The Impact of the Recent Spread of COVID-19 on Culture and Art Around the Globe

Written by: Minkyu 

Edited by: Mariah

Visuals by: Tatiana

Even though everyone wished for a safe end to the pandemic, COVID-19 continues to have a persistent grip over society. 2022 started with a significant increase in positive cases alongside the spread of the new Omicron variant. In fact, COVID cases in the Philippines had increased approximately 570 times since December 2021 from 65 to 37,017 cases. Alongside the increase of COVID risks, every part of the globe seems to have been affected. And perhaps among those most affected have been the music industry and the movie industry. As these industries require close interaction with their audience, the absence of their audience could prove ruinous. Therefore, this article will be focusing on how the music industry and the movie industry have been negatively affected by the recent Omicron outbreak. 

On January 5, 2022, the US Recording Academy and CBS stated that the 64th Grammy Awards had been postponed due to Omicron risks. This was not the first time such an announcement has had to be made; last year the 63rd Grammy Awards were rescheduled to a smaller location as a result of COVID-19 concerns in Los Angeles. The Grammy Awards recognize the achievements of artists in the music industry in the United States. They feature many different categories of music including Hip-hop, Rap, R&B, Ballad, Country, Folk, Gospel and countless more, drawing the most public attention among similar ceremonies. Therefore, being one of the biggest award shows in the music industry and a dream award for many artists, the news of the postponement has disappointed musicians and music fans around the globe.

Aside from the music industry, the movie industry has also been negatively impacted. The Philippines is a relevant example of the consequences: in an attempt to manage the highly increasing COVID cases in the Philippines, the Department of Health has declared Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila, which includes restriction of outdoor activity of teenagers under 18. Recently in the Philippines, the new Spider-Man movie Spider-Man: No Way Home has been released in theaters. As the character Spider-Man himself is a high schooler, the movie has many teenage fans. It has also been one of the most famous Marvel movie series since its initial release. However, after the declaration of Alert Level 3, teenagers under 18 were not able to watch the long-awaited movie in theaters. Not only the recent Spider-Man movie, but also the new Matrix movie The Matrix Resurrection was set to be a popular release among teenage fans. As the movie industry and moviegoers have an interchangeable relationship, both were hard-hit by the upsurge in COVID cases: movie fans lost their favorite pastime and the movie industry lost out on significant profits compared to the pre-COVID era. 

Many other industries concerning culture and art which require interaction between the industry and audience have been negatively affected by the increase in COVID-19 cases. For every fan of the arts, now it is not the time to show resentment towards the restrictions, but to regulate themselves even further, waiting for the day where they can watch their favorite movies with the people they love, watch the concerts of their favorite artist, go to their favorite fashion shows, art galleries, musicals, skits. In the meantime, fans can start binge-watching, or binge-listening, their favorite artist’s work to continue showing support towards their idols. Adapting and regulating ourselves by following the COVID restrictions, the culture and art we love will remain impactful and inspiring throughout the pandemic.