Many can recall every detail of it. You have probably done it at least once in your life. Driving the rainbow road in Mario Kart. For the people who need a little reminder: The rainbow road is a course in the Nintendo go-kart racing game Mario Kart. It is very bright and colorful. But it floats in space with the globe of Earth in the background. Also, it is a 3D route that makes one question where the top and where the bottom is. Next to that it has all the classic Mario Kart elements: Nintendo characters, items being thrown at you and only three laps to cross the finish line first.
Let’s assume that you are the first runner-up at the moment and you are desperately trying to reach the leading position. The third and final lap has just started. Just like in real life. We are trying to surpass a virus to stay ahead of it and avoid a third wave. The virus is in the leading position at the moment and keeps throwing bananas in order to shake you off. In our world: it mutates. You slip and fall behind. On top of that there are unforeseen surprises waiting for you after every turn of the road. Decreasing infection rates due to strict corona measures. Or, in the Nintendo universe, those little fields with arrows on them that make you go faster.
You catch up again. Only to be almost catapulted off of the side of the road and into space. Building up too much speed is risky. Fortunately, you can collect rainbow cubes that hold helpful items. They influence the performance of the driver in front of us. Throwing sea shells or spraying some ink on the visor. Or, in real life, developing and injecting a vaccine that hinders the spreading of the virus. The distance between you and the virus is shrinking. You have to catch the virus before the finish line. Not literally catching it though! But where is the finish line? The road has many twists, turns and curves. You can’t see the end of it until it is appearing right in front of you.
What would be the finish line of this pandemic? Ending the current lockdown? No more deaths related to COVID-19? Controlling new mutations? Whatever the ultimate goal may be, you have to make sure you get ahead of the virus before losing the race in the final lap. Just do it like Mario on the rainbow road: find the vaccines in the rainbow cubes that slow down the virus while also gaining speed on a stay-at-home field. Hit a speed-increasing curfew mushroom. If we do not encounter a mutation, this should put us in the first position. At this exact moment, we need the finish line to appear in order to ensure victory. Otherwise, we risk getting hit by a new wave ourselves. Piece of cake, right?