This week, my humor writing class had me peer review the work of the other eight students in the course. I was lucky enough to read eight different poems, all about everyone’s favorite obsession: the coronavirus! How original.

I had to read so much COVID-19 content that I think I should be considered a historical expert on everyday life during this epidemic.

Look, I’m all for a one-liner about injected Lysol or oddly creative face masks. But, after reading eight different poems, all about corona, I poked around the Campus Times humor section and found five different coronavirus-related articles (not including any about Zoom classes) within a minute.

Listen, I get it. My humor writing professor loves to remind us that most humor contains an underlying truth about the human experience, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for humorists. We’re all living the same life — everybody is (hopefully) staying inside all day, with not much to focus on other than the coronavirus. I don’t blame anyone for using the incredibly relatable content. 

While there’s undeniably a lot of material there, COVID-19 jokes are low-hanging fruit. And there’s nothing wrong with taking the low hanging fruit, but it says a lot about you as a writer if you’re able to make something funny that isn’t the easy target.

Good humor often comes from an unexpected surprise within the topic. Mabe COVID-19 had that type of potential at first, but after six weeks of quarantine, it’s lost its spark.

Isn’t most of the appeal of reading — and especially the appeal of reading humor —  the sense of escapism? I am sick of hearing about the coronavirus every second. Yes, it’s important to stay informed about what is going on in the world, but I don’t read humor to stay up-to-date. I read humor to laugh, and the material that connects laughing to COVID-19 is exhausted. I’m sick of hearing about unfortunate beer names, anything connected to the number 19, and Zoom classes. 

If you want to keep an audience’s attention, please avoid COVID-19 jokes. I am begging for someone to write something fresh and eye-catching, anything to keep my mind off of this reality.

Tagged: COVID-19 humor

An opportunity to create: Turkish Ebru sip n’ paint with Muslim Students’ Association

The Muslim Students’ Association’s Sip n’ Paint sent many students home with a weight lifted off their shoulders and a few pieces of artwork of their own.

The best routine is the one you stick to

But even as we run from our past selves, we fall short once we realize the finish line is beyond years away, and our rushed pace is nothing but a one-way ticket to burnout.

An interview with ChatGPT

ChatGPT will never consider itself an “evil AI that will conquer the human race.” But, it will consider roleplay.