Within just three months of 2020, millions of people around the world have become infected with the novel coronavirus, with thousands losing their lives every. Schools have closed, stocks have plummeted, restaurants have shut down and even travel has come to a halt. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc araound the world, the entertainment industry too has been faced with unique and significant challenges, mostly spurred by a domino effect of postponements and cancellations of events. Here are a few ways in which this pandemic is impacting entertainment:
1. Canceled events and delayed releases
As the first reports of infection came in from China at the beginning of the year, it became clear that the novel coronavirus spreads from person to person, even when someone is asymptomatic. With the disease spreading in countries around the world, including the US, large gatherings of people were banned by authorities. And that is why concerts, award shows, sports events, and music festivals were canceled, while films and TV shows had to halt production. Events such as the San Diego Comic-Con, The Burning Man festival, Coachella, the Tokyo Olympics, in addition to tours by musicians and comedians have either been postponed or canceled. Release of movies like The Batman and The Black Widow have been pushed back.
2. Effect on freelancers
Freelancers in the entertainment industry have been some of the most hard-hit during this pandemic. According to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), an estimated 120,000 people have lost their jobs in the film industry alone. In addition to that, entertainers and performers such as singers and magicians have also found themselves without an income stream because of canceled events. It has become more than important than ever to ensure that these workers and entertainers receive adequate support so that they do not suffer gravely due to a loss of income.
3. Shift to online entertainment
With people holed up in their homes, practicing social distancing, online entertainment has seemingly become the only source of entertainment. The popularity of live music, gaming, and streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have seen a massive surge during this period. Due to canceled events, many singers, actors, and other celebrities are also shifting to a mode of connecting to their fans through their screens, whether it is with live chats, fundraisers, or live concerts from their living rooms. Online entertainment has today transformed into a phenomenon like no other.
As we wait for our lives to go back to normal after this pandemic is over, make sure you do your part by staying at home and practicing social distancing. You can also donate to charities that are working to provide relief to people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.