An "epidemic of laughter" may be needed
November 17, 2016 1:38pm CST
It happened back in 1962, in the African country now known as Tanzania. Three boarding school girls were seized with uncontrollable laughter. It spread from them to over 95 of the 159 students. One young woman was afflicted for sixteen days. Bouts of laughter could be accompanied by tears, then periods of calm, then more near-hysterical laughter. The strange laughing/crying spread through the country for over a year, affecting at least 1000 people. Many schools had to be closed temporarily. No concrete reason for all this was ever found, though the water was tested and science remains puzzled. One thing was that the country, then know as Tanganyika had recently become independent from Britain, but it is hard to say that was a trigger. Anyway, when I heard this story on NPR the other day, it conjured up a vision of people all over the United States, the majority of us who did not vote for the Donald, standing in our front yards, walking down the streets of our cities, guffawing, bent over laughing, some crying as well, at the joke we have played on ourselves. People from other countries would be ruefully joining in, I'm sure.
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