Thursday, April 1, 2021

Laughter as Medicine

The pandemics is not over, but should we pause the jokes? Research shows, we shouldn't, as humor makes us feel better.  

Language learning is hard, so we made it soft, said Duolingo in their April 1st announcement of a new product - toilet papers that turns your bathroom into a classroom. “The average human spends 14 minutes every day sitting on a toilet, - explained Duolingo, - Yet, our work shows that it only takes 5 minutes a day to learn a new language. Our learning scientists have systematically engineered a new bottom-up approach to language acquisition.” 

Toilet humor is not my favorite kind of joke … But it’s a solid number two.

In 2020, coronavirus jokes  - including jokes about toilet paper - were spreading almost as fact as the virus itself.  Such a response is not new - as seen from the art associated with the cholera pandemics and other cataclysmic events. Humor, especially the self-enhancing style (vs self-defeating type), was shown to positively correlate with engagement in protective behaviors and negatively correlate with stress and hopelessness. 
Laughter is used therapeutically in health care. According to experts in humor physiology or "gelotology," by aiding ventilation and clearing mucosal plugs, laughter can help those afflicted with chronic obstructive lung disease. It can increase arterial and venous circulation, causing an increased movement of oxygen to tissues. 

Fortunately, not everybody today was as boring as Google. Consumer electronics company Monoprice advertised their new sit-squat desk to "boost productivity by improving comfort and well-being through posture and proper leg day routines”. There were jokes from emergency medicine physicians (on the left), programmers (stack overflow limiting copy-paste of code), furniture and food companies (smoup - new soup and smoothie food), journalists (digging new Suez2 canal), policemen (new drone-mounted dachshund dog squad), and military. You can find a few more on reddit megatrend

Laugh your way to better health.


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Olah AR, Ford TE. Humor styles predict emotional and behavioral responses to COVID-19. HUMOR. 2021 Mar 22.

Sebba-Elran T. A pandemic of jokes? The Israeli Covid meme and the construction of a collective response to risk. HUMOR. 2021 Mar 22.

Chiodo CP, Broughton KK, Michalski MP. Caution: wit and humor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chłopicki W, Brzozowska D. Sophisticated humor against Covid: the Polish case. HUMOR. 2021 Mar 22.

Kao A. April Fool's Day and the Medicinal Value of Humor. AMA Journal of Ethics. 2000 Apr 1;2(4):34.

Sebba-Elran T. A pandemic of jokes? The Israeli Covid meme and the construction of a collective response to risk. HUMOR. 2021 Mar 22.

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