearly all Selected Reservists; and delaying the return of midshipmen to the U.S. Naval Academy, among other moves.
On Friday, the Pentagon took the extra step of halting domestic travel for U.S. service members, DoD civilians and military families in a move designed to limit the spread of coronavirus and its impact on military readiness.
All things considered, this Navy post is a nice dose of well-needed humor given the current national freakout over the spread of the coronavirus. The image in some ways evokes echoes of old World War II propaganda posters past, like this iconic bad boy:
If there's any problem with this meme, though, it's that all the might of the U.S. military is actually somewhat useless against the invisible spread of an exotic new contagion. Indeed, U.S. lawmakers recently raised concerns that the Pentagon simply didn't hav enough testing kits for troops deployed overseas — including, most notably, in Afghanistan — to effectively screen for the spread of the coronavirus. With more service members and dependents testing positive by the day, it's unlikely that the service will be able to depend on isolation and social distancing alone.
One Instagram commenter put it nicely by channeling Navy Adm. David Farragut's infamous declaration during the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864: "You know the virus just gonna be like DAMN THE TORPEDOS, right?"