The world is a strange place these days, isn’t it? The streets, schools, and playgrounds are empty. Hardly anyone is allowed to go to work. People are locked up tight in solitary confinement, or “quarantine” if you prefer. I think my version is much more apt though, don’t you? Whether it’s self-imposed or not, it still feels a lot like imprisonment. In addition, we grow more and more cynical and suspicious of each other with each passing day. “Did she just cough?!” Where does my neighbor think he’s going? He’s supposed to stay home! “Is somebody stealing my toilet paper?” On and on it goes, with no end in sight.
Speaking of toilet paper, the grocery stores have become like warzones when it comes to that precious, precious TP. Seriously, of all the possible items for people to go crazy over during dark times like these, I never would have suspected that toilet paper would be the number one hot commodity. People are hoarding it and fighting over it – it’s all very extreme. Yes, in my mind, I’d like to forever remember this year as The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020, instead of the year that thousands upon thousands of people got sick and died due to a terrible pandemic that changed reality around the world as we know it. The former is much less of a mouthful, right? Not to mention far less depressing.
You’ll have to forgive my dark humour if that’s not your cup of tea; however, I’ve always believed that these are precisely the types of situations that require a little levity to brighten one’s day. Yes, this is a very sad, tragic, and scary time in our history; and for many single folks who live alone (like myself) also a very lonely time. We’ve been physically cut off from friends and loved ones, we’re required to stay confined at home as much as possible instead of going out into the world to explore, to play, and to just plain live alongside each other. Hence, humour is a great outlet from the frustrations of our current societal situation. It allows us to connect in a positive way with one another and allows us to forget our troubles, even if only for a moment or two. If you take a moment to peruse all of the coronavirus memes, comics and jokes that seem to be flooding the internet and every social media platform out there, it’s actually pretty amazing how imaginative and ingenious people can be when it comes to finding the humour in bleak situations.
We’re all doing our best to adjust to this new dystopian reality of ours and the whole thing has become a very surreal experience, to say the least. No one knows what the coming days will bring, but I hope with all of my heart that despite the terrible circumstances, these trials will bring us together in the end. There have been so many examples in the news of how brave, caring, noble and just downright extraordinary humanity can be in a crisis. I’m talking about the frontline healthcare workers putting their lives on the line every day to care for the sick; people donating money, supplies and protective equipment to countries around the world that are in dire need of them; hospital staff, service workers, truck drivers and every other essential worker out there getting the job done day in and day out; even just those who make the choice every day to stay home to protect those around them are amazing in their own right. We’re so much better than bickering over petty things like toilet paper, people! If we can continue to come together like this (while staying the proper physical distance apart, of course) then I have no doubt that we’ll make it through.