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EDITORIAL: CORONAVIRUS MEMES — Because laughter is contagious, too (photos)

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On Monday, healthcare professionals warned us that the spread of coronavirus was going to get much worse and that this week was going to be “really bad.”

They weren’t lying.

The occurrence of cases took a sharp turn upward — partly because we’re starting to get more people tested, and partly because we still have too many people who are not taking the pandemic as seriously as they should.

Alabama this week topped 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 48 counties, including two in Calhoun, one in Clay, one in Cleburne, six in St. Clair, and four in Talladega. And Gov. Kay Ivey confirmed the state’s first COVID-19 death on Wednesday.

Nationally, the United States now leads the world in coronavirus cases with more than 85,600, and a death toll of more than 1,200.

Meanwhile, the economy has been on a roller-coaster, but the hope is that a $2 trillion relief package passed by Congress this week will serve as a financial crutch to help American businesses and citizens limp through this crisis.

Through it all, many of us are sheltering in place or self-quarantining (whatever you want to call it) with very little travel or shopping or hanging out. We’re getting a bit of cabin fever, with a dash of anxiety, a smidgeon of fear and a whole lot of frustration.

And don’t forget those high school seniors who’ve seen their sports seasons abruptly cut short, proms canceled and graduations postponed indefinitely. 

Let’s face it: so far, the year 2020 #coronaSUCKS.

So to take our minds off of the gloom and doom of COVID-19, let’s look to the lighter side. Proverbs 17:22 says “a merry heart does good like a medicine.” Looking for a little levity through the fog of war — along with the tireless work of healthcare professionals, truckers, service workers and first responders — just might be what gets us through it all.

Many people on social media have already begun to poke fun at ourselves and the situation in the form of memes that look at the cuteness, the ridiculousness and the irony of the situation with a comedic honesty that makes you smile in joyful affirmation.

They’re all clever and some are downright hilarious.

Make no mistake about it, this virus is serious business, and we should all do what we can to “flatten the curve” (slow the spread) by staying home, practicing social distancing, sanitizing everything, washing our hands, and covering our coughs and sneezes.

But as often as your spirit will allow, don’t forget to laugh … and share it with someone — from six feet away, of course. They need to see you smile.