Dear Parents: 'Harmless' April Fool's Jokes About This Situation Aren't Funny


april fool's day

Globally, there is SO much happening right now. As the virus spreads and continues to physically socially distance us from our friends, loved ones, schools, and work, we're all in desperate need of a laugh. How we deal with tragedy is very personal. Sometimes we need to watch reruns of Friends or eat a tub of ice cream.

Some people deal with tragedy through dark humor. The old adage "you need to laugh or all you'll do is cry" is a legitimate way for people to heal. It's especially true for people on the front-lines of tragedy; joking is a coping mechanism so it doesn't all get too real to fast. 

  • But ya'll, can we just please leave April Fool's Day out of this?

    This falls in the bucket of people who "prank" other people that they are pregnant. It's weird, it's cringey, and honestly it can be downright hurtful to some people. 

    Joking that you have it, a loved on has it, or even that it is over and kids have to go back to school is just ... weird.

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  • You might see it as utterly harmless, and maybe you're right. 

    But to the nurse who just finished a 12-hour shift, stripping off her scrubs at her front door, burning her skin off in the shower as she prays she doesn't bring it home with her, I'd imagine it isn't funny.

    For the people who have been or are about to be laid off from their jobs en masse, I bet all they wish they could hear is that this nightmare is over.

    To the kids who miss their friends and teachers and are confused and scared because of the news ... I'm sorry, I just don't think it's funny to jostle them again. 

  • There are other ways to bring laughter into your home. 

    There are so many harmless pranks you can play and (if you really feel compelled to) share for the rest of the world to laugh at.

    Right now, we have to be considerate and caring for other's fragility. There has to be a little empathy, even in the digital space, because honestly we're all a little raw right now from being unable to physically be with some of those we love.

  • By all means, do what you need to do to mentally and emotionally care for yourself, but maybe don't do it at someone else's expense.

    If that means funny family movies, turning off the news, or putting shaving cream in your partner's shoes, then go for it. But in your quest for a chuckle, don't be insensitive to the needs of others.

  • There are a lot of people genuinely suffering right now. 

    They deserve to have spaces to feel safe online -- especially now that physical contact is limited. During this time we have to be a little more thoughtful of other's people's mental state. Comedy is absolutely always welcome, but perhaps it just doesn't need to discredit the struggle people are going through themselves.