A virus has hit us and it is serious. The Coronavirus is controlling us. It is highly contagious and it is even threatening people’s livelihood and lives. But does the fact that it is serious stop us from having a bit of a laugh? Actually no, humour is even more important in difficult times like these.

It is springtime and unfortunately this virus is keeping us locked up at home. Some of us cannot go to work, or have made arrangements to work from home. Many of us are spending more time than usual with our families, but if this virus is going to continue to limit us for much longer, the financial pressure of having to staying home can become a source of stress.

Those who work in supermarkets, hospitals and homes for the elderly and the armed forces are even more at risk of contracting the virus through increased exposure. Others are working from home offices. Some parents who are working from home have assumed the role of teachers or child carers and are with their children seven days a week. Others are completely on their own.

Then there are those who are infected with the Coronavirus who, apart from being isolated from the outside world, have to fight not only the symptoms of the infection, but also their fears. So can we joke about the Coronavirus?

Finding humour in a situation that is far from funny can distract us from thoughts we may be having. Humour is a form of alienation. Fear and stress are alleviated for a moment.

Making fun of photos or clips of people fighting over packets of pasta, water and toilet paper on the supermarket shelves may not go down well by people who are in a panic because of the Coronavirus. Humour, in these circumstances, can be insensitive. Empathy is called for here. Being funny does not necessarily mean making crass jokes.

Laughing together strengthens the community spirit. The social media can help change the mood of people who are struggling with the realities of this pandemic.