To successfully carry out an April Fool’s prank, you need a trick, a joke, or a gigantic, well-crafted lie that whoever you’re pranking can cluelessly believe.
Before now, either of these things would have made a terrific start to the month of pranks. On the internet, memes, comic videos, and the likes would have populated the webspace, but all this would fail to ignite the emotions required to participate in April Fool’s Day.
Laughter, embarrassment, joy. None of which would make sense to carry about in the times we are in, as the jokes and lies that once made for terrific games on this day are in a globally connected way, a reality.
We talk a lot about the lives the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take, we talk a lot about the need to fight it and restore the (semblance of) balance we were all used to. We talk about them so much because they are important, just as important as the unimaginable change our lives will take at the end of this trying time.
Judging from all that has already happened, some of these changes will be good, healthy, and others would be the exact opposite. It might tear us apart even further and reveal even more of our worst sides. I am not sure this is a prank anyone could have flawlessly devised. Most prophecies haven’t even come close.
Right now, the internet isn’t keen on celebrating April Fool’s Day. Jokes made now would be less of a joke and more of a reminder of how deep in the trenches we are. Pranks would simply be cruel and lies, insensitive. So what do we do now that we can’t play around our worst imaginations?
What can we do now that we can’t fabricate false hope as it just wouldn’t click and potentially mislead? How do we celebrate April Fool’s Day in the COVID-19 season?
We sit at home. We watch the news. We try to get some work done or don’t. We get bored, creative and above all, we face reality with all the grit and factual information we can gather.
Happy April Fool’s Day still.
Nelson C.J is a culture writer with works in The New York Times, Xtra Magazine, OkayAfrica, Black Youth Project, AfroPunk, and a few other spaces. You can find him saving dog pictures on Twitter.
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