Evidently farts might be silent AND deadly.

I learned this recently coming across a piece in the New York Post detailing work done by researchers in Australia as to whether the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted through flatulence.

“Luckily, we wear a mask, which covers our farts all the time,” said Dr. Norman Swan on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Coronacast” podcast, referring to the protection pants, underwear, and other coverings provide.

In essence, we are all wearing “ass masks.”

“I think that what we should do in terms of social distancing and being safe is that … you don’t fart close to other people, and that you don’t fart with your bottom bare.”

This is a relief – presumably, most farting is now done in homes with people you know. If I find myself in a situation where someone unfamiliar to me is dropping ass while pantless, I have a lot more to worry about than catching the virus.

But the “posterior pandemic panic,” as the Post puts it, touches on one of my greatest fears – smelling anything that recently came from inside the body of another human.

If I walk into a bathroom that smells like a warthog died in it, I will immediately turn around and walk about. Because the same molecules that made the bathroom stink were only recently nestled in the anus of another human being. We try to pretend that once it escapes, it’s not as bad, because it has mixed with other air molecules and hopefully weakened. But this is a technicality – if you smell anything at all, you are ingesting molecules from a stranger’s rectum. It’s basically the same as you walking up, putting your nose right up to a stranger’s buttocks, and inhaling deeply. The only difference is the amount of their airborne fecal matter you inhale.

Backing up my point, some scientists recently said coronavirus can be transmitted through “aerosolized feces.”

This makes total sense. For example,  I have recently taken up bicycling, and I often ride past people on the bike path, which is supposedly safe. But every now and then I fly by a person who I can actually smell – whether they are wearing perfume, or cologne, or whatever.  And I know that if their smell molecules drift far enough away from them for me to notice, then their COVID particles damn sure could, as well.

This should not scare anyone into drastically changing their lifestyle. New laws are not needed, such as the lawmaker in Nairobi who suggested criminalizing farting on planes. (On the bright side, it is comforting to see the real problems of Nairobi have been completely ameliorated.)

But it is a reminder, even if you are in public and your money maker is fully covered, we are all just living in one giant Dutch oven.