Humor in the face of coronavirus


Sometimes there just is no silver lining. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a disease currently sweeping America, has broken apart families who have to quarantine apart. It has caused thousands to suffer and many to die. Yet, I still believe there is hope to be found under these tragic circumstances and that hope comes in the form of a couple of Zoom memes and late-night talk show hosts DIYing their monologues.

It is scientifically proven that humor helps reduce stress. Laughter can improve your immune system, relieve tension in the body and improve your mood, according to the Mayo Clinic. Especially in these times of drastic change and dramatic quarantining, you might be wondering how laughter can help you in the face of COVID-19. Whenever you feel sad or stressed or even bored stuck at home, why not turn to a funny video or meme that can relieve all that tension? Here are some examples: 

Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens

Started in March of 2020, Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens was created to bring together the increasingly bored Generation Z in the hopes of sharing some brilliant content. With universities and all non-essential buildings closed off to the public, Generation Z needed an outlet to express themselves. Memes on this page include roasts of the people who are stocking up on toilet paper, congratulations for professors either epically succeeding or failing in properly holding Zoom conferences and the lamentations of every graduating college senior.

The title of this more than 150,000-member Facebook page was inspired by the video conferencing application, Zoom. Zoom is increasingly being used by universities so professors can continue to lecture to students.

This Facebook page has even led to offshoots like OKZoomer, a play off the popular phrase, “OK Boomer.”  This website was created to help teens find love in times of quarantine. Its tag line: “Love for everyone ... at least 6 feet apart.” When given the right motivation, bored Generation Z young adults have quite an aptitude for humor.

Video challenges

A lot of people have been creating short, clipped video content on ways to keep yourself occupied at home during COVID-19.  

Some of the quirkiest video trends have come out of TikTok, a video-sharing platform. Since a lot of college seniors are upset that COVID-19 has essentially canceled their commencement ceremonies, TikTok has become an outlet for their sadness. Many of them are seen logging on to graduation.

Another trend is the gym at home challenge where people have been squeezing dish soap onto their floors and using it as a homemade treadmill. While public gyms are obvious places that germs and bacteria can spread, homemade gyms are perfect for cleaning the house and getting in that daily exercise.

Late-night talk show hosts

If you follow Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel, you might be wondering what the hosts of America’s late-night television are currently doing. On March 11, many studios that planned on continuing taping canceled production altogether.

On March 12, the last Jimmy Kimmel Live! show for the foreseeable future was hosted by Pete Buttigieg in front of a skeleton audience of crew members from the production team and Pete Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg. As part of his monologue, Pete Buttigieg made sure to point out that everyone in the audience sat the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended distance apart from one another. Pete Buttigieg said, “When you don’t have a real audience, you have to fake one. Just like Trump’s inauguration.”

Other late-night shows took to DIYing their production. Host Noah decided to film small clips of support and humor right from his home. In a video titled, “When You're Inspired by Italy but Live in New York,” Noah stands on his balcony singing the song “A Whole New World” from "Aladdin" only to be told to shut up by a neighbor. Colbert still hosts his daily monologues just in stranger locations, such as his bathtub and under even stranger pretenses.

While audience members are stuck at home, talk show hosts keep them company in similar conditions.

Celebrities washing their hands

There’s been a lot of controversy over how celebrities are handling self-quarantining and social distancing, but many have also been using their platforms as celebrities to promote cleanliness habits. Celebrities like Sebastian Stan and Mariah Carey have taken to singing songs while washing their hands.

In a tongue-in-cheek viral video, Gloria Gaynor washes her hands while singing to her hit tune, “I Will Survive.”  Twenty seconds, at least, is the recommended amount of time that one should take while washing their hands to kill all harmful bacteria, according to the CDC. Consider watching one of these celebrities’ videos next time you wash your hands.

Songs about quarantining

Music, as much as humor, is a good way to relieve one’s system of stress and anxiety. It’s no wonder then people have taken to posting on social media covers to songs documenting their experience during COVID-19.

One Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens member, Andre Alexis Juntilla, posted a music video to his own lyrics making fun of COVID-19. Michael Bruening, associate professor of political science and history at Missouri University of Science and Technology, posted a cover of the song “I Will Survive,” with his own coronavirus-inspired lyrics.

Artist JoJo, known for songs like “Too Little, Too Late” and “Baby It’s You,” posted a cover of her own song, “Leave (Get Out),” and titled the cover “Chill (Stay In).” Joining in on the humor, two sisters in Shreveport, Louisiana, posted a video of their song, “Coronavirus Blues.”

As COVID-19 affects people of all ages and all walks of life, all kinds of people are coming out with ways to combat the symptoms of social distancing and the fear of COVID-19.


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