COVID-19 and Jaws

Anyone that knows me knows that I love horror movies. Every Friday night for the past few years, Travis and I order a pizza, grab a few beers, and watch as many new horror movies as we can in search of a really great one. Long ago, I dreaded being scared by horror movies, but as I’ve grown older it’s a feeling I’ve come to love.

As a horror movie lover, a classic horror that I’ve never understood is the movie “Jaws”. I’ve always thought that this has to be the most ineffective horror movie villain of all time because you can avoid it entirely by simply not getting in the water. Stay on land and survive. Simple as that.

However, In the past few months, I’ve come to appreciate the concept of this horror living in the USA during our COVID-19 quarantine lockdown. It has dawned on me that perhaps this movie has identified part of the human psychology that I didn’t fully appreciate before, and as a result has become a perfect analogy for the world we live in currently.

Our current situation isn’t that different from Jaws. Be smart, stay inside, and you can avoid the virus and death for yourself, friends and family. In theory this should be the easiest thing in the world. However, from what I’ve observed is that people simply cannot do this. People would rather risk being eaten by the shark than be bored on land.

I recently saw that New Zealand just had their first Rugby game after meeting their Coronavirus guidelines. Being honest, it made me feel envious as an American since I still don’t feel comfortable with basic things, such as eating at a restaurant or getting groceries. I don’t know if I will feel comfortable for a long time since it is clear that the US will not recover from this virus without a vaccine.

Seeing this news made me think of a children’s book my mom used to read to my brother and I when we were kids. In the book, the momma cat has 3 kittens that need to eat their supper. The first kitten eats his supper, and is allowed to go play outside. The second kitten eats her supper, and gets to have a dessert. The third kitten is grumpy and refuses to eat his supper. As punishment, this kitten doesn’t get dessert or to play outside.

As an American, it feels like we are the third kitten that refuses to eat our supper. We can see other countries returning to normal and enjoying the result of their hard work, but things are nowhere close to over for us. For myself, it’s frustrating as an American that has followed all guidelines, quarantined and has genuinely done everything possible to be safe.

A few things occurred to me when I saw that New Zealand was beginning to resume their Rugby season:

  1. I think this could be a huge opportunity for this sport to gain some international traction in America. I know that Americans are desperate to have live sports to watch again. I’ve never watched Rugby before, but I would give it a chance now that I wouldn’t have a few months ago.
  2. As an international traveler, this has made me wonder how places like New Zealand that are beginning to return to normal will handle flow in and out of their country? There are Americans, such as myself, that have quarantine and would be willing to quarantine in another country for a chance to return to a normal vacation. I wonder if any companies will make this easy to do for people with no connections within those countries?

The rest of the world has a captive audience with the US. I’m sitting at home safe, but bored, and I’m excited to see some international leadership in the next few months.

Photo by Clayton Cardinalli on Unsplash


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