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Thanks to timely announcements from Dr. Fauci, we know that Santa Claus is immune from COVID-19. However, an investigation by the GeekWitness News Team has uncovered a shocking fact: This immunity may not extend to his elves!

This is significant because Santa is upper management, meaning he isn’t really necessary. He calculates incentives (lump of coal? new toy?), writes “Naughty and Nice” memos to redefine the customer base, and attends endless cookie-and-milk meetings – but it’s the elves who do the work.

If the SARS-CoV2 virus rips through Santa’s workshop, we’re in big trouble. How likely is that to happen?

Answering that question requires first answering a deeper question: Are elves a type of human, a type of primate, or a different species altogether?

Consider young children, who have been remarkably unaffected by COVID-19, rarely showing symptoms nor spreading it to adults.

  • If they’re human, they’re probably resistant.

All those so-called experts try to explain it by going on and on about immune systems and other smarty-pants ideas, but GeekWitness News Team prefers the common sense explanation. Kids are too small – the virus can’t find them. It heads for full-size adults instead.

Elves are small, too. Case closed.

  • If elves are primates, they’re probably vulnerable but it’s not certain.

Jane Goodall, who knows whereof she speaks, points out that cell membranes in great apes and humans have almost identical ACE2 receptor proteins, which are the target for SARs-CoV2 and many other coronaviruses, making it likely that apes can get infected.

As for monkeys, researchers are analyzing differences between Old World and New World monkeys in susceptibility to develop animal models for testing of treatments, but no conclusions have been reached yet. At least some are likely vulnerable but evolution has produced interesting differences on either side of the Atlantic that could protect them.

And if elves are oversized lemurs, we have no data at all.

However, they might not be modern primates.

Homo sapiens had split off from all apes and monkeys by about 6 million years ago but Neandertals and other hominims, to use the evolutionary term for human-like primates that sounds like the talking horses in “Gulliver’s Travels,” existed as recently as 40,00 years ago. Maybe elves are another variant of hominim.

It’s possible that while Australopithus and Homo Erectus succumbed to the global plague that is human expansion, Homo Elvus hid out at the North Pole, developing coping skills such as the ability to construct huge numbers of toy trains and dolls.

If this is the case, they are almost certainly susceptible because they would share virtually all of our DNA.

  • If they’re another species, all bets are off.

Cats get COVID-19 and cats have pointed ears. Elves have pointed ears, too, so they’d probably get it.

But who says elves are an Earth species?

Many prominent astrophysicists are comfortable with the theory of panspermia, which says that the organic molecules which led to life could have been carried to this planet on comets, asteroids or intergalactic dust. Maybe elves arrived here from some off-planet source.

If that’s the case they’re certainly immune, despite what H.G. Wells thought in “War of the Worlds.” Life that evolved on another planet would be so different that Earth viruses couldn’t attach to their cells and use them for replication (assuming they have cells), any more than you can connect Lego and Erector Set pieces.

What’s the conclusion?

After considerable effort on behalf of you, loyal reader, the GeekWitness New Team has confirmed that elves either can or cannot get COVID-19 depending on the circumstances and we either should or shouldn’t be very worried.

And with that, we close by echoing the last sentence of every scientific paper ever written: “More research is needed.”

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