Dialogue and such that isn't plot-essential often ends up being created this way, with something going on in the world being converted into a vague reference. For instance, some other stories have had references to The Walking Dead and the MCU. (One even had a veiled Star Wars reference that was plot-relevant.)
Since this game was started in 2018, I had no idea what 2020-2021 was actually going to be like. I wanted to find some way to explain why no one is worried about a pandemic, and ended up turning it into a joke.