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The Impact of The Corona Virus on The Arts

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The year 2020 is a year that many had hoped to have been a year blessed with new opportunities, achievements, growth and overall joy. The emergence of the Corona Virus has however abruptly interrupted the plans people had for their new year.

The Corona Virus,which attacks the respiratory system, has thus far had a devastating global impact with well over one and half million global confirmed cases and more than one hundred and two thousand confirmed global deaths. It has completely changed the way we live our lives and according to scientists, it has the potential to change how we will shop, travel and work for years to come.

With billions of people worldwide now under quarantine in their homes, multiple economic sectors, businesses and industries are feeling the strain caused by this pandemic.

Those within the Arts, entertainment, events, music and performance industries have been hit by the national lockdown particularly harder. The national and worldwide lockdown has resulted in cancelled or postponed bookings, performances and events.

It has also resulted in the temporary closing of facilities such as galleries, museums, live performance venues, theatres, and in the inevitable loss of income for artists, creatives, event organizers, performers and venue owners globally.

The restrictions of lockdown has required some galleries and event holders and organizers to take the initiative of providing their services online and making their exhibitions available on digital platforms.

Not all artists and creatives are fortunate and have alternatives available to maintain their income. After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the lockdown on 23rd of March,2020, South African comedian and actor, Rob van Vuuren tweeted : “While I applaud the Govt ‘s decision to act decisively in the face of this disaster my income is effectively frozen now. I don‘t know how I’m going to pay my bond. Next month I’ll be wondering how I’m going to feed my family“. Rob van Vuuren ‘s tweet perfectly highlights the main concerns that many other artists and creatives will be having throughout the lockdown.

In the meantime, local singers and performers have urged their fans to continue downloading and streaming their music.

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