As you know, the world may or may not be ending. What is clear, however, is that we’re all about to (hopefully) be spending a lot more time at home with a whole lot of idle time on our hands.
These are times that bring with them an uncomfortable mix of anxiety, misinformation and restlessness. And yet, you can always count on the internet to react in wonderfully absurd ways. These include, but aren’t limited to – TikTok handwash challenges, pandemic playlists on Spotify, coronavirus Bhojpuri songs and a website that helps you wash your hands to the lyrics of your favourite song.
Those aside, with so many of us being confined to our homes, what better time for a streaming guide to the coronavirus? A one-stop-shop for (some) of your Covid-19-related streaming needs. Split into three sections, these are things to watch and read to help keep you informed, entertained and distracted through a turbulent time.
We begin with the essential, to help you keep informed with reliable information to better understand and make sense of the Covid-19 crisis. Aside from the no-brainer staples like the World Health Organisation’s official coronavirus page or India’s Ministry Of Health coronavirus page, here are some useful resources to help navigate a trying time:
John Oliver’s Coronavirus Episodes
The comedian devoted a recent episode of his HBO show to the Coronavirus, giving you the facts about how it all started, how to stay safe as well as helping you understand how much you should be worried. He has since updated it with a follow-up episode, which, although heavily US-focused, still covers a lot of key guidance of what we should be doing right now.
Vox’s Coronavirus Coverage
Popular publication Vox offers some of the most extensive and useful online coverage of the outbreak and how it impacts our daily lives. With articles ranging from how best to protect yourself to the rules of social distancing to how the Coronavirus could cause a loneliness epidemic and everything in between, you can check it out here.
The Washington Post’s Coronavirus Simulator
One of the most talked-about articles online at present is the Washington Post’s Coronavirus Simulator which underlines the importance of social distancing and the life-saving impact it could have. The article walks you through the idea of ‘flattening the curve’ by offering simulations of how to restrict the spread of a virus to help you make informed decisions in the coming weeks. You can read it here.
Stay Entertained – Pandemic Movies
Movies have always helped us process and contextualise things far greater than us. In the time of Coronavirus, that means people are watching more ‘pandemic’ movies than ever before. These are films somewhat similar to our predicament, which can either help us understand what’s happening, give us hope or at the very least, keep us entertained.
Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion has never been more popular and with good reason. The 2011 medical thriller is meticulously well-researched and eerily similar to current events, helping you understand the lifecycle and impact of a global pandemic such as this. Fair warning – while it’s deeply informative and they do eventually find a cure, 26 million people die in the film, so it might not be the best thing for more anxious viewers right now. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.
Close to home, there’s Aashiq Abu’s Malayalam film Virus which is widely considered one of last year’s best Indian films. Based on the true story of the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala in 2018, Virus is a riveting thriller which takes you through the crisis, but more importantly how the authorities acted in time and contained it. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.
World War Z
This one is slightly less rooted in reality given the pandemic in question turns everyone into zombies – but it’s no less serious in how it approaches the spread of a global virus. Brad Pitt plays a United Nations investigator who tries to find the source of the outbreak and develop a cure before it’s too late in the well-crafted thriller. You can watch the film on YouTube and Google Play.
Stay Happy – Escapist Comfort Food
And last, but by no means least, what we need right now is sheer escapist entertainment. To be transported a world away from our problems and rely on the movies to do what they do best – help us escape, feel unburdened and momentarily forget.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
This one really doesn’t need much of a justification. It’s the quintessential Hindi film experience, it’s Poo and it’s all about loving your family – a trifecta we really need right now.
One of the definitive onscreen celebrations of love is very much the need of the hour, as Richard Curtis’ classic is still every bit the hug for your soul as it was when it came out.
The Simpsons Movie
A good case can be made for how The Simpsons Movie is a pandemic movie with the dome storyline. That aside, it’s laugh out loud funny, weirdly touching and I’ll be damned if Spider Pig isn’t the superhero we all need in our lives right now.
Another deeply affecting rom-com from Richard Curtis, this one with a sci-fi twist. About Time is about treasuring the little things and making each moment with your loved ones and if that isn’t what we need to hear right now I don’t know what is.
The Pixar Filmography
There’s just something about watching animated films at difficult times. And who better than Pixar to take us away from our troubles? Whether it’s the deeply lovable Wall-E to the wonderfully imaginative Ratatouille to the affecting Coco. Pixar has something for everyone, take your pick.
Special Mentions: Modern Love, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Ted, The Other Guys, Paddington