This article originally appeared on VICE India.
It has recently dawned on me that in my pre-quarantine days, I was living in delusion. Until just a week ago, I genuinely believed that my lazy ass loves nothing more than to curl up with a blanket, binging on bowls of popcorn and pop culture. But it took coronavirus for me—and maybe a lot of us—to truly comprehend the worth of being able to wander outside. It’s not even about missing some exotic vacation or going to the gym—it’s the mere fact that we’ve all had to give up varying degrees of our personal freedom for the greater good. Now, as I cope with being cooped up indoors, in a shocking plot twist, even Netflix has begun to get on my nerves. I have overwatered all the plants in my garden as well as my anxious thoughts. I have run out of juicy gossip to go over with my parents and now our only discussions revolve around whose duty it is to do the chores. I’m even sick of video calling my friends because there is literally nothing new to discuss—and I don’t think I can take one more conversation of how our government is doing too little testing or why we also need to find a cure for covidiots along with coronavirus. I even thought I’d be a bit productive but instead have found myself mimicking hand gestures to a trashy tune. In case I wasn’t clear enough before, I’m bored as fuck of being quarantined.
In this bizarre headspace, an unexpected saviour from spiralling has been the memes. Now, I understand that the virus is a scary thing that has caused the death of too many people. I also acknowledge that many of these memes can be heavily racist and misinformed. But keeping these aside, the internet has exploded with glorious coronavirus memes—our self-quarantines churning out both, the best and the worst in us. Humour is a tried-and-tested coping strategy, and these relatable snippets of often tasteless art merged with lame comedy have an overpowering potential to let a chuckle or two escape in our daily Instagram or Twitter scrolling routine. Even though I’ve always been an ardent fan of dank memes, even I had underestimated just how all-consuming some low-production Photoshop chops or heavily auto-tuned iMovie edits could be. At a time when we’re all told to stand six feet away and avoid touching our own face let alone someone else, laughing with a friend over a meme we shared has turned into an intimate moment of its own.
So, in the spirit of making sure we all learn to laugh despite the dystopia we’re living out, here are some of the memes that made me smile a crack when I felt like I had forgotten how to switch on my inner light. Maybe they’ll do the same for you.
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