I’m working from home as usual during this time of lockdown and it is becoming increasingly tempting to be distracted by the humorous videos and memes that friends and family are posting on social media. I know that this is a really serious time but in a typical British fashion, the same humour that was seen in air raid shelters during the second world war is being used to keep fears, concerns and stresses under control. Gallows humour is often a reaction to difficult situations.
There’s nothing new in that. Thomas Aquinas wrote, many many years ago, that “It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.” It’s advice given in the Bible:
Humour distracts us. It prevents us from being overwhelmed. It relieves boredom. Laughter is the best medicine. Well, maybe it won’t cure Covid-19 but it helps things that are difficult to become more bearable, allows us to step back from the gravity of the situation and put things into a wider context. So I will intentionally try and find the things that make me smile in the midst of the mundane.