So, why does Netflix get the headline image? Possibly because this company has probably saved as many relationships, minds and even lives during this pandemic as the healthcare services have.
In fact, I wonder precisely how many people would have struggled much harder, felt even more alone, desperate and scared out of their wits without these awesome streaming companies and their production teams and partners had they not continued to provide escapism, intelligent, thought-provoking content continuously throughout this crisis?
During a bit of an international zoom party/get together yesterday we all started talking about the TV Series, Biohackers and mutually agreed that the characters were incredibly likeable, adorable, dark, sassy and utterly lacking in the typical smalts that is so often applied to young characters, especially in US-focused TV shows.
The students at Freiburg University really looked, felt and behaved like, erm, students. Their accessibility and genuine composition in this extremely topical, cleverly crafted and engaging rollercoaster of a drama are immense. Yet again Netflix delivers incredibly watchable and alluring TV to millions of its subscribers, many of whom are still enduring some form of lockdown or limitations on their freedoms.
My cohorts in this zoom meeting room are like me, all expatriates spread across the globe often hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their nearest and dearest. Many of us are far from any traditional support groups and mechanisms, often removed from any local assistance in terms of financial support and/or mental health services.
We unanimously agreed, that had this pandemic struck 10 years earlier, before the advent of video meeting rooms and TV streaming services it would undoubtedly have been much worse.
One member of our group, in particular, suffers from pretty serious mental health issues and she specifically believes that without wonderful distractions such as My Octopus Teacher and similar, things would have been unbearable beyond consideration.
I’ve selected Netflix* because that was the basis of our conversation. But all of the people employed within these streaming services, those who work for Zoom and others who have rushed to develop and adapt online meeting rooms and similar, deserve to be recognised for being there, for providing these wonderful distractions and enabling our minds at least to escape the monotony, the fear and for many the overwhelming loneliness this Covid-19 crisis has thrust upon us.
It would have much harder without you all.
*PS — Thanks Netflix, any offer of a lifetime complimentary subscription would be gratefully received.