Bill Maher Bangs the Gong of Truth: Immunity's the Key to Beating the Virus, and a Life of Fear Isn't One

(Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)
AP featured image
FILE – In this Nov. 24, 2013, file photo, Bill Maher presents the Icon award on stage at the American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. “Real Time” host Maher is taking on both conventions with special editions. They air on HBO on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 and Thursday, July 21, as well as July 27 and 28. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)


Every now and then, Bill Maher’s words ring out like a giant church bell made of stone cold truth.

And on Friday…dong!!

As part of his “New Rule” segment, the Real Time host waxed on the coronavirus clampdown that’s got some people going through life without having one.

Here he goes, folks:

“New rule: The next time we have a worldwide pandemic, we have to come up with a better solution than everyone becomes Howie Mandel.”

[Beware: Language in the video]

If you’re not familiar with the reference, Howie’s famously OCD and germophobic.

Bill noted that everyone loves Howie, but his disorder is “a disease.” And it’s a great struggle:

“He can’t touch a doorknob or wear shoes with laces ’cause they might touch the ground.”

“[N]ow, of course, everybody’s making the joke that ‘Howie had it right all along,'” Bill noted.


“No, Howie would be the first to tell you that he has a disease that [messes] up your life. … No wonder he says, ‘It was always a curse. That behavior didn’t allow me to date or go out with anybody when I was young or really even have friends.'”

Huh — Howie was ahead of his time. A whole bunch of us are late to his quarantine party.

But, as Maher relayed, Howie’s lamented he’s “always on the verge of death in [his] head.”

Doesn’t sound too good. But it’s the way some appear to be living, voluntarily or otherwise.


Bill’s concerned — because he’s aware of the same thing you know, as well: that our bodies fight sickness from within. God already gave us a system for warring against the Wuhan.

And that machine isn’t assisted by a Ziploc Vacuum-Sealed existence:

“I worry that the last two months…have given people the idea that the way for humans to win our million-year war with microbes is to avoid them completely. And I’m here to tell you: You can’t. The key to beating COVID isn’t dining through glass or never going to a concert or a ball game again. It’s your immune system.”

Drop that science, Bill:

“You hear people say, ‘COVID-19 is a new virus, so the immune system doesn’t know how to handle it. [Baloney]. Of course it does. That’s why the vast majority of people who’ve had it either recovered or didn’t even know they had it. What do you think did that? The human immune system.”

According to the HBO man, being scared isn’t the ticket to success, and fear can’t become the new normal. We can’t live like late-in-life Howard Hughes, peeing in jars and wearing Kleenex boxes as cardboard Crocs.

The coronavirus “can get everywhere,” he pointed out. “Microbes are ubiquitous.”

Bill served up a riveting rundown of our repulsive reality:

“We’ve all read the articles — your sink has 500,000 bacteria per square inch. Your toothbrush has feces on it. E coli’s been found in makeup. Carpets; bedding; the remote; cutting boards. The average pillow has 350,000 bacteria colonies. … Your phone has ten times the bacteria of your toilet, which your dog drinks out of and then licks you.”



“[G]od-knows-what is all over your pets and in their mouth, and then you invite them on the bed and they try to french kiss you — and sometimes succeed. And some people don’t even fight it. But what’s the point of a pet if you’re not going to pet it? It’s in the name.”

Right — what’s the point? More profoundly:

“[W]hat’s the point of life if you can’t live it?”

You’re onto something, Bill.

We’re in a strange spot, societally and governmentally. In a way, the Powers That Be painted us into a corner.

Go to a nutritionist for depression, they’ll put you on a diet. Go to a psychiatrist, they’ll put you on a drug, A personal trainer will have you exercise. A psychologist will recommend therapy.

What happens when you put medical personnel in charge of the economy? They’re going to recommend the decisions that keep the most people away from the most disease.

But, as Bill laid out, part of our medical reality is that some exposure is what builds our resistance.

At some point, we’ve got to go back into the world.

Because life is the only thing that makes it worth living.

Mr. Maher closed with a recommendation:

“So this weekend, do something nice for your immune system. Go outside — that mysterious land beyond your curtains where the Grub Hub drivers live. And get some fresh air and Vitamin D. And break a sweat doing something besides eating hot chicken. Because at the end of the day, you can’t keep all the pathogens out.”


Sounds like good advice. For the weekend. And the week. And every day — including this one.



See 3 more pieces from me:

Just as You Expected: Police Report a 50% Increase in Robberies Thanks to Everyone Wearing Masks

Made in Germany: Hamburg Cafe Takes a Hilarious Approach to Social Distancing

In the Name of Safety, Boy Scouts Have Been Banned From Placing Flags on Veterans’ Graves. What About the Name of Patriotism?

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