Movies & Cinema during the Pandemic? Catch-all Discussion

TravisR

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I get there's a risk. I just don't view this as a "death wish" or anything as horrifying as some others think...
Statistically speaking, I think people going to theaters will be fine but if I was wrong and got sick or spread the virus to someone, it would be a decision that I'd really want to have back. If I got the virus and I take the "risk to other people" factor out of it, I would likely recover fairly easily (I'm relatively young, in reasonably good shape, no underlying health problems) BUT the unknown long term effects keeps me from risking it.
 
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Colin Jacobson

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I don’t think anyone views going to theater as a “death wish”. It just much riskier for some of us with underlying conditions. Do you have any underlying conditions Colin?
Just being awesome! :D

Look, I don't want my POV to be "everyone should go to movies right now and you're a wimp if you don't". I get the concerns and respect the decisions of those who choose not to go - especially those who have higher risks.

I just disagree with the POV that anyone who goes is irresponsible and and creating a public health risk.

I'm not some "it's just a cold!" moron. Crud, the COVID scared me enough that I joined AAA in the spring to avoid going to the shop for a new car battery!

Heck, even into May, I was so concerned that I wouldn't sit in the front seat of a car with a longtime friend - I sat in the backseat while she drove.

I've considered the risks and think it's not substantial. We've learned a lot about transmission over the last 6 months and that's why I think the circumstances under which I'll go to movies - small crowds, wear a mask most of the time, etc. - put me at a marginal risk...
 

Colin Jacobson

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Statistically speaking, I think people going to theaters will be fine but if I was wrong and got sick or spread the virus to someone, it would be a decision that I'd really want to have back. If I got the virus and I take the "risk to other people" factor out of it, I would likely recover fairly easily (I'm relatively young, in reasonably good shape, no underlying health problems) BUT the unknown long term effects keeps me from risking it.
I get your POV, but that's true of any potential exposure.

Face it: the only way to completely avoid COVID is to never leave your house and never interact with anyone.

At some point, each of us has to decide what risk we're willing to take unless we plan to live as hermits forever.

Under the circumstances I've described, I'm willing to go to movies. I get why others won't, but I think that with safeguards in place, it's a pretty low-risk activity...
 

Colin Jacobson

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My point is you may feel differently if you did have underlying conditions.
Did I not indicate that I respect that in the post you partly quoted?

Of course I'd view my willingness to potentially expose myself if I had underlying conditions.

Where did I say everyone has to do what I do?
 

TravisR

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Not sure if joking, but... ugh.

I'm actually fine with "time alone" but never seeing anyone would drive me nuts!
"Old Travis lives out beyond the Dune Sea. He's kind of a strange, old hermit."

OK, I don't want to see zero people but I'm not that bothered by infrequently seeing people. And I don't say that to make a joke out of it because there are people that are having serious problems with that issue.
 
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TonyD

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I don’t have any health issues but there are people dying from this that haven’t had any previous health issues.

I don’t want to be included in that group so I only go out when I have to.

Food, house supplies, things my dad needs help with.

Going to the movies is about as unimportant as anything else I can think of.

It’s not important to risk my life and to possibly by minimal exposure that I may risk someone else’s life.

I can’t even comprehend the need to go to a movie theater anytime this year.
You miss out on nothing if you don’t go to a theater.
If you go and someone with COVID just happens to walk near enough to you on the way in or on the way out and you die.
You miss out on everything.
 

Colin Jacobson

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"Old Travis lives out beyond the Dune Sea. He's kind of a strange, old hermit."

OK, I don't want to see zero people but I'm not that bothered by infrequently seeing people. And I don't say that to make a joke out of it because there are people that are having serious problems with that issue.
Most of my friends don't live all that close to me, so my communication with them hasn't been that different: mostly phone.

Been weird not to go to work, where I saw "work friends", but I didn't mind the "less work because I'm at home" side of it.

Dating has been much tougher, though! It's picked up the last 2-3 months, though!
 
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Malcolm R

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Face it: the only way to completely avoid COVID is to never leave your house and never interact with anyone.

At some point, each of us has to decide what risk we're willing to take unless we plan to live as hermits forever.
Definitely. I have conditions that put me at a higher risk, but as per the above, I'm also not willing to curl up under my bed in the fetal position for however much time it takes until the virus is completely and totally eradicated.

Movie theaters are not a high priority, but I also don't put them completely off the table. I have several family who are also at high risk from age and various conditions, but they also continue to work their jobs in offices and public buildings, go shopping, take vacations to other states, and partake in indoor dining at restaurants. Life goes on, and you just have to adapt and take precautions. Hiding in our homes is not a viable choice for us. If that's what others want to do, that's fine. But don't expect everyone to do so.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Personally, I have no desire to take the risk (however small)... not that I think Colin's wrong or anything... but more because I don't find going to the theater a particularly compelling activity at all w/ few exceptions, which is why I rarely went even before the pandemic -- and is also partly why I collect tons of movies (though seems not quite/nearly as much as some on HTF) and own a good size FP setup w/ good audio, etc. I suppose if I find a movie release compelling enough, eg. something that really needs to be seen in true IMAX, I'd consider going w/ enough safety measures (as Colin suggested) -- not sure if Tenet at the Lincoln Sq IMAX (during off-peak showings) would actually qualify for me. Nobody in my household is significantly "at-risk" though.

OTOH, as I pointed out early on, I'd certainly consider attending a Carnegie Hall concert though assuming there are enough proper health safety measures in place (and attendees adhering well enough to them). But the folks running Carnegie Hall (and also other major NYC venues) have essentially decided together w/ concert organizers and the performers to just hold off reopening at least til early next year. And that's certainly fine w/ me -- I suspect part of their rationale is they don't actually need the box office revenue that much while a large majority of their revenue comes from their real estate income and charitable donations/funding... plus maybe a disproportionately large segment of their patrons likely falls in the at-risk demographic, especially those who'd donate significantly to them.

On my short getaway (w/ the wife) up to Monhonk back in early July, the Victorian resort (up in the mountains) did also just began (partially) reopening indoor dining as Cuomo allowed in some areas away from NYC. And we did feel enough health safety measures were taken -- it helps the main dining hall they reopened is a pretty/unusually vast space w/ very high ceilings (for most of it) that you could probably fit a modest size basketball arena w/ plenty of room to spare at extreme ends of its length... and they were well below (allowed) capacity to allow plenty of distancing. Most of the key activities were outdoors oriented anyway while some others simply migrated outdoors, eg. nightly music and dance socials as well as movie outdoors instead. They even partially reopened their spa, which my wife loves (and kinda needs every now and then nowadays). We plan to go again around peak foliage season.

We're also considering a short getaway to Newport, RI, end of this month, but that's much less certain given how RI had been doing during its touristy summer season. We're hoping the situation there will have cleared up enough for a safe (enough) visit -- we don't care for the summer crowds (and heat) and the bits of rowdy-ish partying then anyway.

Otherwise, I actually haven't gone out much. Mostly just an occasional walk w/ my wife (maybe w/ brief excursion to supermarket or the like) or to see my mother and/or some close relatives and friends for a bit (like for my mother's recent birthday that's close to birthdays of a few others in the extended family), but of course, keeping reasonable safety in mind (though w/out becoming completely OCD about it). We're talking maybe once a week across all those different things... though my wife continues to go out almost daily for a couple/few hours at a time (largely because of work project needs) while settling into what seems like reasonable safety habits and such.

And after some consideration, we've opted for full remote schooling for our 13-yo instead of the partial deal... at least to start the school year -- NYC DOE allows revisiting that choice every now and then... though we don't expect to change on that at least for this school year.

But back to the movie-going issue, when I was growing up, I recall my family used to very regularly go to some rather filthy (and smelly), gang-infested theaters in NYC Chinatown to see Chinese flix. They were the only options for such, and I suppose my parents felt it important and desirable enough at least in our context then (as we actually rarely ever attended Chinese flix back when we still lived in Hong Kong before the late-70's). Talk about unsafe, especially for kids, w/ all sorts of gang (and whatever other "public health/safety" violating) activities going on, especially in (and around) certain theaters, including occasional muggings, stabbings and shootings... though we mostly went to the less gang-infested ones and avoided most later, riskier, nighttime showings. But many other (non-Chinese) theaters around the city weren't all that clean (or completely safe) either... and Times Sq only got cleaned up (along w/ various other now gentrified, highly desirable neighborhoods like Tribeca and SoHo) starting around the early-to-mid-90's. The advent of the VCR and home video rental explosion (along w/ the gang problem, including the whole Tai Seng org for anyone familiar) led to the demise of all NYC Chinatown theaters one after the other by the mid-90's, including a couple newer (cleaner) ones that opened in the mid-to-late-80's (one of which premiered Jet Li's debut film, Shaolin Temple, for a very limited (Chinese) American audience IIRC... and ironically, that theater building had since been converted into a Buddhist temple).

It (all) was what it was... much as now, we all try to do what is/works best for each of us given our individual contexts... and context can certainly vary/change for each of us from time to time, etc. Yes, when it comes to something like Covid-19, very important to consider how our choices also impact others, not just ourselves -- and each choice (whether yay or nay) doesn't stand alone in terms of overall risk. But probably not helpful to come across sounding accusatory or shaming, especially after others already tried to sincerely offer reasonable explanations and such, even if that's not the intention.

Truth is despite whatever claims about "the science" of all this, there's actually a lot of apparently gray areas (in actual realworld circumstances and choices)... and the science (and associated risks) actually isn't quite that cut-and-dry for making realworld choices in a lot of cases...

IMHO, we could use more unity (even in how we might disagree), not polarization, around all this stuff. And we probably won't get there w/ (often fear-driven) antagonizing approaches that come across as either accusatory or simply "my way or the highway" as often happens in debates... even though that often/usually isn't the (conscious) intention...

Shalom... and party on! ;):D:cool:

_Man_

PS: Apologies this turned into a rather lengthy tome (and may've sounded a bit preachy at times)... :lol:
 
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Colin Jacobson

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I do think the subject of evolving attitudes toward COVID risk is interesting.

Like I said earlier, late March/early April - whenever my car's battery died - I was absolutely terrified at the idea of going to the shop and either sitting with strangers for 90 minutes or getting the shop's shuttle home and being in a vehicle with a stranger for 15 minutes total.

Now? I've not needed to get service for the car, but I'd not avoid either scenario.

Also, my 78-year-old stepmother already ruled out my usual Christmas visit in MAY!

Now she's fine with it. Nothing's really changed - she'll still be 78 and my Dad will be 86 - but I guess she figures the risk isn't big!

BTW, I booked a flight, but I'm way more nervous about being stuck on a plane for 6 hours than I am going to a freakin' movie!

Depending on the status of COVID come December, I may end up driving. It's a long drive from VA to AZ, but it might be preferable!
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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RE: flying, it does seem like airplanes handle the air circulation issue a lot better than most for the amount of space involved, but very unclear how that actually compares w/ other realworld scenarios that involve a whole lot more space (instead of say a car, bus or subway ride). I mean we don't call them "flying sardine cans" for nothing afterall... :P

FWIW, my wife has cousins in San Francisco Bay area who surprisingly actually brought their 2 families of (5) teenaged kids to Disney World for their usual, week-long, summer vacay soon after WDW reopened. One of the fathers is actually a highly intelligent, longtime (hospital) doctor and not at all the risk-taking sort. Yeah, I could hardly believe it when I first heard about it, but they went... had a blast I assume... and returned home w/out any problems. Their fun-loving parents -- my wife's "at-risk" 75-plus aunt and uncle-in-law -- who usually also go w/ them, of course, didn't this time... and (half-)joked a bit that they're "crazy" to go, :lol: but it was already all paid for well ahead of time and at least the villas they booked were apparently non-refundable/changeable, which I suppose played a (small?) factor... so it is what it is...

One thing. It may turn out that the overall risks simply gradually reduce as this pandemic wears on just due to the nature of how everything works together, including the fact that fewer and fewer people remain 100% completely unexposed and so likely exactly as vulnerable as the early days of this. For all we know, many of us may have been (or will be) exposed to small enough loads here or there, now and again, that don't cause significant health problems and might actually catalyze and help build up our immune system against it even if we don't become completely immune (in the sense people usually think/understand/assume)... not that I'm suggesting we throw caution to the wind of course...

_Man_
 

Malcolm R

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They say modern airplanes have air filtration and exchange systems comparable to hospital surgical suites, so on the plane itself I think you're likely to be fine unless you're sitting right next to someone who's infected and precautions are lax on the flight. But it seems like the airlines are taking masking pretty seriously, as they've banned hundreds of people who have refused to wear masks while on a flight.
 
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Tino

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ManW_TheUncool

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If this is true that up to 90% of COVID tests are false positives, then this changes everything.
They're not false positives per se. Just not likely contagious (at least not at the time of testing).

The real problem is that flawed idea/sense of what "positive" means. Generally, all this stuff operates in a continuum, but we, especially bureaucrats, tend to prefer the quick-and-simple (and often sloppy) "yes/no" answer for decision making. That works well enough for a lot of things, but apparently not for this.

_Man_
 

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