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In any crisis, human feelings can change from fear and fright to fun and laughter, as if the situation does not warrant any seriousness!
The social media is surely a fertile space for spreading rumors and anticipations that are mostly unlikely to happen. Jokes are supported and satire plays a deep role, especially when its meaning touches fears and interprets the general psychological directions. I got a joke that transparently explains the inner fear over the effect of Corona: “Two people entered a bank wearing masks and the people there were scared but they became relaxed when they realized that those who entered were robbers!
Again, I will relate another joke that is no less funny than the previous one, considering the behavior: Somebody asks a doctor: Doctor, what can I eat to boost my immunity? Doctor responds angrily: Eat chaff, perish at home and don’t come out unless it is necessary, because we have had enough to handle!
The meaning of this joke is clear and the author may be a doctor, considering the level of awareness therein, although in a funny form. It sounds a serious warning towards adherence to precautionary measures against the infectious disease, and commitment to staying at home or home quarantine.
Professor of Psychology at Kuwait University Dr Adnan Al-Shatti says: The value of a joke is that it’s robust with the reflection of inner vision towards a certain life situation.
At times, the objective is to laugh, and laughter in itself is a form of treatment as it helps a person overcome his rage and reactions. Although jokes cannot solve problems, it helps a person to be less prone to diseases. Anybody who laughs more is less prone to many diseases such as cardiac issues, while too much laughter activates the body parts with several physiological changes like activities of the blood veins, fast heart beat, and increase of sugar in blood.
We should also be aware that joke is a psychological weapon used by the masses, intellectuals and politicians to spread certain issues and warn against danger, corruption etc. Joke is sometimes used as a tool to hint the society by strongly criticising a political system, an incident or something else.
We have many instances in Egypt that are sarcastic jokes about situations. I read at a particular time that the former Egyptian President Anwar Al-Saadat, may Allah be merciful with him, used to ask one of his advisers to tell him the latest joke in town once in every week. In other words, joke was like WhatsApp and Twitter of that time!
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi
“Mockery is not only a naïve joke but also a kind of serious deception, so this makes a difference between a jester and satiric writer, while the former is like carriage the latter is like airplane”: Ahmad Rajab.