It was January 21 when I made my first joke about the Covid-19. A follower of global news, so I’d heard the news from overseas. My buddy Tom’s go-to drink is a bottle of Corona with lime. I texted him:
Reports of a deadly coronavirus from China.
Be careful out there.
I ended it with a beer emoji.
For years Tom and I shared a friendship with Mary, a friendship with Mary, a tiny woman in her 80s who lived alone. Tom was her surrogate son of sorts. It was vodka for Mary, cabernet for me, and Corona for Tom until the end of life vigil kept during Mary’s final days.
After Mary’s death Tom and I talked about need for hospice care in our country. I had opinions a plenty based on months of care giving strangers in my home when my late husband was dying. Tom was always looking for the next place to help those in need.
Tom didn’t respond to my January beer joke. But later that day he did send me a link to a recent article on hospice and more people wanting to die at home.
When April Fool’s Day arrived this week I couldn’t bring myself to make any jokes. No trying to fool anyone with faux claims, hoping to evoke a good guffaw. Two months ago I saw Tom’s reply text as a non sequitur. On this first of April, everyone could believe anything and it all could be true.
I now link Covid-19 with the longing to have loved ones as close as I possibly can. I link it to the need for connection and comfort. I link it to death. None of it feels funny. Nonetheless, humor is my balm.
I laugh with my grown children doing a Sunday morning Pony Sweat video workout as we watch one another from four different cities. I laugh at just how long my list of reset passwords is getting. I laugh at the latest meme my clever coworker posts.
We don’t all have the same sense of humor about toilet paper or ventilators. We aren’t always in the same place to receive the jolliness of the well-intended jokester. But I’m counting on continued comedy to keep me carrying on.
We need everything we got to get us through.
Does humor ever help you?
Is there room to laugh in your life?
Who or what allows a little lightness in your day?