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Let’s cancel April Fools’ Day before coronavirus makes it worse
If that’s even possible.
[ Maria Carrillo ]
Published Mar. 27, 2020|Updated Mar. 31, 2020

Though it may feel as if each day in March seeps seamlessly into the next, here is an important reminder.

April 1 is upon us. Good citizens, we have an urgent need, nay, a duty to cancel April Fools’ Day 2020.

There’s an argument for skipping it even without a pandemic. First, it is unfunny. It is the equivalent of a pun on a popsicle stick with splinters. It is a Minions meme.

Second, it is a holiday for lies — making up pregnancies and job loss and seeing who falls for it. This year, April Fools’ Day could be even worse when Kyle from run club makes a cool joke that he has COVID-19.

How did we get here? A popular theory links the holiday to the 1500s, when a switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendar confused people. Lord Kyle from the Council of Trent’s run club would show up in April and be all, “Happy New Year!” Other theories involve the Vernal Equinox, something about Noah’s Ark and a crow, and a possible line on M. Night Shyamalan.

We in the news industry are bitter. Every year brings an assault of carefully crafted hoaxes in hopes that we spread bad information and then retract the stories in a shroud of humiliation. Lol!

Related: Terrible, horrible thoughts while on a social distance walk

Visit St. Pete-Clearwater once sent a press release about a new Manatee-Dolphin creature called a Manaphin (sure!). Coppertail Brewing said it would deliver beer via drone (honestly, we could use this). A Facebook post went around telling retirees and unemployed people they would be arrested (hilarious!).

On April 1, 2019, the Florida Aquarium announced a jellyfish touch tank. No, sirs. Who dares stick his hand in a pool of stinging jam. Hoax!

Uh, that one turned out to be true. And, by all accounts, the moon jellies are lovely.

But this isn’t about us. This is about the person who will promulgate a cure for the coronavirus. Make up something about masks or ventilators. Throw a fake Shelter In My Place party and invite a bunch of college kids. Say there is toilet paper somewhere there is not. They will offer hope, fear, confusion, and then say we need to lighten up.

Fellow Americans, when have we ever needed a holiday for lying? Recently, bogus news spread about swans and dolphins swimming in Venice canals. There are fakes galore of quarantined Italians singing American pop songs. Someone said Daniel Radcliffe had the coronavirus, and I retweeted it out of grave concern for Harry Potter. Not my best moment!

Opt out. Let us have April Tulle’s Day, a tutu holiday. April Yule’s Day, a springtime Christmas. April Fuel’s Day, exploring alternate forms of energy. April School’s Day, pretending to have school at… home… for… never mind.

The joke is already on all of us.

Related: As your new columnist, I’m sorry everything is bad

• • •

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