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Opinion and Editorial

Covid-19: Don't place humour in the ICU

Bikram Vohra
Filed on September 3, 2020

There is light at the end of this Covid tunnel and the sound of laughter can dissipate the thickest of gloom

People lose their muse. She flies off the shoulder, with a flutter of her wings. Authors get writer's block and their inspiration turns to perspiration as they struggle from one torturous sentence to another. Painters look at blank canvases with a bleakness that is monochrome in its texture. Singers find a frog has taken residence in their throats and the high note is not reachable. It is not just the arts. Across the board thinkers, tailors, soldiers, spies, rich men, poor men, folks with indigestion, businessmen and some bums, all are stymied by this six-month gap in life that threatens to prolong the agony with no expiry date. The pandemic has frozen the arts, smacked the sciences, taken the mickey out of business, broken the wing of aviation, put the brakes on transportation and even prevented closure in grief by blocking us from final farewells.

Yet, in all this unrelenting sobriety one tenuous rope of hope that has us tethered to the post of safety is the sense of humour. It is our salvation and our path to the retaining of sanity. There are more stand-up comics today than ever before. Comedy is reflected in reruns of favourites often more than twenty years old. Friends, Modern Families, even Everyone loves Raymond, and Kevin Hart and Russell Peters, Michael McIntyre are suddenly in demand.

We need this balancing factor, this transferable ability from stage and screen to ourselves so we can laugh at our foibles because never has it been so true as it is now to say laughter is the best medicine. Not the bitter, mean, malicious mockery but the 'oh migoodness, is this me being so silly' warm and friendly let down that will be so powerful in the fightback against Covid.

We need to laugh. To bring down the stress levels we are all under before they slice us into salami. A recent post pandemic study says, "Covid 19 is no laughing matter. We get that. We do think however, in times of stress in a disaster, that kindness, humour, and civility will help us pull through."

Look for funny haha, funny peculiar in this time of crisis. There is nothing like a good laugh in the face of the negative. There is light at the end of this Covid tunnel and the sound of laughter can dissipate the thickest of gloom. It is also good for the kids. Far too often they feel things they cannot quite express and bottle it all up. It is a lot healthier if the adults in the family lightened up and allowed laughter to cleanse young people's fears.

Humour has always been suspect. That is because the human race has not yet evolved to the point where it can automatically differentiate between insult and injury and the seeking of slight rather than enjoying a bit of a self-effacing laugh. Our natural pompousness and sense of self-importance is comical in its posturing but if we can use it to sweeten the uses of adversity we would all be better off. So laugh a little, smile a little, joke a little, and let mirth be your calling card. Maybe we can drown little Covid in a wave of hilarity.


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