Humor quickly fading from coronavirus 

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 9, 2020

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It was easy to write a humorous column about the toilet paper shortage in early April.

The shortage is still going on. It’s not funny anymore. Although stores now usually have toilet paper, at least some of the time, those brands are downright scary. Brands you’ve never heard of. Is this stuff made of paper or plastic? Was it made in China? What does it clean, because it sure isn’t cleaning my …

Speaking of China, our neighborhood was full of backyard fireworks all weekend. You could hear the rockets going off as far away as the ear could hear.

I wonder how many of those folks who put on Facebook that Americans should stop buying anything from China set off fireworks, or at least enjoyed the fireworks? You did? Thanks for supporting China.

Paul Thorn may have said it best in his song, Mission Temple Fireworks Stand, about a man selling fireworks and saving souls at a tent beside the road.

“Fireworks are dangerous, they can blow up in your face

So you better read the instructions, light the fuse and get away

These things are made in China so it’s easy to see

How a man who worships Buddha ain’t got no guarantees.”

Pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

Our fear of China is real, and it should be. We can’t trust them. On the other hand, for the past decade or more, at least half of the people in this country don’t trust this country. First it was because of Obama. Now it’s because of Trump. I’m sure people in other countries have no idea which way the United States is headed. We sure don’t. I think the problem is with us. We expect too much from our governments. We want everyone in that government to think exactly as we do. And why not? We’re bombarded with it on Facebook.

People love to blame the news media, but forget that Facebook is media, too, probably the most used news source among Americans, and the fake news there is more rampant than in mainstream media. But remember, we want to see what we believe. Real or not, Facebook gives us that. And we can easily choose not to see those sites that spout information we don’t believe.

Facebook news hasn’t helped with this coronavirus, either. Those fake news sites spew out misinformation about the pandemic every minute. Some of it is geared toward right wingers, some of it is geared toward left wingers. Neither notice. They’re seeing what they want to believe. Those news sites are trying to divide us, and it’s working.

Yes, the humor has gone out of the coronavirus. We’re getting better at treating people who have the virus. That’s good news. A vaccine may be available by the end of the year. More good news. Hospitalization of patients is steady or decreasing. Even more good news. We are now required to wear masks in public and practice social distancing for who knows how long. Bad news. Really bad news.

School is a month and a half away from opening. Leaders are still going over the options — online only, a combination of in-person and online, and on and on. Anything less than school as we know it, with students in a real classroom being taught by a teacher, and those students will be left behind. Third grade benchmark tests? Don’t expect these students to meet those standards. It’s not their fault or their parents’ fault. Most parents are not teachers. No matter how much education one may have, teaching their own children just isn’t their forte and it never will be.

Yes, the humor, if there ever was any, is gone from the coronavirus. Or has it?

Seen on a sign at My Friend’s Place, a Mocksville hairstyling establishment:

“DO NOT ENTER IF: You have a fever. You have had a persistent cough. You have ever eaten a bat. You are on the run from the law. You want to sell the proprietor something. You have lice.”

Mike Barnhardt is editor of the Davie County Enterprise Record.