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A Call for Nostalgia in a Time of Need


As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to ravage the world, our daily lives have been transformed to monotony, creating a feeling that each day is simple like day before as in the movie Groundhog Day. It becomes difficult in these times to find something new to distract ourselves with, even watching your favorite Netflix series for the millionth time becomes a chore. However, it is in these moments that I have found that childhood and the past brings the most joy.

I decided to see if these moments of pure bliss could bring about any sort of positivity in this repetitive day. And I’m not the only one who has seemed to go on this journey. According to Forbes, nostalgia provides us with comfort and security in times of trouble, allowing for us to transport ourselves into another realm. It appears that in a time of despair and hopelessness, nostalgia has been called upon to heal our broken souls.

Due to my college career being cut short by theCoronavirus, early on in the quarantine I began to wonder about the online computer game Wizard101, which I used to play religiously in middle school yet never ended up finishing. I decided to check on the website and the game was still running… and surprisingly had a huge following still. Because I wanted a blast from the past to get my mind off of college, I made a new account. And, to embarrass myself a little bit, I still play to this day. I have found that in times where it feels like the universe is crumbling and there is no end to the events unfolding around us, I log back onto the game I loved as a kid, enveloping me into a world that I can live in without fear.

It becomes a place where I can forget for a few minutes. My childhood brings back memories of joy and comfort that help me in these treacherous times.

Technology has become a daily presence in our lives, with our laptops and phones constantly in front of our faces. Due to this, finding peace in nostalgia is easier than ever before. When the world seems bleak, we can slump in our chairs and get distracted for hours at a time. However, we were already entering this stage of nostalgia, even before the pandemic took over. For example, according to the Guardian, Friends has been on Netflix for years now, giving the generation who grew up on the show a chance to watch again, and for the younger audience, a new show to binge. Our culture is addicted to nostalgia, as if it is something we always try to relapse when nothing seems right.

This is not to say nostalgia is a bad concept whatsoever, especially right now. In our current situation, nostalgia seems like the perfect escape. Nostalgia allows us to enter a world that we only knew in childhood, whether that’s reading an old book, playing an old video game, or watching an old show (like Avatar the Last Airbender which premiered on Netflix on May 15).

It creates a careless feeling that was once enveloped us as a child, a sort of ignorant bliss as one might call it. If we are unable to leave our house, instead of going crazy with the same routine, maybe a call to our childhood and past can reinvigorate old memories in order to look onward into the future.