How COVID-19 Tore Us Apart and Brought Us Together at the Same Time
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic in March of 2020. Yet there’s a running joke in sitcoms like black-ish that the news didn’t truly sink in people’s collective mindset until two players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) tested positive for the disease, and league officials decided it was best to postpone the entire season.
While this may have inspired countless COVID-19-related memes, there’s undoubtedly a grain of truth to the scenario of how most of us learned that the coronavirus pandemic was the real deal. And while news of COVID-19 statistics flooded our screens and we realized the importance of employing health and safety measures like wearing masks when out in public, keeping our social circles small, and maintaining a six-feet or 2 metres apart from everyone else, we still managed to keep our hopes up and stay positive. Together, we laughed at those COVID-19 memes, bonded over Netflix shows, and exchanged tips on how to change backgrounds on Zoom and other online video platforms.
Fast-forward ten months later, and we’re still dealing with this virus and the number of cases seems to be getting higher than when it first started, with Canada recently breaking its record of daily cases. Can we still say that we’re all in this together?
That was the belief of Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot. Her Instagram video of her singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” along with other well-known personalities went viral at the start of the worldwide lockdown due to the pandemic, but all for the wrong reasons. Apart from the amateur singing that would have made Simon Cowell cringe, people didn’t waste any time to say how out of touch she and her friends were with what was truly going on. In the real world, people were losing their jobs and businesses were falling apart, but celebrities like her still continue to make money, all while sheltered in their multi-million-dollar homes.
Alas, she wasn’t the only one guilty of this crime. Beloved talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who also had her own share of controversy during the pandemic because of an alleged toxic work environment in her show, was heavily criticized for comparing being in isolation at her multi-million-dollar home in Beverley Hills, California as being in prison.
Film business magnate David Geffen also didn’t escape the critics’ eye when he posted a photo on social media reminding everyone to stay safe, while on his super-yacht that costs almost $600 million.
If there’s anything that COVID-19 taught us about celebrities, it’s that they are not like us, despite how they keep on insisting that they are like us.
While there is clearly a great economic disparity between the people who have a lot and the people who don’t have enough, the pandemic did bring to light that the true heroes during these challenging times aren’t those we see constantly on our TV or movie screens, but those whom we don’t see but are always there: health care workers, mail couriers, sanitation workers, supermarket cashiers, restaurant servers, and others.
And we can at least come together to agree on the fact that we need to acknowledge them more and show them our support. Throughout Canada, there have been various organizations who’ve worked together to deliver free meals to essential workers during these challenging times.
They have also inspired us to do our part, whether by donating to charity organizations or simply posting a sign on our front doors about how grateful we are for these frontline workers.
Contrary to belief, COVID-19 is not a great equalizer. If anything, the economic gaps in society have been made more obvious by the disease. Still, in some ways, it has brought us together as we continue to help each other to get through this.