Humour? It’s a strange phenomenon. If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry. I put the following post on Facebook and immediately deleted it.
“STAY ALERT! BREAKING NEWS!
First they sold out of toilet rolls. Next. There’s been a rush on boxes of matches………”
Why did I delete it? Because in isolation it feels like you’re taking a very serious subject matter and adopting a callous response that is shallow and demeaning. Like I don’t actually care. However. In reality, it is simply ‘Gallows Humour’. It is adopted by many in my area of work as a nurse. It seems to be a coping mechanism. Something to relieve tension in enormously tense situations. And of course. There is a point that you cannot go beyond. This example is actually suggesting ‘irony’. It does not address the situation that people are dying. It does not address the situation that lack of adequate Personal Protection Equipment can kill people. It does not address the fact that over the years of my nursing experiences I have sat alongside very many patients who are dying or have died in my presence. The families that are subsequently heartbroken.
PPE? I could have put a photograph of toilet paper around a person’s face and stated ‘Look at what the Government or NHS have given us to protect us now’. Seemingly this is ‘humour appreciation’ in the irony of the situation we, as Health Professionals, find ourselves in. No! It’s not appreciation. Inherent response nature of this scenario is not actually that I find it funny, laugh out loud. It’s a release valve. It is based on reaction to a depressing situation. I see irony in the latest ‘Stay Alert’ advice. Again. In humour response…..My limits are actually ‘Irony’. It is the said pressure valve being released.
There can never be any aggression or offence to people in my seeking to provide a light hearted response to situations we all find ourselves in. It’s based in dissatisfaction, anxiety and depression. But presenting something in isolation makes me feel that others may deem my attitude to be inappropriate, callous, spiteful. Therefore a single uploaded Facebook observation seems like Trolling. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that this humour links to desperation. And at the moment I, as many others possibly do, feel pretty desperate.