Social Isolation, Quarantine, Home Schooling- it’s corona time and there are plenty of things to panic about. However, netizens are lightening up the mood and are trying to shed some light in these dark times with their coronavirus inspired memes.
So far, 1,98,726 people are reportedly infected by the virus around the world. The death toll stands at 7,989 while 82,779 people have recovered the virus infection.
Distraction from Chaos
Between coronavirus test and mask shortages, business and university closures, home quarantine and isolation wards and the media which at the moment is updating too much, stressed individuals are in need of a distraction from the chaos and it seems most of them have found their resort and peace in online memes.
A single search of “coronavirus” in social media platform yields not just results about information, but hilarious meme’s that relax the mood of these tensed times. And it covers all kinds of topics- hospital isolation, about the virus, the work from home memes to name a few.
Maria Breese McLain Jax is useless ..
Linda Lee ?????? ? ??????? ?????? ????????? ??????, ?????? 14, 2020
Some work with dark humor, while most of them focus just on lightening up your mood.
On TikTok, a song that begins with the line “It’s corona time” has set the punchline for jokes about COVID-19.
@shivanidukhandeeveryone during the coronavirus…stay safe guys! ??? ##fyp ##foruyou ##4u ##hongkong ##coronavirus ##4up ##4u ##xyzbca ##viral ##foryoupage
Responding on the meme culture, USC medical education lecturer Sarah Mojarad told the Los Angeles Times, “The public wants to have this nice narrative, they want to understand everything in one story, they want it to be nicely packaged — and unfortunately that’s not the reality we live in.”
Information and Misinformation
But one of the greatest dangers that have emerged along with these meme’s is the amount of misinformation it produces. The covid-19 outbreak is a new phenomenon and people seems to be uploading their own theories and cure on this particular pandemic.
CNN: Alcohol kills coronavirus
— Cristina Ibarra (@ibarrita87) February 27, 2020
People are also making memes and artworks that are criticizing the political environment in the midst of the pandemic.
Badiucao, a Chinese digital cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia, who’s attracted the ire of authorities in Beijing for his stand on human rights, recently shifted his attention from the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests to the Chinese response to the outbreak, reports Los Angeles Times. Here are a few of his works:
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Here comes the newly released official illustration of how to control #WuhanPneumonia in China. Everyone must remember it ?Silence Is Health. ????????????????????? #???? ??????????? #WuhanSARS #ChinaPneumonia #Sars / / / Time for HongKong‘s own Identity?#LennonWallFlag #???????? First Time #LennonWallFlag spotted in HongKong?proud ? #???????? Chinese dissident cartoonist Badiucao has unveiled a flag design that he hopes will “become a new symbol of Hong Kong’s freedom and resistance.” The rainbow-coloured design was inspired by the “Lennon Wall” message boards that have sprung up in communities across Hong Kong since June. #freedom #hongkong #antielabhk #standwithhongkong #art #artistsoninstagram #arts #streetart #hongkong #hongkongprotest #humanrights #freespeech #beijing #china #politicalcartoons #illustrationartists #australia #melbourne #standwithhongkong #freedomhongkong
“I think restructuring negative conditions (such as worrying about coronavirus) using humor is just a common thing people do as a coping mechanism, and also by reducing the apparent seriousness of it through humor, it can reduce stress and anxiety surrounding it too,” said Rahul Kashyap, Psychology student, to meaww.in
It is true that the memes are for the time-being helping people to cope with this overwhelming situation, but one has to also invest sensibly to this activity, as ‘misinformation’ is the worst thing one can spread during a pandemic.