Trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus, many governments across the globe are imposing strict quarantine regulations. However, sitting within your four walls 24/7 can take a toll on any of us.
So, to let everyone know we're in this together and relieve the tension during these difficult times, some people have been making funny signs to describe their everyday reality of living in isolation. From birthday announcements to shopping requests, Bored Panda has collected some of the most amusing quarantine signs, showing that the pandemic hasn't destroyed our spirits yet.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many things to happen, some predictable, others not so much. European leaders have confined people at home and their approval ratings soared. Some right-wing politicians have temporarily socialized their national economies. And as the world faces arguably the worst global health crisis in a hundred years, there's been a mass outpouring of jokes and general silliness. Even if we are scared, we're coping with our fears through laughter.
According to Tom McTague, the why of humor has long been a mystery. "For ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, it was a dangerous phenomenon, something that had the potential to undermine authority and the good order of society. Laughing at those in charge was a serious issue then (and still remains the case in more autocratic parts of the world). Today, in democratic societies, we know the importance of mocking those with power, and we celebrate it, on Saturday Night Live in the United States and Have I Got News for You in Britain," McTague explained in The Atlantic.
However, the writer thinks humor is more than thumbing our noses at power. "It is slapstick as much as satire, a man hitting another man with a frying pan; Kevin McCallister terrorizing Harry and Marv; Ross, Rachel and Chandler struggling to get a sofa up the stairs to Ross’s apartment."
The late Robert R. Provine, a professor at the University of Maryland who was of the world’s leading experts on laughter, said that laughter was our way of bonding. "Most people think of laughter as a simple response to comedy, or a cathartic mood-lifter," he wrote. "Instead … I concluded that laughter is primarily a social vocalization that binds people together." We laugh with others to give us “the pleasure of acceptance," Provine argued—to show that we are the same.
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And when you think about it, it totally makes sense. Professor Naomi Eisenberger, a social psychologist at UCLA known for her research on how the brain behaves when it experiences social rejection and disconnect, told BBC that our current situation, with billions of people cut-off from their normal lives, is unprecedented. She pointed out the importance of people living alone trying to stay connected with those we care about.
Professor Stephanie Cacioppo, an expert in behavioural neuroscience and psychiatry at the University of Chicago, added that adjusting our mindset and expectations is key to avoiding feelings of loneliness.
"Right now you live alone. And right now you have no choice. So you can either scream all day long or make the most of it," Dr Cacioppo said.
Which is precisely what these people are doing through their signs. Consioucly or not, they're following these advice and connecting to one another in a time of isolation using humor. They're making the most out of it.