HOLLYWOOD—During this pandemic, everyone has been on edge. Most people are full of anxiety, worried not only about ones well-being, but also the economic crisis. The movie industry is in shambles, with production being pushed back for months. We the people, will get over this. As US theaters nationwide are shutting their doors after President Trump set new guidelines against gatherings of more than 10 people as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country.
AMC, the country’s largest theater chain, said it will close all theaters nationwide for 6 to 12 weeks. Regal Cinemas, the nation’s second largest chain, said it would close all cinemas, as well. That decision came just days before the domestic box office plunged to its lowest level in over two decades, as ticket sales in North America generated roughly $55.3 million between Friday and Saturday—the worst total in 20 years.
Coronavirus, or to to give it its official name, Covid-19, is a respiratory virus that has triggered a global pandemic. It causes viral pneumonia and there is currently no cure or vaccine available. It is not treatable by antibiotics, nor with any of the antiviral drugs commonly used for treating flu. It is generally mild in the young, but can be dangerous in the elderly or those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or poor immune systems.
Scientists are urgently trying to find a vaccine for the virus, but as of March, there is none available. There are some under development, but the earliest a full human vaccine trial could start is April 2020 and realistically we are looking at least 12 months before a vaccine will be generally available. So this is what we are dealing with.
So many people have tested positive for this virus. Yet, a lot of people survive. One that didn’t was singer, guitarist, and songwriter Alan Merrill who died in New York at the age of 69, as a result of the coronavirus. Merrill was best known for writing the track “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Merrill originally wrote and recorded the iconic song while he was a member of the band the Arrows, who released the track in 1975.
The song would later become a huge hit for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, who topped the charts with the tune in 1982. Merrill was inspired to write the song as a reaction to the Rolling Stones’ single “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It).” “I’d met Mick Jagger socially a few times, and I knew he was hanging around with Prince Rupert Lowenstein and people like that — jet setters,” Merrill told songfacts.com.
“I almost felt like ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’ was an apology to those jet-set princes and princesses that he was hanging around with — the aristocracy, you know. That was my interpretation as a young man: Okay, I love rock and roll.” Merrill also played with Rick Derringer and Meatloaf as well as pursuing a solo career. The musician’s death was announced by his daughter Laura on Facebook.
“The Coronavirus took my father this morning,” she wrote on March 29. “I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out. He seemed peaceful and as I left there was still a glimmer of hope that he wouldn’t be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen. I walked 50 blocks home still with hope in my heart. The city that I knew was empty. I felt I was the only person here and perhaps in many ways I was. By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone.”
Rose’s Scoop: Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson who tested positive seem to be fine. Others, like Emily Ratajkowski, Orlando Bloom and Charles Barkley, have publicly announced they are self-isolating as a precaution, while some like Naomi Campbell in her extreme hazmat suit, are sharing hygiene advice amid the pandemic. The growing list of A-listers, athletes and prominent figures is constantly growing. Please stay safe everyone.