LAUGHTER IN THE TIME OF CORONA

Hello to all our isolated friends. We have arrived at week three of staying safe, social distancing and creating laughter from where ever we are. There is no original way to write this, these are crazy times. It’s not so bad quarantining in the house with my family, I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m cooking a lot more, even made an apple tart from scratch, and like everyone else the nooks and crannies of our house are getting a lot more attention. By which I mean they might actually be getting cleaned.

It isn’t until I venture out to get food that I am hit with the scale of this virus. Driving on mostly empty streets in Los Angeles, past people wearing blue plastic gloves to walk their dogs and seeing various shapes and sizes of masks is when my stomach flutters. I consistently have to tell myself this is not a Stephen King movie where someone is going to yell cut.

My sons are of the ages where socializing is everything so taking on their disappointment is also not fun. The younger one has asthma so we are being vigilant – no playdates even if you promise to be 6 ft apart. I tried walking him to the skatepark the other day where he saw a friend.

“I know Mom, 6 ft. I KNOW!” he yelled and turned away. I bent down to tie my sneaker and when I stood up he was leaning in to this boy like they were getting ready to slow dance. GAH!!

“I was showing him something Mom, what is the big deal?”

Which is the question some people are still struggling with like children, because you can’t see it. If you don’t see the green monster it doesn’t exist right?

Wrong. Not new information to anyone visiting the Laughter On Call website where our population is most vulnerable. We keep ourselves quarantined at the very least out of respect for our elders. And from our vantage point having visited thousands of isolated seniors in cognitive decline in our first year and a half, paying close attention to these people is long overdue.

So, what’s the good news? Because there actually is some to share. The outpouring of love and desire to reach isolated people has been remarkable. We have been approached by people from all corners of the world who want to connect with each other and also with anyone in need of a phone call, a ZOOM call or even a friendly e-mail.

It has also motivated Laughter On Call to create what we are calling Lunchtime Laughter: A Comedy Curriculum to Create Connection. It’s a half hour of exercises and sharing funny stories where everyone feels better and gains a little knowledge about emotional and even physical self-care while we are isolated. And of course, we always find laughter, with or without my puppets.

We are sending so much love to all of our communities and our individual clients, we can’t wait to be with you again in person. Until then, please reach out and we would be delighted to be with you virtually.