Chuckling Through the Pandemic

What a crazy couple of weeks we’ve had. Lots of scary words being used: Pandemic, mortality rate, infectious disease, contagion, etc. It is truly amazing to watch it play out.

One of the ways I cope with the difficulties life throws at me is to laugh about them. Sometimes I make light of the affliction, sometimes I make light of the responses to the affliction. Why? Because I would rather be happy than sad, hopeful, rather than fearful, and – as naive as it sounds – I like to hope for the best it people and situations.

Sister Marjorie Hinckley said it best:

“The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” (link)

But her husband, the PROPHET Gordon B. Hinckley, said it pretty well himself:

“…in all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” (link)

I looked closely and couldn’t find an asterisk that said “*except in times of pandemic or crisis.

There is a lot of “enduring” going on out there.

If you follow me on Facebook or other social media, you already know that the coronavirus pandemic has provided me with a lot to laugh about. In turn, I share it with others, because I figure you can use a laugh, too.

That is how I behave. I try to ease the tension by having some fun with the problem at hand. This current problem requires some lifestyle changes (avoiding large groups), some behavioral changes (washing hands more frequently and thoroughly), as well as some huge changes, such as the way we practice our religion.

All of those things are important. I am fully aware that people’s lives are at risk – it would be impossible to not be aware.. I also know that there has some loss of life. I also know that many people are frightened. Joking about them does not diminish their reality, or the seriousness at hand. However, looking at the worst with humor helps make them more manageable, emotionally.

But, alas, not everyone agrees. I know that this past week I have alienated some readers with my humor. I get that.

I’m sure you have all gone to the movies where there is one person in the audience that seems to laugh at exactly wrong moments? That person always seems to have a loud an unique laugh.

That bugs me.

So when I learn that someone is bothered by my feeble attempts at humor, I understand. Not everyone thinks the same things are funny. Some people don’t think anything is funny – especially in times of crisis.

I prefer to endure with a smile and a light heart. I found myself sinking a bit this week as I watched how things with the coronavirus were unfolding, and I remembered one of my favorite scriptures: Section 123:17

“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”

Two key concepts jump out at me: First, I need to do what lies within my power. I can wash my hands. I can disinfect things as best I can. I can avoid the elderly. I can serve other people, etc. What I can’t do is alter what happens outside of my home, office, and circle of influence. Nope, not even I can impact what goes on in China, Italy or Pago Pago.

But, do you know what else I can do? I can do these things that lie in my power cheerfully, as directed, and maybe – just maybe – I can cheer someone else up along the way.

I have faith that this will all blow over soon. I have been promised from a prophet of God that it will, and that things will be ok. I have faith in that promise. Just yesterday he posted a message online that included, “These unique challenges will pass in time. I remain optimistic for the future.” (link)

I have seen much fear, which in antithetical to a faithful life.

As Paul said, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

(Honestly, the “sound mind” part is called into question when I see people hoard truckloads of TP.)

Part of our challenge is to use our faith to push aside the fear we may be experiencing. Depending on the issue at hand, that can be easy, or seemingly impossible.

In discussing fear vs. faith, Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “Members of the Church need not and should not be alarmists. They need not be deflected from quietly and righteously pursuing their daily lives.” (link)

Finding a smile in dark times is one of the ways I try to find faith to overpower fear. Please don’t confuse this with disrespect or insensitivity. I will never be mocking or irreverent towards things sacred. However, I do understand that to some, I am that ill-timed laugh in the movie theater.

I’m not to that point where the future lion king Simba immaturely boasts “I laugh in the face of danger!”

Oh, wait. Yes I am.

To help fight off the coronavirus, please read these:

“Laughter IS the Best Medicine – Psychiatric Times”

“Laughter Boosts the Immune System and Fights Cancer”

“Humor and Laughter Strengthen Your Immune System.”

About the author


  1. Stupid Facebook would not let me share! Don’t worry…we love you!!! You’re very talented and inspirational so keep up the good works!!! Wish you were going to speak in GC.

  2. Well, I’m elderly….67? supposed that is old, my 40+ son didn’t think he should hug me!! I noticed,people are taking a wide circle around me….but, I get it. I look at it as they are afraid that THEY could pass it to me. Yet you will be happy to know, my son said..”this is crap” and hugged me anyway. Brad, you do what you do best. I have not ever taken offence by what you say. Your sense of humor is fine,As long as people are doing what they feel is keeping themselves sterile, then laughter is fine. With my health and staying in bed most of the time, you always make my day. Thank you for the time you take to do this blog l it keeps my Spirit young.

      1. Awwww Brad, Just speaking true to the Stories you create with that great sense of humor. What I was thinking of this “out-of-control-panic”….It made me wonder….If your house was on fire, what would you grab (no, family doesn’t count) something you’d need? Even a flood…..It is just so important you would keep you alive….TOILET PAPER? Not food, family keepsakes, etc….Really!? Can’t understand….Oh Brad? any idea?

  3. Thank you. Seriously.

    Why are so many afraid of discomfort and death?

    I’m afraid of ease and living forever….

  4. I suppose I would wear a long face and tremble in fear, if the Prophets hadn’t been warning these times in general and, recently, this time specifically. We were wondering why, when we looked at the kitchen storeroom, we had accumulated so much food, wipes, and toilet paper. We hadn’t noticed we’d been buying that much extra. Glad to have enough to share, even though I’ve been quarantined. (grumble)

  5. I love your style of humor! You don’t make fun of anyone or anything in a way to pull people down. You do lift spirits and are light-hearted (but not light-minded)!
    Thank you for continuing to speak your mind and show us the gospel from your fresh perspective.

  6. My husband and I have tried to find the humor in this scary situation as well. That’s sort of how we usually operate. Has gotten us through some rough times. We’re watching more funny tv and movies, we’re cracking jokes about how 750 million rolls of TP will somehow save you from this disease (but watch out ‘cause we’re hoarding all the plungers!), and we’re definitely cuddling with our dogs -no social distancing in this house. We’ll get through this and if we do it with some lighthearted banter, we’ll be the better for it!

  7. Brad, just one thing, don’t avoid the elderly. They need humor to. Give them a call to let them know you are thinking about them. Share a joke or a funny story. We have had to quarantine my father and he is NOT happy about it. Phone calls and skype make a world of difference. They already are worried about being at risk and being forgotten, so humor will go along way.

  8. Once upon a time a policeman was sitting in his car by a highway watching traffic, when a pickup truck approached with about 20 penguins in the bed of the truck. The policeman thought was strange so he pulled out and stopped the truck. A little old lady was driving and he told her that she should take the penguins to a zoo. She said she would. The next day the policeman was at the same place by the highway, when the pickup truck approaches with the 20 penguins in the bed of the truck, this time the penguins had sunglasses on. The officer stopped the truck, and said to the little old lady, I thought I told you to take the penguins to a zoo. The little old lady replied , I did that officer, and we had so much fun, that today we are going to the beach.

  9. Amen Brad!! All this fear mongering has gotten out of hand. Laughter is the best medicine. Just use common sense and be safe????

  10. We need some fun right now. I always look forward to seeing your Facebook posts because they do make me smile. Keep it up… please!

  11. I love this!
    Having Irish ancestry I do believe laughter is the best medicine.
    In my job working with kids one of my traditions on St. Patrick’s Day is to dress as a Leprechaun.
    I was sorely disappointed when I found out they put Spring Break over my holiday.
    So I decided I was going to do it any way on what I dubbed Shenanigan Friday.
    That afternoon I found myself at the store. I can’t tell you how many times I was thanked for keeping things light and there was much laughter as I walked around.
    For me I was simply doing what I do best…
    Living my life.

  12. Keep the jokes coming, Brad! If I have to read anymore share facebook post of dubious origin about hospital wards and how I should not even been looking out my windows, I’m going to crack up.

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