(CBS Local) — Fear, anxiety, grief, and chaos has swept the nation as the COVID-19 pandemic claims thousands of lives. As somber as these times are, experts argue that humor can be a powerful coping mechanism in a crisis, so long as it’s within the bounds of good taste. Enter motivational speaker and Medium contributor Beau Cowan, who relies on humor when he writes and speaks about the ups and downs of living with cerebral palsy and being in a wheelchair.
Now, Cowan is trying to spread a little laughter during the coronavirus quarantine for everyone from his home in Chesapeake, Virginia.
“I’m disabled and I’m in a wheelchair and I’m trying to tell people to keep going and to be thankful for what they have,” said Cowan in an interview with CBS Local’s Katie Johnston. “I don’t want people to take for granted the abilities that they have.”
“How do catch a unique bird?” he asked on day 3. “Unique up on them.”
— Beau Cowan #dominatetheday (@bcow82) March 22, 2020
“What did the plate say to the refrigerator?” Cowan asked on day 18. “Stay cool, dinner’s on me.”
— Beau Cowan #dominatetheday (@bcow82) April 7, 2020
And on day 35, he offered: “If a kid refuses to sleep at nap time, are they accused of resisting arrest?”
Cowan’s daily “dad” jokes (as he calls them) always include words of encouragement for everybody in pandemic lockdown.
“I always say that your worse nightmare is someone else’s dream,” said Cowan in an interview with CBS Local. “That’s what it comes down to. Your struggles may be someone else’s fantasy. If your problem is you don’t know what to wear that day or your hair looks terrible that day, that’s a pretty good day.”
Cowan, who is writing a book, says he’s looking to go to the next level to spread his message and plans on doing jokes until he is out of quarantine.
On Tuesday, he appeared on “Tea With GaryVee” for some insights from host (and one of Cowan’s heroes) Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman of VaynerX, a communications company that specializes in digital marketing and social media. Cowan hopes his jokes can inspire people all over the country.
“Do your best to overcome everything and the obstacles of your life,” said Cowan. “Don’t let it stop you from doing what you want to do.”