On Monday afternoon, basketball writer and Cinephobe podcast host Zach Harper tweeted a truly bizarre video, captioning it with an understated “What the fuck?” The 32-second animated clip was allegedly created by a church—at least according to the text overlay—and it showed a slightly out-of-focus Jesus standing on a sidewalk, casually destroying an oversized coronavirus.
Although ‘What the fuck’ was the appropriate response, the video wasn’t made by a church as the retweets and Instagram posts have suggested. The full version—which is even weirder—seems to have been originally uploaded by Caminhos da Fé (Walk of Faith), which simply describes itself as a “Christian page” in its Instagram bio.
Although there isn’t much information about the @caminhos_da.fe account or its founders, it shared its first post on March 23 (“Look for Him, wait for Him, ask for Him, believe in Him!”) and its three dozen posts since have been mostly stock-ish photos with inspirational messages, Bible quizzes, and polls about the best gospel singers. (And it seems to have lowkey addressed the Lil Nas X “Montero” video, posting an illustration of a leering devil dragging an incapacitated man—possibly Jesus—away, with the caption “After that, the Earth was never the same. God is not mocked.”)
The Portuguese-language account posted its bonkers coronavirus-related animation on both Instagram and YouTube on March 31, and it was almost immediately reposted—minus the Caminhos da Fé watermark—by Relevante News, a self-described Brazilian “independent news portal.” (The ‘News’ part might be slightly subjective: two of the stories currently on its homepage are headlined “10 Frauds that Occurred in the U.S. [Presidential] Election” and “Wouldn't Lockdown Be a Strategy to Lead us to Socialism?”)
The video itself is truly something. As Clint Mansell’s “Requiem for A Tower” Movements II, III, and IV pulse ominously in the background, a sports mascot-sized coronavirus makes its way down a quiet suburban sidewalk, wearing what appear to be oversized gardening clogs at the ends of its invisible shins. (Why something without legs needs a pair of shoes is the first of many, many questions you’ll ask yourself during the next two-plus minutes.)
It struts toward a nurse, who falls to her knees, possibly so she can get a better look at what’s keeping those clogs attached. It cackles madly as it walks past a man wearing what looks like traditional Saudi attire, a cop in a bulletproof vest, a construction worker holding a hammer, a businessman, and...Danny Zuko or Kris Jenner or a possibly a Hot Topic sales associate—it’s not really clear—and all of them drop to one knee to let it pass. It ambles past a pair of orange road cones, which someone clearly put out to warn people that there’s a GIANT VIRUS ON THE SIDEWALK, but nobody seems to notice.
Then shit really gets weird, because Batman, the Hulk, Superman, and Super Saiyan Blue Goku are all hanging out in somebody’s yard, possibly asking each other why the homeowners put their mailbox at an angle that’s inaccessible from the street. They also let the virus pass them, so it can approach some absolute cabbage of a child, who’s just stood there for two minutes letting this horrible footless infection drift his way.
The kid stands there, looking directly in the virus’ jaundiced eyes, as it waits to...infect him? To talk about his car’s extended warranty? Ask if he knows where the Clint Mansell instrumentals are coming from? Whatever it is, it doesn’t get a chance because the kid turns around and summons Jesus, which is honestly a bit rude.
How Jesus lands on the sidewalk isn’t clear, but he quickly raises his right arm—which has two elbows, because this Jesus is part arthropod—and he dissolves the virus even faster than Jake Paul vaporized Ben Askren. Meanwhile, Goku and Superman are still on their knees, either asking each other where that burning smell is coming from, or if they know what those safety cones are for.
The video ends with the text of 2 Chronicles 7:14 typed on the screen. (“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”)
As far as ways of handling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that’s certainly...one of them. It’s also in line with what the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, previously recommended. Last April, called for a national day of prayer and fasting to “free Brazil from this evil.”
That didn’t seem to take. According to Johns Hopkins University, Brazil’s 373,442 deaths are second only to the United States, and the country has recorded more than 13.9 million total cases of coronavirus. At the end of March, shortly before this video was originally posted, Brazil reported more than 3,000 deaths in one 24 hour period, and a day later, it recorded 100,158 new confirmed cases in 24 hours, setting two grim new records.
Maybe give the nurse a shot at dealing with all this next time?