Sunday 15 March 2020

We need to talk about the coronavirus

So I usually don't talk about world events here on this blog, at least not outside of my Year in Review series of posts that go up at the end of every year. But when those events start to affect the things I primarily discuss here, namely movies and video games, then I think it is high time they get addressed.

I am of course referring to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus and all the measures being put in place to curb that spread. It has become common news over the last couple of days to hear that yet another event or public gathering has been postponed or canceled. Everything from sporting events, to awards ceremonies and video game conventions are currently affected, with some countries even placing their borders on full lockdown, all in a bid to slow down a disease that doesn't seem to know any.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't bummed out by all of this. I mean, some of my favorite and most anticipated things for the year are being affected right now. I'd been looking forward to E3 2020, The 40th Golden Raspberry Awards, A Quiet Place Part II, Mulan, No Time to Die and The New Mutants, just to name a few, all of which have either been canceled or postponed indefinitely. But to assume that is all that is at stake here would not only be selfish of me, but very much shortsighted as well.

This is why it is important for us as fans (of films, sports, video games, music or whatever other entertainment medium you happen to follow) to not lose sight of the big picture. Actual lives are being lost here, with countless more to follow if the situation is not brought under control. And right now, one of the few things we can do to help out, aside from ensuring that we take extra precautions to stay clean and avoid large gatherings, is to respect the decisions of the various bodies to postpone or cancel these events, many of whom are losing sizeable amounts of money either way.

This doesn't mean we should all give in to hysteria and start to panic either of course. If there's anything that post-apocalyptic movies like Zombieland have taught me over the years, it is that keeping a level head in the midst of uncertainty can go a very long way in seeing you through it.

So how is all of this actually going to affect the discussions (read: reviews) I'll be having here on this blog going forward? To be honest, I'm not exactly certain. For now, cinemas remain open here in Nigeria. But with most of the forthcoming tentpoles having been postponed, I can only imagine how they would keep moviegoers coming back over the next couple of weeks. I mean, we can only watch Bad Boys 4 Life so many times before we declare enough is enough.

I was going to skip out on Bloodshot, which is currently scheduled to release over here later this week. But seeing as this might very well be the last major tentpole release we'd be getting for the foreseeable future, I just might have to brave the virus-infested halls of the nearest cinema, with hand sanitizer in tow of course, for one final hurrah before we all hunker down with our streaming service of choice and attempt to make our way through our backlogs of unseen movies and TV shows. So there's at least that to look forward to.


  1. Live are being lost, affected, and economies are suffering.
    In our area, gatherings of a hundred or more are discouraged, so I guess our theater will limit how many can go in? I'll admit, I'm not worried about going out though.
    But there are plenty of movies and shows streaming!

    1. There aren't any restrictions on large gatherings over here, but I imagine they'll have to be if the situation escalates. Streaming services would definitely be seeing an uptick in the coming weeks, so at least someone seems to be benefiting from all of this, apart from the hand sanitizer and toilet paper price gougers. :)

  2. The biggest losers in all this will be the poor, who are already the least likely to be shielded from the virus. You can cancel mass events where people pay huge prices to get it, but you're also cancelling things with much smaller price tags. The worst of it is closing schools. Not everyone will be able to participate in remote learning, and not every kid has a good home. But maybe some of this will force people to begin addressing the real problems we face, the ones that won't fade from the headlines, because they were never there to begin with.

    1. True, the poor is always the hardest hit in situations like this. Let's just hope it is brought under control before it gets worse than it already is.

    2. The havoc being caused by COVID-19 is going to linger longer than COVID-19 itself. But hopefully it'll cause some of that to be remedied so that things will actually function better.