Opinion – Prima Aprilis

Today is the first day of April. This is absolutely true (in case you had not noticed). I cannot lie about that – not even today. 

Yet the date invites a lighter touch.  Not to tell you plain falsehoods, no – the editor would possibly reproach me. And I assume the readers, which will occasionally reach this corner, would also (probably) find it reprehensible. 

Not because, I believe, they would want to deter me from getting into the pranking and hoaxing wagon. Indeed, a good prank, preferably worth a wholesome laugh, is always welcome – anytime, any day of the year. 

And after all, this day jokes and kind of (un)believable stories do not count as fake news – for which we have all the other days. (Incidentally, those are mostly the ones we don’t like or agree with. We are less squeamish when it is the other way around – but that’s another story.)

Today, there is this need, the urge to delve on the lighter side. If for no other reason, just because we need to look elsewhere sometimes, lest the air around us becomes too thick and heavy for comfort. 

The calendar coincidence only bolsters the reluctance to write yet another column on the unavoidable theme of these times. No, I don’t want to mention it. And I won’t, I promise. I wish others showed similar restraint.

People who only yesterday seemed arithmetically challenged suddenly become online (and offline) experts on epidemiological math. They know about exponential growth rates (anything that is supposedly rising fast), and flattening curves, and demand peaks. They expound probabilities, and infection trajectories, and time frames for redemption. In the process, many grab the opportunity to take a side jab at their elective pet hates, whoever or whatever they are.

They (apparently) have an unexpected competence in public health matters. They found the answer and want to share it with us.  In non-equivocal terms, they reveal what the authorities and people in different countries, under diverse circumstances, must do, and not do, for salvation. 

Now, coming to that: if bumping happenstance on any such homily, look determinedly elsewhere. There are thousands of them wandering around, in the virtual and not so virtual worlds. I cannot recommend them, not even today: they ain’t funny. 

And there are so many around us that are much more uplifting, if not straightforwardly entertaining. Just what we need.