During times like this, everyone’s struggling in one way or another. There are people who fear for their lives, living paycheck to paycheck or are on the frontlines of this pandemic helping to save the lives of others. There are also people stuck in their homes or temporary homes, out of work and scrambling to find things to occupy themselves.
Students are also struggling to keep up with the load of online work while taking care of themselves. A remedy that people have turned to, even before this situation fell upon us, is art. Whether that constitutes, writing, painting, learning how to play an instrument, doing a comedy show from home or making TikToks, art has been a great way for people to soothe their minds and souls.
While it's important for people who have the resources to help, such as donating to charities that help provide Americans with food and healthcare workers with protective equipment, it's also important to escape from the state of the world right now time to time.
We can’t be constantly engrossed in the news, keeping track of the numbers and the administration’s poor response. We can sympathize with the struggle people are facing and also use this time for ourselves to have a laugh and learn a new skill.
People turn to entertainment on a daily basis to escape the pressures of their routine, work and families. Day and late-night television hosts like Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah are continuing their shows from their homes, doing interviews and thinking of creative ways to entertain their audiences. Musicians are participating in virtual benefit concerts as well, like the One World: Together At Home concert airing Saturday which supports the World Health Organization and healthcare workers.
One way to process negative or stressful events is to make art from it, whether it is music, writing or painting. Many people I know have started painting or playing the ukulele, which is relaxing to the mind. A global pandemic shouldn’t eliminate having fun or getting creative. In order to preserve our mental health, we have to reject wallowing in sadness or hopelessness if we are privileged enough to do so.
Another form of art that has been highly popular during this time is TikTok. The application is filled with a plethora of innovative videos of pets, memes and dances from all age groups. Students have thoroughly enjoyed creating a joke out of their lost semester and healthcare workers have even filmed themselves doing TikTok dances.
People are known to spend hours on this app, including myself, to take a break from the daily news cycle and current environment we are in. Memes are a common form of escape during hardships, and TikTok invites people of all ages to join in on the fun.
The reason we are still running an entertainment section right now is for the same reason: It allows readers to divert their focus on less stress inducing topics and offer ways to cope. We aren’t ignoring the tragedy around us. In fact, we are acknowledging it more than ever. All these forms of art provide a creative outlet for people to escape and find hope and positivity.
Some people are selling their art because they have no other income, while others are donating the proceeds from their sales to relief funds. There are many different ways that art can help right now, either to spread awareness, provide entertainment, encourage donations or to relax the mind.
In times like this, art is something everyone can benefit from.