On the morning of Monday, March 23, 2020, my husband and the children put on their dancing shoes in our home library after a sumptuous breakfast. It is our first day together as we decided to stay at home. The children’s school was forced to close abruptly after the Lagos State Government’s announcement that all schools should close as the news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak spreads. Hubby works with an international organization which asked them to work from home until further notice.
So on Monday morning, my crew began to gyrate to loud music blaring from the speaker. They danced away, unmindful of the virus plaguing the world. Their mood may have captured the attitude of some of the people in isolation in parts of the world.
Four days ago, the American actor, Tyler Perry, while sitting on his porch at home, sang the popular Christian song, ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’, to encourage everyone staying at home to keep safe. He wrote:
“I hope you’re keeping strong during this uncertain time in our country. All we can do is pray and follow our local and state governments’ instructions, so please do that and keep yourself safe and socially distant. You know it’s times like these when people look for escape through entertainment…”
He alludes to the power of entertainment to keep people company in a time like this. And so, on Sunday on his Instagram post, he began the hashtag HesGotTheWholeWorldChallenge. He got some members of his cast to do the song while in isolation in their homes. He posted their videos in an 8-minutes plus clip that has 1.26 million views already! Arts, indeed, is a powerful tool.
Another unusual incidence happened on Instagram. American DJ, DNice, brought over 100, 000 people from all over the world to the hashtag he created ClubQuarantine this past weekend through IGLive. It was the talk of the world. CNN reported it. CBS This Morning’s Gayle King interviewed him online.
He wrote on his Instagram Handle on Monday:
“I had a tearful moment this morning after realizing that we all came together as a global community and danced while I played music in my living room. It was beautiful to experience, and I’m truly humbled by the amount of love I’ve received. Thank you to everyone that supported me on this journey. Let’s continue to uplift each other as we get thru this dark time.”
His performance touched thousands of people around the world. He was a great company to thousands in their homes through the music he played!
Finally, Rita Wilson, the wife of American actor, Tom Hanks, was reading while in self-isolation in her home with her husband, when the song, Hip Hop Hooray, was playing in the background, she joined in singing the song.
These examples show the role arts play in the development and psyche of the human being. Arts has been a source of inspiration and sustenance to men from time immemorial. Great poems, lyrics, books have been written while men are in the lowest ebb. It has also offered succour to people as it is currently doing to millions around the globe as the world fights COVID-19.