NEW YORK—Shaking their heads in amazement at their failure to see what had been staring them in the face during the entire pandemic, the nation expressed disbelief Friday that they had spent so long overlooking the obvious solution of encapsulating the mRNA instructions for a coronavirus-based spike protein in a lipid nanoparticle. “It’s so obvious in retrospect: You create a mutated form of the spike protein for SARS-CoV-2, swap in a couple proline substitutions to trigger an immune system reaction, wrap that up in a few-nanometer-thick lipid delivery mechanism, and suddenly—wham—you’ve got an effective coronavirus vaccine,” said local bartender Sophie Litzman, one of 323 million citizens who slapped themselves in the forehead at their own total idiocy for not immediately shouting out “use a solid lipid core matrix to deliver a messenger RNA-based payload that teaches cells to churn out modified proteins to prepare the immune system for viral contact!” the moment they saw news of the novel coronavirus’s spread. “Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, but I was really just keeping quiet because I thought ‘stimulating immunogenicity through intramuscular injections of a strong RBD-binding IgG with robust CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses’ was on the tip of everyone else’s tongue. God, it’s just glaringly obvious now. Stupid, stupid, stupid!” At press time, the nation had agreed that this was really a teaching moment that the simplest solution is often the right one.
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