Coronavirus pushes Google to cancel one of its biggest yearly traditions 😢

From an email obtained by Business Insider, it’s alleged that the time-honored tradition of launching a Google April Fools’ Day joke won’t happen this year.

The email states that, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it would be in poor taste to have the usual jokey and sometimes-outrageous prank event. Google has canceled its primary prank for 2020, but since the company is so large, the email is encouraging divisions to cancel any of their own smaller Google April Fools’ events they may have had planned.

“This year, we’re going to take the year off from [April Fools’ Day] out of respect for all those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” the email allegedly states. “Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one. We’ve already stopped any centralized April Fools efforts but realize there may be smaller projects within teams that we don’t know about. Please suss out those efforts and make sure your teams pause on any jokes they may have planned — internally or externally.”

Related: April Fools’ Day 2019: All the major jokes rounded up

The email acknowledges that Google April Fools’ Day events are a “tradition and a time to celebrate what makes [Google] an unconventional company.” However, this year it simply won’t happen.

This will be the first year since 2004 that Google hasn’t had any pranks at all related to April Fools’ Day.

From 1998 to 2004, Google did April Fools pranks occasionally, but 2004 was when it started to become an annual tradition. Unfortunately, 2020 will end that 16-year streak.

It is unknown what the 2020 Google April Fools’ Day prank would have been. Last year, one of the various pranks was an ad on YouTube for Aquaman 2, a film that doesn’t exist yet. The video attached to the ad showed footage from the DC superhero film Shazam! instead.

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