What’s the best way to fight COVID-19? Stay home? Avoid crowds if you do have to leave? Wear a mask even to take out the garbage? Keep 6 feet between you and anything else breathing? All good ideas, but what about the side effects, like being cooped up in the house, perhaps out of work, and certainly out of sorts? How do you handle those?

Try humor. I’ve touched on this subject before, but given our collective circumstances, it might do some good (and it wouldn’t hurt) to expand on it.

Now, obviously, people getting sick and some even dying are nothing to laugh about. But for the hundreds of millions weathering the storm rather well physically, it doesn’t hurt to smile a little from time to time. All you really have to do is watch our elected officials try to figure things out. Because many of their actions and suggestions affect all of us so much, they’re often laughable. Whether they’re saying everything will be back to normal soon or suggesting we spend billions if not trillions more dollars on myriad non-virus programs, to watch the powers-that-be in action is akin to sitting in a room with the “Saturday Night Live” writers as they pitch sketches for an upcoming show.

“How about we have the White House say, ‘The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself?’ and send everybody back to work? That worked well once.”

OR

“No, no, what if Congress comes up with a plan to spend trillions of dollars not to put ‘a chicken in every pot,’ but, ‘pot in every house?’”

Fortunately, extensive research has shown there are many other examples of possible chuckles that don’t have anything to do with politics (thank goodness).

For example: Realizing you and your 92-year-old mom are in the same risky demographic.

Or, trying to explain to your children how some guy eating Bat Soup in China has caused a toilet paper shortage.

This was a conversation purportedly overheard by someone in California while trying to get tested for the coronavirus.

HEALTH OFFICIAL: “Have you been to any countries experiencing an outbreak of coronavirus in the past two weeks?”

CITIZEN: “Yes, the USA.”

His test request was denied.

If you think about it, this is really a good time to be an introvert. Events are canceled. You don’t even have to make up excuses as to why you don’t want to go out and do something. There’s no small talk and no physical contact.

Discoveries have been made: Some guy said he washed his hands so many times he uncovered the crib notes he’d written on his hand for an English exam in 1995.

Questions and observations by others:

“Why, when the order went out to avoid mass crowds, was the grocery store crammed within an hour?”

“A month of isolation with the family? What could go wrong?”

“Even though you spend most of your time at home anyway, now that the government says you have to, you want to go out.”

“Mexico is considering closing its borders to Americans for fear of catching the virus.”

“A guy got a giant roll of TP for Christmas as a white elephant office gag gift. Who’s laughing now?”

“Corona beer is thinking of changing its name. It’s going to be called Ebola Extra.”

“Some things we’ve probably all learned in the past few weeks: COVID-19 is a novel virus.

- The mortality rate is estimated at around 3%.

- Coronavirus is transmitted much like a flu.

- The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to coronavirus complications.

- We LOVE touching our faces.”

“Jehovah’s Witnesses are thrilled. Everybody’s going to be home.”

“Intercepted text: Day 2 without sports. Found a young lady sitting on my couch yesterday. Apparently, she’s my wife. Seems nice.”

“Waldo is really easy to find. He’s alone everywhere he goes.”

“If you need 144 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, you probably should have been seeing a doctor long before COVID-19.”

Sign: “Every disaster movie starts with the government ignoring a scientist.”

And then there’s one of the funniest videos you’ve probably already seen. There’s a serious-sounding narrator describing a hypothetical situation: “Because of coronavirus, you are going to be quarantined,” says the voice to a man on camera. “But you have a choice: Do you A) quarantine with your wife and child, or B) ––.“ Before the second option is read, the man jumps in and says, “B, definitely B.”

Be well. Try to smile more.

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Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta.

See more of his work at www.wordsmith-at-large.com.

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