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Robert Frost, and later Jimmy Buffet, observed if we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane. If that’s true, then the hard times we’re all experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic might just be when we need laughter most.
There is, of course, nothing funny about COVID-19, the disruption it has brought (and will bring) to so many lives and livelihoods, and the isolation it has imposed on us all. Nothing funny at all.
The isolation is in many ways the cruelest verdict. Our instinct as humans, social animals, in times of uncertainty is too pull one another close. Our family and friends, yes, but not only them. All whom we see hurting, and mercy, so many are. Crises historically have been the occasion of some of our finest hours. Yet this instinct is the very behavior that is proscribed. It’s bracing, our inability to embrace.
This means other ways of staying emotionally connected to one another while maintaining social distance take on critical importance. Humor is one way. The coronavirus