Not that kind of ‘viral’: A quick look at social media in the social-distancing age

So, how are y’all doing?

Seriously, though: How are you doing?

Yeah, understandable.

I spent the weekend hiding under the bed. The Mrs. finally coaxed me out Monday morning with some Cadbury Mini-Eggs and the song from “The Great British Baking Show.”

Don’t judge, man. We all social-distance in our own way. And at least the deadly coronavirus pandemic arrives at a time when social distancing is easier, thanks to social media-ing.

Because we have too much time on our overwashed hands — and because the national discourse mainly consists of memes and reaction gifs — the pandemic offers a de facto snapshot of how we’re handling all this yet another excuse for posting dubious facts and alleged humor.

Let’s take a look. We’ve included some entries from the disinformation community in the interest of balance. We trust you’ll know which ones those are.

We begin with the pandemic’s impact on the sporting world. …

Being stuck in the house without March Madness takes a toll, and bad habits can set in.

😂

Posted by K Monique Inkeller on Saturday, March 14, 2020

But keep the faith. Understand that our grandparents dealt with worse.

What’s that? You want to see that again — but this time with a picture of a sofa? I gotcha.

View this post on Instagram

I CAN! Saw this on LinkedIn Reposted from @fpokenny

A post shared by kristen bell (@kristenanniebell) on

Here’s a piece of “medical” advice that might be more fecal than factual. …

It’s the grammar that makes it so convincing. If you believe that, I’ll sell you a half-bottle of white vinegar for the low price of $250.

Now let’s have some fun with numbers …

Reality check: At the time of this writing, those numbers in red were actually 5,702 cases and 94 deaths. (That’s since increased.) And a 2011 study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that while the total U.S. cases of H1N1 were indeed 60.8 million, U.S. deaths were in fact 12,469.

These H1N1 numbers are from over the course of a whole year — from April 12, 2009, to April 10, 2010. Compare that with the exponential growth of these coronavirus case numbers.

Moving on …

This is fair. My five-part exposé on mind control has been ready to publish for a year now, and the bosses here still refuse to run it. I fear the psychic overlords got to them.

Here’s one that addresses the whole flattening-the-curve strategy, through the lens of that famous stock-image skeez. …

And before you think that we’re on the brink of dystopia, please note that toilet paper wasn’t currency in “Mad Max,” “Blade Runner” or, heck, even “Waterworld.”

To that point …

Here’s an R-rated one for the grown-ups. …

Now back to sports …

Yeah. Pretty much.

Finally, some wisdom from The Rugged Lands of Shaolin. ..


Time to wash my hands again. Be safe, and remember that there are a lot of folks out there who are vulnerable to this thing. Let’s watch out for them and do our part.

Until then, keep your chin up, and keep the faith that one day your 401(k) will be worth more than a four-pack of Quilted Charmin.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up