Over the weekend, Jedidiah Duggar and Katey Nakatsu made a pregnancy announcement.
They are expecting their first child together.
While that is already complicated news when it comes from the Duggar clan, in this case, it drew ire.
For whatever reason, they decided to frame their happy news as a joke mocking the increasingly deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
In the announcement, 22-year-old Jed shared some mild, Duggar-brand PDA with his wife.
In the caption of the announcement, he quipped: "She tested positive, but not for COVID."
While pregnancy and COVID-19 technically share some superficial qualities, the comparison understandably did not go over well.
Blogger Without A Crystal Ball summarized how many are feeling with a scathing takedown.
"Funny how this isn’t the photo that Jed & Katey posted on Instagram," the blogger wrote, referring to an unused photo.
In that photo, the sign read what ended up being in the caption — a misguided COVID joke.
"They did post this in the caption," Without A Crystal Ball pointed out.
"Even though a lot of people have made similar announcements like this – I find it so insensitive," the blogger expressed.
Without A Crystal Ball noted: "Arkansas is facing some of the worst with Covid right now due to low vaccination rates."
"656,000 Americans have died from Covid since the virus hit 18 months ago," the blogger continued.
"Katey & Jed shared this photo in their YouTube video but not on Instagram," she noted.
Without A Crystal Ball then commented: "Which I’m confident was intentional."
Commenters poured in with agreement.
Numerous social media users labeled the twisted joke as both "tasteless" and "insensitive."
The "inappropriate" joke, many noted, highlighted the couple’s "immaturity."
It is true that Jed and Katey are very young.
So young that the fact that they are married, let alone having a child, would raise eybrows …
… If they weren’t in a cult, anyway. Being rushed into parenthood is a core aspect of the IBLP ideology.
Normally, one would say that young people just need guidance from more experienced friends and family.
Yes, many of us use humor to cope with the horrors of the pandemic.
But there is a time and a place and a tone for doing so.
Unfortunately, these two are unlikely to receive helpful guidance from most of those in their orbit.
We have to remember that the Duggar family is all about putting on a facade for the cameras and on social media.
They want to walk the line between promoting their cult’s extreme ideology and making it seem almost palatable to mainstream society.
The Duggars were spotted out in public, maskless, at multiple stages during this devastating pandemic.
It’s difficult to point to a specific part of their ideology that makes them behave in this dangerously contrarian manner.
(After all, aren’t they usually fans of covering up people’s bodies from head to toe?)
Rather, there seems to be a larger contrarian attitude that has united extreme conservatives in making poor choices.
Many suspect that the Duggar clan is largely unvaccinated, with exceptions like Jill and Derick Dillard.
(Even Derick had to "save face" by claiming to have gotten the jab for the free food and not, you know, to keep himself and others safe)
Many people will announce when they do good things, sometimes for clout, other times to encourage others to do good.
As we have all seen, there are members of the Duggar family — and others — who make a show of being cavalier and defiant during the pandemic.
That’s the opposite. Instead of virtue-signaling, they are malice-signaling. Jed and Katey’s twisted joke is just a small part of the problem.