You open your phone to a plethora of Coronavirus memes, ranging from Cardi B, to jokes about bat soup. Perhaps some of this crude, brutal humor is one of the only things that has kept us going throughout the time stuck in our homes. As funny as these jokes and jingles may be (and it is totally okay to laugh at these in order to keep your sanity), I am here to bring you back to the reality of the matter, and the tragic roots behind our hilarious feed.
With a colossal 2.79 million confirmed cases worldwide according to Google News, it can almost seem like a dream. In January it was so distant. March came and what once seemed to be so far away quickly became our new and altered reality. We woke up on March 11th, 2020 not knowing it would be the end of our school year. Seniors went to their last day of school without even knowing it. What about prom? Unknown. What about graduation? We don’t know. What about finals? They’re online. What about my friends? Facetime them. So many things changed so rapidly for education systems around the world. So many things changed in our daily life that we never even noticed were there. No matter how many hilarious Zoom memes I find, behind the scenes I am struggling, we are struggling. We are all grieving the same losses, just from different places. It was once my dream to be able to sit at home all day, and now I would almost do anything not to.
It’s easy to look at the statistics. It’s easier to stay factual about it. It’s easier not to get too wrapped up in the countless lives lost due to the pandemic reigning our Earth. But 208,000 deaths worldwide becomes a lot bigger when someone you know becomes a part of it. Because then it’s not just a number anymore. To so many people, that number includes their mom, or dad, or brother, or sister. This number is their family, their joy, and their memories that are no longer living.
According to The Department of Numbers, the unemployment rates have skyrocketed from 3.5% nationally in December 2019, to 4.4% in March 2020. The next time you find yourself cackling, think about the hundreds of people who have lost their paychecks, those who have hungry mouths but have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Think of those who have families that they cannot currently support. And the ones who relied heavily on school meals to feed their children. If we viewed our media through this filter, it would add depth to our understanding of the toll this has really taken on us.
Sometimes humor is the best way to get us through the hardest of times, but it’s only funny if we can really grasp a good understanding of what it is we are making light out of. This is such a dark time for us as Humans, so keep laughing but before you lay your head down at night, just remember what it is that we are really going through.