We’ve grown to commemorate every chapter of our shared history with a contribution to the internet. There is a meme, TikTok, Tweet, Instagram post, or story for every major and minor occurrence in the life of a human being with internet access, however sordid or serious it may be. When coronavirus first swept through our lives, we couldn’t help but laugh along with memes to keep from crying. And in this intergalactic reality freak show called 2020, every sick plot twist and non-surprise is met with a swell of online activity.
So, in case you just logged on: President Donald Trump and the First Lady both tested positive for COVID-19. The implications of their diagnosis are both grave and serious: they’ve been in contact with a lot of leaders, donors, and employees. No matter your political inclinations, the Trumps’ recovery will drastically alter the material reality of your life and that of everyone around you.
And yet, we go online to process, as always. We say the darndest things online too — some funny, some sad, some smart, some foolish. Rest assured, it’s hardly ever polite or appropriate, just unapologetically human. The news broke at 12:54 on Friday morning, a time when the well-adjusted are fast-asleep and the gremlins that keep Twitter fun and vibrant roam the internet alone.
I know Dr. Fauci’s groupchat going off right now
— Boo’d Up 👻 (@HollyGoNightly1) October 2, 2020
this is literally the moment everyone on earth has waited for since march
— colleen (@Coll3enG) October 2, 2020
Black Twitter, Insomnia Twitter, Europe Twitter, Night Shift Twitter, and West Coast Twitter are coming together like Voltron.
— Harrison Lee (@HarrisonCLee) October 2, 2020
lmao can you imagine what it’s gonna be like for people who are going to *wake up* to this news jfc
— Internet Person™⭐️ (@TimHerrera) October 2, 2020
So today we learn exactly what time everyone on here first picks up their phone in the morning
— Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing) October 2, 2020
of all days i chose yesterday to have a little chamomile tea and read on earth we’re briefly gorgeous in bed until falling asleep at 11:30
— giabuchi lastrassi (@jaboukie) October 2, 2020
Last night, Libra season, or as it’s called online “spooky szn,” kicked off with a full moon in Aries. Libra season is said to be a time for thinking about power, justice, and balance. WitchTok and the sorcerers of the internet got to work in the replies to Trump’s tweet announcing his diagnosis.
no, this is not a satanic cult cursing Trump and the first lady lmfao. this is a copypasta in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. people pair spooky passages (often religious text) with cursed images to troll in the replies, the way stans use fancams to derail threads. https://t.co/uzcXDh5sqf pic.twitter.com/ZpRwiyYuHm
— morgoblin sung (@morgan_sung) October 2, 2020
Jokes at someone else’s expense are always morally questionable, especially someone who has contracted a potentially dangerous virus in the middle of a pandemic. But we should start to look at memes as more than jokes. Think back to the times you’ve learned of something happening in the news because you saw a meme first. Think about the times you showed your mom a meme she didn’t get, and you realized how complex memes really are and how much prior knowledge it takes to understand them. So yes, people are making memes about Trump contracting COVID, but as always, they’re more than just jokes.
This is actually how my morning went today. thanks for keeping me informed everyone
♬ original sound – Bi Thot
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