PICK A SIDE: Will you watch TV shows or movies that deal with COVID-19?


Published November 13, 2020 at 7:34 pm


The pandemic has dragged on for more than half a year now, and, with the number of new daily cases continuing to increase, it means more lockdowns could be looming.

When the first round of total lockdowns was implemented, many turned to TV and movies to help them get through it—the number of new Netflix subscribers increased dramatically during the spring months.

However, now that the new season of fall shows are starting to resume, some have started incorporating COVID-19 into their storylines.

This season’s first episode of The Good Doctor—a medical drama—is dealing with storylines associated with the virus, as is NCIS New Orleans.

But, do people want this?

When the pandemic first started, and many people were forced to lock themselves inside and away from the rest of the world, TV and movies became a distraction of a sort—people turned to them to escape reality.

If the TV shows that are currently airing start including COVID-19 in their episodes, it will take away the ability of those watching it to escape.

However, many people enjoy watching TV shows that explore the problems and issues we experience in real life, and COVID-19 is certainly that.

Watching TV shows where the characters are dealing with the virus could present an opportunity for viewers to reconcile their own feelings with it.

When the pandemic first started, movies that dealt with similar situations, such as Contagion and Outbreak, were some of the most-streamed movies during those initial months.

Further, it could allow a positive response to the virus—if TV characters take the virus seriously, take precautions, and follow the accepted health advice, it could encourage viewers in the real world to do so as well.

Conversely, it could also cause viewers to react negatively, particularly those who may be dealing with a recent loss caused by the virus—they may feel certain networks are profiting off of a virus that took someone they love.

Moreover, many dramas that tackle difficult topics often air much later than the events they’re depicting, which allows those who lived through them some time to process and heal.

Airing content related to COVID-19 while the pandemic is still ongoing could exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety many people are already struggling with.

So, Mississauga, what do you think? Would you watch TV shows or movies that deal with COVID-19?

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