Like the rest of the world, the film industry has been ravaged by the coronavirus crisis currently spreading across the globe. All major Hollywood studios have shut down production on film and TV projects still in development, leaving stages around Los Angeles deserted. Now, these emptied studio buildings could become a last resort if the number of coronavirus patients continues to surge in California.
During a press briefing about the crisis, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said that “Any place is on the table,” and reported that sites such as sports arenas, hotels, the L.A. Convention Center, Staples Center, movie theaters, and a number of studio buildings throughout Hollywood are all being discussed by local officials as possible locations for makeshift hospitals.
In addition, Garcetti noted that “at the beginning, some were saying, “Well, we don’t know if we want to take patients,” many of them now have said, “Absolutely, we would take patients, people who need isolation and quarantine.”
CORONAVIRUS WILL HIT HOLLYWOOD HARD
Hollywood soundstages would be particularly helpful for patients diagnosed with the Coronavirus, Garcetti said, citing the stages’ ventilation systems and space for medical equipment as chief reasons. Though it doesn’t appear he has yet made the final decision to initiate this plan, according to the mayor, “Some folks from studios have reached out” to him in support of the idea already.
Though he didn’t mention any one in particular, it’s likely that almost every major film studio, including Disney, 20th Century Studios, Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount, and Universal, would be called upon to do their part. Taking this action will likely force studios to wait longer before they can get back on their feet and renew their normal film production schedules, but in the long run, saving lives has to come first.
In L.A. County alone, there have been almost 800 reported cases of coronavirus, and 160 hospitalizations due to the virus. 13 deaths have been reported. In the event that the number of cases and deaths rises, it will likely mean that more and more public spaces across the county will have to be reworked to accommodate hospital beds, equipment and medical workers.
What do you think of the news? Will Hollywood be able to play its part in helping to defeat the Coronavirus? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and stay safe.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter