"Doomsday is Here!" screams the 'Globe' headline, displaying its usual calm voice of authority with its cover story: "Coronavirus Destroying The World! "
Yes, there have been mass deaths in China, the Olympic Games may face postponement, Italy has shuttered fashion shows, America has hundreds under quarantine, and global markets have crashed.
Or, as the 'Globe' dispassionately puts it: " . . . the killer coronavirus threatens life as we know it by triggering abject fear, financial chaos, international tension and horror, as stacks of infected corpses are burned to avoid spreading the disease!"
Thankfully we find level heads prevailing at the 'National Enquirer,' which calmly predicts: "Coronavirus will infect 100m Americans with 7m deaths . . . Riots, famine, economic collapse" from this "unstoppable plague bringing chaos and economic disaster."
There's great news from the medical experts at the 'Enquirer' who can accurately diagnose celebrity illnesses just from their photographs, and accurately predict how many weeks a star has left to live based solely on "friends' fears": "WE'VE found a cure!"
Not to be out-done, the 'Globe' has put its best medical minds to work on COVID-19, and also declares: "We've Found Vaccine To Save Your Life."
Can we expect to see the tabloids' coronavirus cures for sale shortly, for three monthly installments of $39.99, plus shipping and packaging? Apparently not.
You'll be shocked to learn that neither the 'Enquirer' nor the 'Globe' has actually cured the virus.
Rather, both report that pharmaceutical companies are testing a potential drug treatment and a possible vaccine, neither of which are yet proven to work or are anywhere close to declaring themselves a cure.
As for "stacks of infected corpses" being burned, those reports have been comprehensively debunked. Rumors of mass cremations exploded last week when website Windy.com posted a satellite image of Wuhan, ground zero for China's coronavirus outbreak, reportedly showing severely elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, claiming that this proved that China is cremating thousands of infection victims.
But experts soon weighed in to reveal that the "satellite image" was in fact a computer model used for forecasting, which NASA admits frequently gives significantly higher readings than actually occur. An Italian chemist calculated that Wuhan would have had to cremate 30 million bodies to create the sulfur dioxide cloud claimed over Wuhan – a burn rate beyond even China's renown mass-production efficiency.
Scientists suggest that sulfur dioxide levels around Wutan are most likely from power plants, and will ultimately prove far lower than the projected figures.
Prince William joking about spreading coronavirus during a meet-and-greet at the Guinness brewery in Dublin, Ireland, on Tuesday came too late for the this week's tabloids to declare him a disease vector, but Duchess Meghan might prefer taking her chances with COVID-19 rather than face the attacks that greet her in this week's tabloids.
"Defiant Meghan attacks Queen, 93 – 'Drop Dead!'" screams the 'National Enquirer' cover story. "We're BIGGER than the ROYAL family & don't need YOU!"
This deathless exchange, reminiscent of a scene from such classic TV soap operas as 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty,' is revealed courtesy of an unnamed "palace courtier," who miraculously appears to be in every palace room wherever the Queen and Meghan have their death-match throw-downs.
With its traditional impartial and fair sense of balance, the 'Enquirer' reveals "spoiled brat" Meghan's "terrible tantrum" and "mean meltdown" in which she told the Queen: "I can do what I want!"
For those just emerging from months in a sensory deprivation chamber, Duchess Meghan allegedly clashed with Her Majesty over plans for her and hubby Prince Harry to distance themselves from the Royal Family and seek to become "financially independent" by capitalizing on their brand, 'Sussex Royal.'
After the Queen intervened to tell the renegade royals not to monetize the word "Royal," Meghan allegedly went nuclear, confronting the Queen.
The 'Enquirer' reports that dumping the "Sussex Royal" brand will "cost the rogue couple an estimated $1 billion in earnings." Presumably because without the name 'Sussex Royal' they're unrecognizable to the world, and their brand is worthless. Right. Makes perfect sense.
'Us' magazine stirs the Royal pot with its sensationalized cover story: "Cruel Meghan – 'You'll Never See Archie Again!'"
Did Meghan really say that to the Queen?
Not according to 'Us' magazine, despite its cover headline.
That's simply "Her Majesty's worst fear as Duchess Meghan refuses to bring baby back to Britain."
But Meghan isn't refusing to bring baby Archie to England in perpetuity; she simply doesn't want him making the trip from Canada for a few days of Royal engagements at a time when the world is anxiously trying to avoid travel and massed gatherings thanks to the spread of COVID-19.
A close read of the mag reveals that Meghan never said "You'll Never See Archie Again!" It's "Royal watchers" (i.e. journalists speculating wildly) who "feel Meghan is using their son as a weapon to get back at the queen."
All this despite Harry's four-hour heart-to-heart with HRH this past weekend, which by all accounts went swimmingly. But 'Us' mag won't let a family rapprochement get in the way of a good story.
The same could be said of the 'Enquirer,' which continues its two-year campaign to prove that George and Amal Clooney are divorcing, with the headline: "Clooneys in Crisis!" Yet far from splitting up, they couple are together in Spain.
But that doesn't stop the 'Enquirer' claiming that the rendezvous is a "secret showdown" for "emergency crisis talks." They won't let a family rapprochement get in the way of a good story.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' mag to tell us that Nicole Scherzinger wore it best, that Josh Radnor "didn't eat eggs until 10 years ago," that 'Dateline' correspondent Andrea Canning carries toothbrushes, wet wipes and hand sanitizer in her MZ Wallace tote, and that the stars are just like us: they grab a drink, go to the post office, and take selfies. Those scintillating celebs.
Onwards and downwards . . .