Photo: Roy Wood Jr/Twitter

Look, we get it. The central premise of this article sounds absurd. What could possibly be funny about a global pandemic that has altered the very fabric of our existence, in one fell swoop shutting down everything we hold dear, from sports to movies to music to the very notion of human interaction? How could anyone possibly write jokes at a time like this? But in times of crisis, when we are frightened and don’t know what the hell is going on, we’ve historically turned to comedy. Comedy, as frivolous and inessential as it may seem, is humanity’s free coping mechanism, a medium that both distracts us from the horrors of the world while allowing us to get our best and worst thoughts out of our heads and off of our chests.

That being said, a lot of the comedy produced in response to the coronavirus has been unfunny, hack, and sometimes legitimately racist. Furthermore, as time passes and the news changes on a minute-by-minute basis, jokes that were funny five days ago have turned sour. Sure, the first tweet about what Shakespeare wrote during quarantine was cute, but by its 789th iteration, the bit had worn thin. Jokes about scoring cheap flights to Mexico on a “coronavirus discount”? Not so funny in light of how many people refuse to take social distancing seriously. A TikTok coronavirus challenge that involves licking a toilet seat? Okay, that’s legitimately horrifying under any circumstance.





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