7 Studio Ghibli films I’m watching to help me stay calm in a pandemic

Today, a record 120 new cases of COVID-19 was reported in Singapore. That’s a daily record and it’s the first time since the first case in late January where we’ve seen more than 100 cases in one day. Many of the new cases are unlinked. This means the virus is spreading without any known links to existing clusters or positive individuals.

As if we’re not already deeply concerned, today’s news seems to be another cherry on top of this situation. I learned earlier that PJ’s flat will be taken back by the owners. Which means, PJ and his flatmates will need to relocate to a new flat soon. That’s on top of me moving in with them temporarily as I’ve had to let go of my Bukit Merah flat due to tightening my finances.

Non-essential businesses are closing on Tuesday. They will remain closed for a month. This is the closest Singapore has now to a lockdown. Nobody is calling it a lockdown. But it feels like we are inching towards it day by day. I still feel Singapore is one of the safest places on Earth to ride out an outbreak. But I feel for Singapore. It needs to protect its citizens. Every measure must be put in place to “break the circuit”.

More sentiments in my previous posts here and here.

***

Because I’m mentally drained by news after news of COVID-19, my looming unemployment situation, my status in Singapore, etc… I’ve been binge-watching Studio Ghibli with PJ the past three days. We’ve covered seven films so far.

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  2. The Cat Returns (2002)
  3. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  4. Ponyo (2008)
  5. The Wind Rises (2013)
  6. When Marnie was There (2014)
  7. Spirited Away (2001)

The films are an ESCAPE. It feels like entering one of those really beautiful postcard drawings. The stories are out of this world… which is fine… because everything happening in the real world feels out of this world. The characters are charming and inspired. I would recommend Studio Ghibli films for those who haven’t seen any yet. They are a welcome distraction from the bad news out there.

***

If the cases in the next few days don’t simmer down, I’m expecting even more drastic measures to be in place. Will we start seeing military on the streets? Will the buses and MRT lines be closed? Will there be a curfew?

We’re already in unprecedented territory with the closing of Singapore’s zoos, schools, and malls (except for essential services). At times like these, I miss being irritated by the simplicity of the haze.

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