This weekend I watched that animated spider-man movie with my boyfriend, the one with multiple universes and lots of beautiful graphics (it’s on Netflix right now, definitely check it out if you haven’t already!). He had never seen it before, but I saw it right when it came out. Hands down, one of my favorite movies.
When I picked it, I didn’t think much of it except that I was so excited for my boyfriend to experience such a pretty movie for the first time. I didn’t think any further into it, whatsoever.
Once the movie was over, my mind was reeling. Not because of the spectacular graphics, or the excellent writing, or the intriguing storyline… but because the concept the movie is based on is such a wonderful perspective to have in relation to the current state of the world.
I know that sounds crazy- a kid getting bitten by a radioactive spider and a pandemic hardly seem relatable as topics. But think of any super-hero movie, ever: it all starts with a big change.
For every superhero in existence, I think, there was a beginning for them where they were “just like any other person”. Just a “normal guy/girl”. That’s always how the stories start, and then something big changes.
Their whole lives get turned upside down by the change, and it’s entirely out of their control. Usually it causes panic and confusion at the beginning, but eventually they find purpose and beauty in their new life and their new abilities, all because of that big shift at the beginning.
I believe this pandemic can play out like that for all of us. As corny as it sounds, life is your movie, and the way it pans out for you depends on the choices you make as the main character.
This pandemic has everyone confused, scared, and panicked. It is a gigantic change for all of us, and no one had a choice about this change happening or not, it just did.
But now is our time to decide what we do about it. We can be defeated by it and mope around about being inside all day and never get our hopes up for being about to go out to bars or restaurants or gyms ever again. We can throw ourselves pity-parties day-in and day-out about having to work from home. We can lose our motivation, all because change is scary and we don’t want to accept that things might never feel “normal” again.
Or, we can be the superhero in our movie. We can be a little shocked at first by the change, superheroes are human too, afterall. But then we can pick ourselves up and take ownership of our circumstances. Yes, we are stuck inside and we have to work from home, and a lot of us have had to sacrifice things we love doing on a day-to-day basis for the greater good of the world. But we can go on walks, we can enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve had lately, we can go grocery shopping and make good food and eat it while we work from home. We can find ways to motivate ourselves, we can pick up new hobbies, we can learn about ourselves in ways we never would have had time to before.
By sacrificing what is “normal” to all of us, willingly, we are saving the world. Staying home and staying positive are keeping people from catching a deadly disease, and every single one of us is contributing to that. That sounds pretty superhero-y, if you ask me!
So don’t let yourself forget: this is your movie. And just by doing what you all are doing and remembering that a new normal is coming, we can all be superheroes.
Serina is a Ph. D. student in the Genetics program.