When the pandemic kicked in I happened to be in Bucharest – my birth town which I left 10 years ago – so I found myself “trapped” in there for 3 months.
In an age where the idea of a totalitarian, restrictive regime is mainly a dark reminder of a pre-1989 era, it was interesting to observe how the world was “voluntarily” suspending some basic human rights by imposing the first nationwide lockdown since World War II. I couldn’t stop myself from drawing a line between the current restrictions and those experienced by prior generations (me included as a kid growing up in Romania in the late 80s) under totalitarian regimes.
During Ceausescu’s dictatorship and through the harsh transitional period that followed the “89 revolution, my favourite form of escapism was watching movies (via a black VHS market). I initially became fascinated with soap operas where reality was represented as illusion. This fictional form of escapism was most comforting in times of discomfort and social isolation.