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Class and Corona Culture: The More Things Change…

In many ways the rearrangement of life in the wake of the global impact of the Cornoavirus has created a brave new world. And in other ways, the arrangement has reinforced the cowardly old one. Class differences in the time of a global quarantine have in some ways rigidified. There is a small minority of a rich class which passes this temporary isolation in comfort, having quickly evacuated the contagion of the city centers for sometimes palatial estates in the countryside. There is a middle class, sheltered in place, many of whom are able to continue to work and earn online, though often at a diminished capacity. And finally there is a working class, not able to afford the comfort of sheltering, who must perpetually risk their lives in order to earn their daily bread. Here in Europe and particularly in France these distinctions are as profound as elsewhere with perhaps a million people fleeing the high contagion center of Paris for their country homes, with new middle class family subscribers flocking to the just opened Disney+ streaming service while cheering on medical workers each night at 8 from their balconies. Finally, there are not only working class nurses but also that most unsung group of workers, cashiers, 90 percent of whom are women and many of whom are minorities, at work each day while coming home to crowded apartments in the Parisian suburbs where the police are using the excuse of not having proper quarantine papers to assault these women’s children https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/world/europe/coronavirus-paris-suburbs.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage .

April 25, 2020



Dennis Broe is a film, television, art and cultural correspondent and critic whose work appears on the Pacifica Network in New York, on Art District in Paris and in the Morning Star in London. His latest book is Birth of the Binge: Serial TV and The End of Leisure. 

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