It’s healthy to laugh in COVID-19’s face this Halloween
If we can't poke fun at COVID-19 on Halloween, when can we?
You see, Halloween is the one time of year when we can make fun of ourselves and current events by dressing up in clever costumes.
At least it used to be.
Until about 30 years ago, Halloween was mostly for kids. Around 1990 or so, adults begin celebrating it in big numbers, and, boy, did they embrace the opportunity to blow off steam and have some raucous fun.
Robert Thompson, Newhouse Director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, explained why.
"It's the one day where almost anything goes," Thompson told me in 2008. "Adults can be a wise guy or do something outrageous they'd never do normally."
Thompson said adults generally picked costumes that mocked or satirized popular culture. In my opinion, nothing's healthier for a well-functioning society than the ability to freely and heartily make fun of things we find silly, scary or wrong.
But that was Halloween 2008. Halloween 2020 is different.
We're in the ninth, month of a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on our markets and brought uncertainty into every aspect of our lives.
So a costume poking fun at the dastardly coronavirus bug would bring us some much-needed laughter and help us vent some of our pent-up disgust, right?