Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 22, 2020

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 22, 2020

Ian Haysom, a veteran journalist and writer, is a news consultant for CHEK. His coronavirus diary will appear here regularly.  

Two dinosaurs look up at the sky. The first dinosaur says, “Look. A meteor is hurtling towards earth.”

The second dinosaur says, “Oh no. I’d better get toilet paper.”

This has been my favourite coronavirus cartoon so far. Humour, at a time of world crisis, is in short supply. But it’s vital as an antidote to the gloom and doom and relentless bad news. Even as I write this, pop-ups appear on my computer telling me of more infections here, warnings there, deaths everywhere.

Is it inappropriate to laugh? No. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone. Laughter is the best medicine (sayings? I have a million of them).

Which is why, I think, we have had such a positive response to our new feature, The Upside, on CHEK News. The feature looks for the positives in a world of negatives, for a glimmer of hope. Weatherman Ed Bain and sports director Jeff King, who doesn’t have much sports to report, are providing us with some laughter and bad music. “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” sang Ed, playing his acoustic guitar in his back yard, and frankly, singing and playing like this will ensure most people will keep their distance.


And it’s great to see Raeside in the Times-Colonist again, making us smile.

Here’s another coronavirus joke going the rounds: “Day two without sports. Found a young lady sitting on my couch. Apparently she’s my wife. She seems nice.”

There have been those who suggest that this crisis will result in a baby boom, because of home quarantine. Or, in long-term situations, a divorce boom.

Here’s one from Sean McLoughlin in Britain: “The prime minister suggesting people should avoid going to the pub is like the American president suggesting people should avoid shooting others in the streets.”

Here’s one I liked on Facebook: “I can’t home school my kids because the only historic battle I know is the one between Biggie and Tupac.” If you don’t understand that one, you’re not into rap and you should probably self-isolate immediately.

My favourite visual joke this week was of a kilted Scotsman playing bagpipes. With the caption: “Social distancing tool.”

Someone called Sir Michael, posted this:


Day 1: I have stocked up on enough non-perishable food and supplies to last me for months, maybe years, so that I can remain in isolation for as long as it takes to see out this pandemic

Day 1 + 45 minutes: I am in the supermarket because I wanted a Twix

From Deepak Vasudevan: “So many coronavirus jokes out there, it’s a pundemic.”

I have already, in a recent diary entry, mentioned Brigid Delaney’s wonderful post: “In an unsettling reversal of my teenage years,I am now yelling at my parents for going out.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer had a cartoon of a doctor speaking to a young father. “Good news. You don’t have coronavirus.” The father, alarmed, replies, “But can you still quarantine me from my kids?”

Sara Jeffry posted: “Your grandparents were called to war. You’re being called to sit on your couch. You can do this.”

In another cartoon a leprechaun is at the end of the rainbow with a pot of Purex and toilet paper. He says, “There was gold, but then we crunched the numbers.”

In another cartoon, a man is in bed clutching scores of rolls of toilet paper.

“Coronavirus?” asks a nurse.

“Moronavirus,” says the doctor.

But the most trenchant cartoon comes from Sheheman of the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey. Under a heading of memorable Presidential quotes, he first shows Franklin Roosevelt: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Then John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

And, then, Donald Trump: “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

Maybe the biggest and scariest  joke of all.

Keep laughing, if you can.

Read the last diary entry

Ian HaysomIan Haysom

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