Ever since the pandemic hit, many people were confined to their homes by lockdowns and stay-at-home orders around the world. Even where they could leave their homes, people were ordered not to form groups of more than two or three to prevent the spread of SARS-COV-2 as much as possible. It didn’t stop people from socializing, though – instead of meeting in person, they meet up in virtual spaces that only exist in cyberspace.
The prom – the celebration toward the end of the high school senior year – is, for many, their first formal or semi-formal event, a lot like “the first ball” was in the past. It is also an essential landmark in the life of students, a symbol of leaving a phase of their lives behind and heading into another one.
This year, in turn, proms were not an option due to the ongoing pandemic that prompted authorities to ban any gatherings of large groups, especially indoors. Thus, many students have turned to virtual meeting places to have one last party together.
Some classes organized Zoom calls; others found more creative ways to spend some time together. A group of seniors from the Westview High School in Beaverton, Oregon, USA, decided to put some more effort into the last big party of the year: they recreated their high school in Minecraft and hosted a virtual prom from there.
Concerts and live music events were among the first to feel the effects of the ongoing pandemic. Events involving live audiences have been canceled pretty much worldwide, tours were put on hold, and festivals were postponed or canceled… but this didn’t stop musicians from doing their thing – even jamming together for their fans. From their own homes, of course, through live streaming services.
The latest band to reunite in a virtual concert was Take That, the boy band from Manchester, UK, that gave the world Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow, and a host of amazing hits.
The band reunited in its “close-to-original” lineup, only missing Jason Orange, in a virtual concert late last month. The event was also the debut gig for Meerkat Music, an event organizer offering an online music environment to established and emerging talent from the UK.
No internet streaming service will ever be able to recreate the atmosphere of the audiences sitting in a dark movie theater eagerly awaiting the start of something to see. But the pandemic has made it impossible for movie lovers to experience it, at least for the time being.
That being said, film festivals are still on – they have moved online. And while the atmosphere will not be the same, this is the next best thing, given the circumstances.
One of the events that recently made waves online is the one titled “We Are One,” a film festival hosted on YouTube. At the time this piece is written, the event still has five days of film to show, offering content curated by the organizers of several major film festivals worldwide, including TIFF, Tribeca, and the Venice Film Festival.
We Are One is not the only event going exclusively online: there are many upcoming events, like the COVIDaVINCI, the Quarantine Film Festival, and many others happening exclusively online.
The ongoing pandemic has disrupted our way of life in significant ways – luckily, we do have an alternative, at least when it comes to spending time together apart.