“The phrase ‘social distancing,’ which shows up in the film Contagion (2011), has dominated American reality over the past several months, leading to extraordinary modifications in our individual and collective behavior. But here’s a curious thing: when we look back through the works on our syllabus this term, it turns out that social distancing, in one form or another, has been with us for much longer that we might have realized–at least since Huck and Jim lit out for the raft in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Removing ourselves from specific ‘ill’ individuals and social groups, and from society as a whole, is a central American endeavor, in fact.”
Yes, I agree that the phrase ‘social distancing,’ shown in the film Contagion, has dominated American reality over the past several months, leading to extraordinary modifications in our individual and collective behavior. It has changed the way we interact with others. It has changed our overall attitude towards others. Workplaces have become remote, yet it is a fact if we look back through the works on our syllabus this term, it turns out that social distancing, in one form or another, has been with us for much longer than we might have realized yet this time it has become much more magnanimous as compared to older times. Unlike ancient times, this time, the people have reshaped their whole lifestyle, and the idea of social distancing is realized & accepted before the predicament is getting too complicated.
Yes, this is one thing that we were unable to remove ourselves from specific ‘ill’ individuals. That is a predicament that we most certainly are unable to comprehend. These ill individuals are a part of our lives in many different predicaments. The movie contagion is almost dangerously close to the idea of explaining social groups and social distancing. The concept of social distancing in the current predicament as a solution to this is not a Central American endeavor, as per the film as well as it started in China, just like the in global pandemic being faced by us across the world. The movie clearly communicates the epidemic transmitted through socializing.
The movie explains the importance of social distancing in a predicament as such. The film as an example of how it can spread, which the movie tells as well as how it’s covering can be minimized. It was eerie if we see the movie Contagion. One of the peculiar things about the film is that even though it recognizes all our fears, yet the idea that it is not a movie theater but watching it at home gives a different sense. The feeling that it could have happened to us, and we are sitting in a socially distant environment is highly comforting.
In the light of this predicament, they are concerning it as a movie that can make people germ-o-phoebes after the mess is over can occur. Hence the importance & relevance of the film is pertinent. Even the first sound from the movie is of the actress coughing. How relevant is that as corona starts with the same characteristics. It is true that this phobia impacted a great deal upon the American lifestyle & made them modify their lifestyles to a considerable extent in the light of the social distancing rule & regulations. These regulations, despite their relevance, have proven to be highly effective. While referring to the syllabus, there are a lot of relevant notions as well.
From the short story, “Soldiers Home,” there was a scene where Kerb came back to his town and saw girls already made up alliances. People had changed a lot & they were looking at him differently. This social distancing had made people make new friends. (Hemingway) Relating to that, it is integral to realize the impact it is going to leave on society. The Soldier came home after fighting in the First World War & saw that the whole predicament had changed. It is relatable to how I think the relationships will change over the coming few years. The world had turned into very socially active, yet there were communication gaps. Staying at home and keeping this sort of social distance will impact the whole society & people will realize the importance of having real-life relationships.
Kerb, upon his return, turned anti-social himself & the war had changed a lot in him as well, turning him into someone who stays at home a lot. The girls of his time had grown up, yet h decided to stay away from them. His whole idea of the world after the war had changed as he had lost all his interest in politics & court order. He was turning into this sort of a person with no goals & aims. His life had scattered. This is one aspect of the social distancing that I understand is harmful & unhealthy. It does make the person lazy & that is very dangerous considering the pace of modern-day society.
If the collective behavior of the society turns out to be negative, it can adversely impact the whole predicament & soon as the lockdown is over, the entire world would turn upside down. As per this example, Kerb’s story & the impact this social distancing had on him indicates how the fear of the world post the pandemic would turn out. How the people will act & how the overall situation will be is what fears the most. The psychology of the people living in the society might change & this will impact the whole lifestyle of each community. Removal of the ‘ill’ individuals and social groups is an element whose value is undeniable.
With the modern-day idea of social distancing, each one of us had a chance to take a break from the routine & rethink our choices. It helps us plan the coming years & with time as people have turned into strategists, our decisions have also become like these. The people that we want to stay away from can be listed skipped from our social groups and circles post this lockdown. It can e concluded on the notion that, Yes, this social distancing has impacted our lives in many ways. It has changed the fabric of our whole society and the impact that these extraordinary modifications in our individual and collective behavior will be more visible now. The contemporary moment and earlier historical moments evoked in our course texts have certain similarities & differences that can’t be denied. It is still mere speculation regarding how the world would be. Only time will tell regarding that, depict the differences in society from where it was till it comes to normal.
Contagion. Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Perf. Matt Damon. 2011. https://slate.com/culture/2020/03/contagion-coronavirus-soderbergh.html. 8 5 2020.
Hemingway, Ernest. Soldiers Home. 1925.