My experience going back to the movie theatre in Brazil after eight months

How Brazilian legislation regarding Covid-19 has been working with the comeback of cinemas

Photo: Reproduction

Well, you probably know we are in a pandemic. And, if you’re alive, you’ve probably stayed home for months now. I don’t know where you’re from, but quarantine has been a big event in people’s lives this year. 2020 was (and still is) a weird year, man.

I have mixed feelings regarding this year. Between surprise and disappointment, my emotions have been like riding a rollercoaster during a storm. While throughout the beginning of quarantine we might have all felt a little bewildered or stunned, like we were inside a Hollywood movie, I’m pretty sure everyone’s sick of staying home now. Nevertheless, in Brazil, quarantine is still happening. But not for everybody.

As of October 2020, restaurants and bars are now open. And while there’s a small portion of the population that is still very much afraid of coronavirus, most people just don’t care anymore. I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty or scared. Cases and deaths in Brazil have, in fact, been decreasing. But I guess there’s no middle ground here. We are very warm and weird people. So, if the President says it’s ok to go out and not wear a mask, or if he says coronavirus is nothing but a “little flu”, I guess a big portion of the population is just going to be like “Yeah, I mean, if the President said that, it must be true.” Except it’s not. So, for that reason, coronavirus has just been a really weird experience for all of us.

Brazilians are basically parted into two groups: Left-wingers and Right-wingers. Much like the conflict between democrats and republicans in the United States. Right-wingers, for the most part, support President Jair Bolsonaro, and Left-wingers don’t. Well, at least that’s what it sounds like when you talk to a Right-winger. But the problem in Brazil hits much, much deeper than that. It’s all very much arranged to make you think it’s only a conflict between Right and Left. But there’s absolutely no way our problems are purely based on that.

Anyway, there are people who choose to believe in the President’s comments, and people who don’t. Or even people who did and now see what he’s all about and just gave up on him. But the point is, coronavirus has been a turmoil of dark stuff happening over here. And now it just seems like it doesn’t exist anymore. I’ve tried staying home, but it just feels dumb. Everyone’s going out to eat, drink, and party. Now, cinemas have opened again. And it’s been awesome.

It’s hard to go out without thinking you might kill someone, or even kill yourself because of this virus. But I mean, when is it supposed to be okay for us to get out of our homes? Between online classes, a million papers, exams and work, it’s really hard to convince yourself to just stay home watching Netflix while all of your friends and family are out there having fun and blowing off steam. So, I mean, I don’t blame anyone who’s going out now. I used to, but now I just try to mind my own business, and care for my own family.

Although it’s hard to not sound hypocritical when I’m going out and still spilling tea on the President’s stupid previous comments about the virus. It’s like we all go back to that same Left X Right conflict. You either stay in your house for a year or you have to agree with the President that the virus is not real or that it is just a “little flu”. Still, I don’t believe that everything’s black and white. I think that grey area is much bigger than just the two sides of a coin.

Yesterday, I went out to eat with my boyfriend. We went into the restaurant at like 4pm because we hadn’t had lunch yet. There was no one there except two waitresses and the cook. Still, none of them were wearing masks. Seriously, none of them. The cook could have sneezed a bunch of coronavirus into my food. And that’s what’s wrong with Brazil. No grey area. We either get to a point where nobody cares or wears masks anymore, or we either just don’t get out of our homes. But, anyway, I’m here to tell you how it was like to return to the movie theatre after eight months.

Well, it was great. We had popcorn, soda and watched The Shining. Everyone sat at least two seats apart. I didn’t have contact with anyone except my boyfriend. And I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. I might be wrong, but restaurants have been open in São Paulo now since July. And just like I told you, there’s just those places who never did and never will respect legislation. No one wearing masks, no hand sanitizer at the tables, tables too close to each other, cooks making our foods without disposable gloves. But that’s just what Brazilians are all about. We like defying people and things and not doing what we’re supposed to. It’s just our culture and who we are.

Still, it’s just a little sad that we spent all this time without going to the movies (and my boyfriend and I are movie addicts), where things seem to be working according to the law, while restaurants have been open for months now and there’s no one out there to check if they’re working correctly and respecting health legislations.

Anyway, it was great to go back to the cinema and watch movies while eating movie theatre popcorn. It was great to sit in the grey area for once. I just wish it was all grey area over here. And it probably never will be.

19 year old Brazilian writer, journalist, musician and actress. In love with rock 'n' roll, food, cats and the color purple. Find me @cathgaidzinski