New Laughter Research and COVID-19: Laugh for Longevity?

by Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos
6 min readMar 28, 2020


Laughter takes away the power of whatever holds us prisoner.~Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

Laughter has always been considered a form of medicine. You may have heard the saying, “Laugh ‘till it Heals.” Now current research agrees. Laughter is an innate God-given gift and weapon.

A good laugh may take the power away to whatever is holding us as a prisoner. During these stressful times of facing a Buggy-man named COVID-19, it may be time to laugh in the face of danger and use our gift as a blessed weapon because laughter is contagious, too.

When nothing else helps us during a crisis we can lean on our faith and laugh our way to wellness.

One person who sticks in the echoes of my mind is a British woman named Petranelle who lived on the corner of High School Street on Cape Cod. Pete, as she preferred to be called, mentored me during my battle with breast cancer and the writing of my book Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (1). Petronelle had the pen name Margot Arnold and had written numerous novels of espionage and romantic suspense in addition to an acclaimed mystery series. She could always be found sitting on her blue recliner in the living room of her home in which she had raised her children. Now she lived alone and although the sound of children’s squeals of glee was silent her laughter still lived-on, especially during the news hour.

She would sit in front of her TV set and laugh at the nightly news.

The thing I remember most about Petronelle was her constant joy, which was addictive. If I felt depressed or frightened, I would call her up and get a “hit of Pete.” No matter how bad things appeared, Petronelle discussed it between peals of laughter. The worse the situation, the louder the laughter.

At first, I found this laughter quite alarming and questioned her state of mind.

However, over time, I began to realize it made any crisis seem less dire, even if it concerned a life or death situation or a frightening state of declining health. In her case, it was the loss of her eyesight. “Yes, the doctor told me I’m going blind,” she laughed with a twinkle in her eye…



Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos

On DrOz-TV/Radio KatKanavosShow/Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod™ Agented Author-DREAMS THAT CAN SAVE/ SURVIVING CANCERLAND,Chicken Soup