Five Ways Life During the Coronavirus Pandemic Feels Like a Movie

Everyday life feels like a disaster/sci-fi film

Image for post
Image for post
Children of Men (Universal Pictures)

Children of Men

Alfono Cuaron’s “Children of Men” is one of the most widely acclaimed sci-fi movies of recent years. In 2016, the film ranked no. 13 on a BBC list of the best movies of the 21st century. The 2006 movie starring Clive Owen, features a dystopian world where women have stopped having children. Owen has to escort a woman who has managed to conceive to safety.

However, “Children of Men,” is shockingly accurate about many things. In the movie there are immigrant prisons, the world is recovering from a global pandemic and there’s a conflict between armed rebels and government forces. That sounds like today’s headlines!

There’s a scene in the movie where one of the characters says, “I miss the sound of children playing.” I thought the same thing when I walked past a school that was empty at 7 a.m. on a weekday.

The Discovered Video

This is a technique used in many movies such as “Cloverfield.” A discovered video is a way to tell the story in reverse or develop a backstory. I’ve started keeping a vlog of current events. I call it “Live from the Trumpocalypse.”

Masks Everywhere

Nowadays a simple expedition to the grocery store requires donning gloves and a mask. This is a surreal experience. There is nothing more disjointing than going outside and seeing everyone wearing a protective covering. This brings to mind movies such as “The Andromeda Strain.” However, this creates new challenges. Wearing a mask robs someone of their personality. Sometimes it can be even difficult to tell what a person’s gender is when they’re covered up.

Workers in Hazmat Suits

Workers in hazmat suits are a staple of disaster movies such as “Outbreak,” but I saw a particularly bizarre shot of workers in India spraying down migrant laborers before they were ordered to leave town. That could have come straight out of any disaster movie. Now workers in hazmat suits have to go in and disinfect areas before people are allowed to return.

Announcements From the Government

Most disaster movies feature announcements from the government. In “Deep Impact,” we had Morgan Freeman’s soothing voice to help guide us through a meteor strike. He also appeared at the end of the movie to promise that we would rebuild the world again. But in many films, the government is portrayed as incompetent or even worse lying to the people. The eco-disaster movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” featured a young president, modeled after George W. Bush, who’s off golfing when disaster hits.

Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store