COVID-19 Vanity Plate Puzzles Adelaide Airport Staff

Screenshot of gray BMW with COVID19 license plate

COVID-19 is probably the last thing you’d want on your vanity license plate. But apparently not for the owners of an apparently abandoned vehicle in the staff parking lot of the Adelaide Airport, in Australia. The car has been parked in the lot since at least February, when a staff member first noticed the car.

But back then the car was covered, its license plate concealed. And it stayed there even in mid-March, when most of the airport staff went on forced leave for the next four weeks. April brought windy weather, hence the big reveal, when the cover blew off and airport staff members saw the car was an expensive BMW with a particularly creepy vanity plate reading “COVID19.”

The car has engendered much curiosity as the staff speculate about why someone would leave behind such an expensive car, and why the plate suggests early knowledge of the coming pandemic. One staff member posits the car may belong to a pilot who got trapped overseas due to lockdown measures. Which doesn’t explain the weird license plate. Or why family members haven’t retrieved the expensive vehicle, when most cars are parked there for a maximum of 48 hours.

“Curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice in Wonderland might have said: an expensive car abandoned with an ominous message via its vanity license plate. One hopes that the license plate was not predictive of anything that might have prevented the owner from retrieving the fancy car from the parking lot. Meantime, the car sits and waits for at least the near future. Just as we all wait, for the coronavirus pandemic to finally end, and for life to get back to normal.

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