Art in Emergencies: Reminisce, Transport and Learn

Thu, Mar 26, 2020 3-minute read

In emergencies, individuals so often focus on negatives, impending doom, and fear. It is a natural response, one that I myself have even struggled with during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is also in times such as these where we can look to the wonderful creations of artists of all ages, and from all over the world to help us to “escape” the dangers we are facing. By this, I do not mean that we should ignore the threats that the world is facing, but rather we should take time to step away from nervousness, and anxiety, and sadness to remember what life was like before an emergency, and what it will be like again. Art gives us hope. It helps us to take into account how wonderful the world can be, and also how the world has recovered so many times before. I, myself, have found that art not only gives me a sense of hope, but also an escape from the extreme boredom that I have found in the weeks that I have been home.

I have not left my home in two weeks. In this time of social distancing I turned to music, primarily, but also novels and documentaries and I have been so much more content in the outbreak of this COVID-19 pandemic. For hours, I listen to the Spotify playlist that I created during my last semester at Dickinson College. I chose that playlist because it takes me back to such a happy time in my life. I am reminded of the wonderful memories that I made with new friends and old, people who love me and people who I love. Among the two weeks I have been social distancing myself, I have read fiction novels, immersing my mind into far off situations. I appreciate so much the ability of my imagination to transport myself into the books that I read. I find it so important to continue learning. Documentaries are an art form that show the truth so engagingly, but they also give the opportunity to develop new ideas, and hear about things I never would have known exist without Netflix originals. I haven’t created a list of art that I hope to digest in the upcoming weeks of this tragedy that I am facing. Each day I take a moment to determine what I want to do that day, reminisce, transport, or learn and from there I find a song, or a novel, or a documentary to allow me to pass the time, but also to remember that COVID-19 cannot take over the world forever.