We're entering another wave of the coronavirus, and businesses are closing... but not Hollywood.
Things are lining up to be one of the worst winters in recent history, as coronavirus outbreaks across America and the world have really gotten intense. In California, we are facing another shutdown. Businesses are shuttering, and while the government is flailing for solutions, many of us are trying to figure out how we can pay our bills.
California's governor, Gavin Newsom, just issued a shelter-in-place order that covered “generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tier.” That means every county in Southern California and 94% of the state’s population.
There was one notable exception... a list of exemptions, under “Industrial, Commercial, Residential, and Sheltering Facilities and Services,” which gives the designation 15. This reads, “Workers supporting the entertainment industries, studios, and other related establishments, provided they follow covid-19 public health guidance around physical distancing.”
So, film and TV crews are now essential.
You can see the full list of essential workers here, but we thought this deserved a discussion.
I think there are a few ways to look at this. It's great, if you are worried about providing for your family, that you can still go to work on the crews and make a living, But you have to hope the studio you work for stays open and the budget of the show you're on covers you.
It's also really tragic that we can't find a way to support citizens and let them stay home, to really maximize the efforts to flatten the curve and stop the spread. It would be nice if unions or the government could send stipends for people to actually stay at home, but that's easier said than done.
These are two viewpoints, and I'm not sure if there is a happy medium.
Lucky for workers, there are coronavirus protocols on every set, which mandate their testing for work, so they can know if they've been exposed or are risking anything else.