When my mother first messaged our family Facebook group to tell everyone to start stocking up our kitchens for coronavirus, I was proud that her panic levels were so reasonable. Everyone agreed to stay mindful of the spread of the virus, wash their hands, and that was the end of the discussion. Look at my family, being so chill.
But that was last week. After the announcements that the NBA, MLS, and Tom Hanks have been hit with cases of coronavirus, I awoke to the vibrations of the family group chat composed of my in-laws. Corona-panic had fully arrived.
Possibly for fear of touching their own phones, the conversation started out with voice notes from the senior gentleman of the family, one of whom works in a hospital. “One thing America doesn’t do is play with their money,” is what kicked off our morning. It was a roller coaster of conspiracies from there. On the one side was the idea that the rich will control how fast or how slow test kits and cures start rolling out. On the other side was, “rich people don’t give a fuck about us, they’re going to be good.” (Where is the lie?) My one brother-in-law, who I almost never agree with, did his best to contain the panic but ultimately failed because no one takes him seriously. The real source of my family’s fear is that they’re all gathering in Georgia in two weeks for a party. To cancel or not to cancel? The responses ranged from “fuck it” to “I bought a bubble to travel.” As the only trusted member of the media in the group, I tried to be the voice of reason and was met with a gif of Kanye shaking his head and a sheep emoji (it was actually a ram but I’m going to let that one go).
How are your group chats texting through the panic? Let’s judge our families together and hope that none of them actually read this.