Editors’ Note: With full acknowledgment of the big-picture implications of a pandemic that already has claimed thousands of lives, cratered global economies and closed international borders, Deadline’s Coping With COVID-19 Crisis series is a forum for those in the entertainment space grappling with myriad consequences of seeing a great industry screech to a halt. The hope is for an exchange of ideas and experiences, and suggestions on how businesses and individuals can best ride out a crisis that doesn’t look like it will abate any time soon. If you have a story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir has written graceful guest columns for Deadline on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, the cruel forced separation of refugee children by the Trump Administration, and the powerful imagery of Roma. Bichir became a top star in Mexico and established himself in Hollywood with a milestone performance in A Better Life that led him to become the first Mexican since Anthony Quinn to be Oscar nominated for Best Actor. He was working in London on the George Clooney-directed The Midnight Sky when production shut. What’s on his mind now is the dangers of pandemic spread facing the disenfranchised group of people who are locked up right now near our borders, for doing nothing more than try for the better life dream of every immigrant who ever came to America, an historical cornerstone of what made this country great.
Will we learn anything at all?
Who would’ve said that World War lll would have the entire world allied to defeat one common enemy virtually invisible? What a formidable opportunity to reset our hearts and minds outside the nihilistic bubble in which most people live. Those who have never care for other’s well being are now praying for the neighbor’s good health. Perfect time to focus on eradicating bigger and more lethal viruses such as indifference, inequality, ignorance, fear and hate.
Remember that scene in Titanic when the passengers in third class are trapped and no one has the heart to let them out before they drowned? The same is happening now.
Trump’s government is keeping an enormous group of immigrants locked in detention centers alongside the entire border, putting these human beings at risk of being infected by the COVID-19 virus and possibly die trapped. This is not happening in a crazy far away regime, it’s happening right here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Are we crazy too? This isn’t new. It’s been happening for way too long. The shameful separation of families had already been a flagrant human rights violation, but to cage children is absolutely despicable. Those images have not only offended the American people but have disgusted the entire world. As we continue the fight against this virus, many things come to mind as a reminder of who we really are and what we aspire to be.
Are we senseless creatures lost in a frenzied quest to acquire more and more followers and likes, as if that was a symbol of greatness? What are the talents that a person requires to deserve everyone’s attention? What do you have to say to your followers that can represent a change of conscience toward a new way of thinking and coexisting, other than posting the same photo and saying the same things over and over again?
Will we take this chance to come out of this global emergency as better human beings? Have the 1% already understood the harm that greed, indifference and inequality can do to every living being on this planet, including themselves?
How much time until children, women and men die in those cages without anybody setting them free? What is wrong with all of us? On the other hand, as a sign of hope, in the midst of these extraordinary times, wonderful people have shown the best of us humans. My deepest respects and gratitude to all of the nurses, doctors and scientists everywhere in the world, who are fighting on the very front line of this war.
Coping With COVID-19 Crisis
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