The Internet Is Churning Out Coronavirus Memes to Help Ease Your Anxiety
These funny tweets and memes could temporarily be the antidote to your coronavirus panic.
For the foreseeable future, coronavirus has changed life as we know it. Schools are closing down, companies are mandating that employees work from home, and people are buying more toilet paper than they can house. As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpasses 1,300 in the U.S., panic and anxiety around the novel virus continues to increase, and the possibility of a lockdown similar to what's transpired in China and Italy looms near. But there's one thing that hasn't changed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic: the internet's ability to diffuse tension with humor and viral content. Yes, even coronavirus has its fair share of memes.
Of course, coronavirus itself is no laughing matter. But humor is humanity's way of coping, and if we're going to be stuck indoors for awhile, it's nice to know we can at least still communicate via viral memes.
For example, when face masks were flying off the shelves in spite of repeated assertions from experts saying that they would not protect you from coronavirus, the internet had some thoughts on that.
— Mike Madden (@MikeMadden) February 28, 2020
Then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended not touching your face as one of the best precautionary measures, and everyone seemed to immediately recall this line from the 2011 film Contagion.
I'm trying to do this less, because all I can hear in my head right now is Kate Winslet in "Contagion" saying,
"Stop touching your face!"
— The Mad Fictionista (@Mad_Fictionista) February 28, 2020
At this stage, it feels like the only possible solution for not touching our faces would be for humans to appropriate the cone of shame.
And when experts emphasized the importance of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds—and advised singing "Happy Birthday" twice in order to hit the requisite timeframe—the internet had jokes.
After all, why settle for "Happy Birthday" when you can belt out "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the work bathroom and make some new friends?
You can also sing all of Bohemian Rhapsody to be very clean and make new friends.
— Leah Shaffer (@LeahabShaffer) March 1, 2020
In fact, why go for a song when this is the perfect opportunity to recite an iconic Macbeth monologue?
— Shakespeare Theatre Company (@ShakespeareinDC) March 3, 2020
Or do a dramatic rendition of the opening from Law and Order: SVU? Everyone has it memorized already, anyway!
Then, the CDC told us to stop shaking hands, and Tik Tok was flooded with videos showing creative alternative ways to greet someone. The most notable one has been the "Wuhan Shake"—a type of foot bump greeting that even government officials are getting into.
And while Twitter users agree that working from home has its perks, it can also be a bit of a drag, especially when conference calls are involved.
But you know what makes it better? BINGO!
To everyone now working from home, let me introduce you to conference call bingo. pic.twitter.com/tBTsxKeYv8
— Runa Sandvik (@runasand) March 11, 2020
Medical professionals' increased emphasis on social distancing and self-quarantining has led talk shows to suspend their live audiences, resulting in some scenes on daytime TV that are equal parts funny and terrifying.
Whoopi Goldberg repeating "welcome to The View" to empty audience chairs is both peak apocalypse horror and high camp. pic.twitter.com/VZroTYVT0N
— Joey Nolfi (@joeynolfi) March 11, 2020
But the real tragedy, everyone can agree, is that The Office is no longer on the air to make a coronavirus special.
The Office: Coronavirus
Michael ignores the "work from home" memo because he thinks that everyone should be together at a time like this
Dwight acts completely normal & claims genetic immunity
Angela wears a hazmat suit
Kevin says that he's had it for weeks & feels fine
— Daniel Burnell (@the_real_bnell) March 9, 2020