streaming movie on laptop

Covering Corona: Entertainment

At the start of quarantine, many people struggled to find ways to spend their time. Nonessential workers and others were forced into an indefinite break, where leaving home were no longer permitted. Being forced to spend most of their days with the same few people for a prolonged period of time took a significant toll on everyone’s psyche and finding new ways to make the days move faster became a priority. With box offices closed and sports on hiatus, individuals and industries alike needed to be creative in working around worldwide restrictions.

           Movies and sports were forced to make significant changes to how they operate to stay in business. Many forms of entertainment took to online services such as streaming. At DSU, with the regulations allowing only a minimal audience, if any at all, fans were forced to go without watching our Trojans compete. However, thanks to streaming, sports fans can cheer our players on from the safety of their homes. Following in the footsteps of the DSU Esports teams, live streaming competitions have become a staple for the school, and hopefully, continue in the days where COVID-19 is in the past, and our restrictions are lifted.

           Despite restrictions, new films are still being produced for our viewing pleasure, although without box office sales, movie studios need to find a new way to make a profit on their investment. Streaming services such as Disney+ began releasing would-be theater hits like “Mulan” as premium access titles. For a limited time, a viewer could pay $29.99 extra to watch the newest releases on top of their $6.99 subscription. However, with the expensive release of a film lambasted so mercilessly, it was time to look elsewhere for additional entertainment.

           It is not just films that have experienced significant changes, many online forms of entertainment have gone through different stages as influencers found themselves stuck at home. With a captive audience, many content creators decided it was a good idea to start a podcast. Peter Bui, an avid Spotify listener and online forum frequenter stated, “Everyone has a podcast now, they just popped up out of nowhere, but none of them commit to it. They show up dead on arrival, and, sadly, most of them don’t make it past the fifth episode.” That being said, podcasts have risen in popularity much in the same vein as audiobooks. Each podcast covers a specific niche, with topics such as true crime, politics, and even fantasy storytelling, there is likely a podcast for everybody. Being an audio-based medium, they are enjoyed in the background while doing other activities such as exercising or studying, while still providing mental stimulation.

           For as many people driven crazy by being unable to leave their home, others thrived in the enclosed environment. Many gamers suddenly found more time to play thanks to the shutdowns. In the age of Discord and other online chatrooms, connecting with friends could not be easier. Edgar Ontiveros, an online student locked at home with his family, has been taking advantage of his time away from work, school, and society to play with his friends online. “My family isn’t messing around. None of us have been outside in over a year, and we won’t until we all have our shots and this whole virus is finished,” he said, referring to just how dedicated they are to preventing the spread of the coronavirus. “So I can’t do much besides getting on my computer and play games.” He plays online games such as Minecraft and Rocket League to fill his days.

           As the day towards quarantine’s end slowly approaches thanks to vaccinations being released to the public, and shutdowns becoming social distancing, entertainment is slowly resembling life before COVID-19. Sports are still in full swing, and large theaters are open to public viewings once again, and as the world approaches normalcy, we can hope to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family once again.