Pandemic of meetings and reunions, by Carol Álvarez

Just a month ago, the omicron threat showed us its full potential and covid patients multiplied on the eve of Christmas. The anguish also spread among the healthy, the panic to contagion that they forced confinement on certain dates gripped us and business dinners and meetings with friends were suspended to shield the most precious Christmas event to the maximum, each family a world, each house a trench.

If the routine creates the root to a habit, and the genes copy in their DNA the intense emotions that pass from parents to children, the feeling of belonging, of tribe, and the need to share time with our loved ones is a form of chain that is proof against the pincers of the pandemic and the inclemency of life. The reunion makes us strong, reaffirms us in who we are or at least how we were and that is how the complicit looks of ours remind us. In our new encapsulated life, what has not been Christmas has been a long wait for the reunion with our people but above all with our previous life. The movie theaters that survived the pandemic tsunami did so with old, re-release films, inaugurating a new golden age of their exhibition.

the power of nostalgia

We inflate that dilated time with what we find, and television has been the window of exception to the stories of others, without the toll of the fear of infecting us. We won’t know what happened before, if our yearning projected on the menus of the streaming channels or an algorithm that activated us the nostalgia mode in the brain, but there we all saw ourselves, basking in the happy past that emanates from the movies and series of the past.

Never before have the anniversaries of movie releases been so cheered. And we never saw an avalanche of television reunions as we have experienced in recent times. Will Smith and the rest of the cast that played the Banks family in ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ conspired for a reunion by Zoom at the beginning of the pandemic, in an emotional recording in which The fans experienced a pleasant journey through time and connected with the raw emotion of the actors, already unarmed by artifice.

The mythical series ‘Friends’ starred in a real hype from the announcement of their reunion, which was delayed by the pandemic until May, and still today the program of confessions, hugs, shared memories of its protagonists among the most watched on HBO Max. The actors of the wonderful classicThe engaged princess’ they also had a digital meeting to the delight of fans in the first summer of the pandemic, in order to raise funds for the Democratic party in the midst of the American election campaign, but the formula has been perfected and the only reunion that can rival that of friends is that of the protagonists of the seven film installments of Harry Potter: as important as the revelations, winks and complicity of Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint or Helena Bonham Carter, are the absences, from that of JK Rowling, controversial after the controversy about their positions on transsexuality, even those who have died in these 20 years since the origin of the films. Helen McCrory’s disappearance in April, or the death of the first Professor Dumbledore, Richard Harris, also that of the prestigious actor Alan Rickman, not only had a tribute space in the program, it also reproduces a pain that transcends fiction and the screen. His loss is the mirror of another loss very ours. And other absences such as that of Julie Walters, with health problems, evoke those of some other New Year’s meal in which the elders have been absent due to their delicate state.

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The women of ‘Sex in New York’ have also returned, more than 20 years later, to our lives, although the effect is very different: it is not a usual meeting, it does not convey the same complicity, it is not a mirror of our meetings of friends and families. That “how have we changed” does not work in this format, in fact, the conversation generated by the return of ‘The Golden Girls’ in its original series is much more authentic. But at the rate we are going, whether we reach the endemic state of covid or not, fictional meetings will always be a recipe for success, given the gaps that the times of the coronavirus have created.

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