Why Do We Make Coronavirus Memes and Jokes?

The Coronavirus, the new global outbreak, has been made a joke by many people on social media. Late last year when China alerted the world about the virus, jokes, memes, and puns have been spreading faster than the virus itself. 

The most common meme about the Coronavirus is facemasks. People are purchasing large amounts of facemasks. The surgeon general urges people not to buy them, but with the shortage, people are making DIY videos on how to make them yourself. Other countries such as Australia, have been buying even larger amounts of toilet paper causing a shortage for some companies. Although there are many different memes about the virus, it is hard to tell which ones are serious and which ones are generally meant to be funny.

Memes such as this SpongeBob one from Reddit are common on social media sites

Paul Lewis, author of “Cracking Up: American Humor in a Time of Conflict,” says he visited his daughter at Dartmouth, and in the bathroom, there was a message written on the wall that said, “A lot of people are dealing with anxiety, so it would be better to think twice before joking about Coronavirus.” Lewis says, “This virus is a terrible scary thing, and, therefore, we should expect to joke.”

People make jokes about everything, therefore, for many people, joking over a fatal disease can be a way of repressing the fear or worry of it. Others genuinely are not afraid or in panic mode over it, most likely due to the fact that the odds of getting the Coronavirus in the US are almost zero.

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