Saturday, April 4, 2020

Journal of a Lockdown No. 23

Stray cat I saw today when I went out for groceries.

For All Mankind reminds me that I'm better off confined in my home on Earth instead of being stranded at the Jamestown Base on the lunar surface.

The series, produced by Apple TV+, is set in the background of the Cold War, in a revised history. I finished all 10 episodes in a span of a week. The space race between the USSR and the US is getting heated. Much to the horror and disappointment of the Americans, it is the Soviets who send the first man on the moon. NASA is under pressure to catch up. We learn of risk and ambition. We wonder if all the efforts to discover space is worth it.

But we continue watching. We observe the astronauts' private lives. We experience the anguish that their wives experience whenever they are sent into missions. We see the look of longing in their children's faces because they have been gone a long time. I'm sure parallelisms can be drawn between astronauts and healthcare workers in today's COVID-19 pandemic.

I find space movies particularly relaxing during moments of prolonged isolation. (I watched Ad Astra during a long-haul flight, for instance.) As with most of my peers, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. It did not take me too long to realize that I could not. My aptitude in math was average at best, and I did not find physics fascinating.

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The series' soundtrack is amazing.

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