Coronavirus Needs You, a comic by Gaius J. Augustus
Coronavirus Needs You, a comic by Gaius J. Augustus

Last week, I got a panicked text from a friend who has an autoimmune disorder and is increasingly worried about the novel coronavirus. They had received a package several days earlier and put it under the bed. Now, they were worried that the virus could grow off of the box and spread. They knew that bacteria could do this, and wanted to ask me how to handle it.

Many people don’t know that viruses can’t make copies of themselves, by themselves. So I decided to create a cute comic to help explain it. Luckily, last year, I created this microscopic character, a waterbear, who could help me explain!

The Process

This comic was drawn with pencil on paper and then traced with a pen. I left some of the pencil marks as well as the paper texture in order to give it a more organic feel. The coloring was done using watercolor brushes in Photoshop CC.

Transcription of comic

CORONAVIRUS NEEDS YOU, by Gaius J. Augustus, PhD

(Image of a waterbear wearing big glasses pointing at the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2)

As a waterbear, I know a thing or two about being microscopic. Coronavirus is small like me.

(A cutout image of the virus reveals that inside are ‘instructions’, genetic material that can be used to make more viruses)

Inside are instructions on how to make more viruses. But the virus actually doesn’t have any of the tools to follow those instructions.

(Closeup of waterbear with lots of small coronaviruses in the background)

The virus needs you! It tricks your body into supplying the tools & helping it make more copies of itself.

Slow the spread by staying home if you can!


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