The coronavirus pandemic has affected not only the health of millions of people across the globe but has also altered lifestyles and the way we interact with the world around us. Fans of sports can no longer file into stadiums; lovers of art can no longer wander through museums or sites of history and heritage. Now according to the deputy minister of culture and sport in Wales, says such activities may not become a reality for years to come.
Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas says restrictions may only be reduced after considering the weight of the social responsibility that falls on them to limit coronavirus transmission.
£85 million have been pledged by the Welsh Government to heritage, culture, and sport.
According to Lord Elis-Thomas however, the Senedd committee should be aware that he does not feel optimistic about the reopening of such sectors. Therefore organizations for sports and the Arts must change their attitudes completely, he says.
According to the funding package from the government, £14 million have been granted to leisure and sports facilities.
Lord Elis-Thomas however believes reopening such places and events could only lead to the further prolonging of the coronavirus pandemic and spread the lethal disease more than it needs to.
There were questions about whether such activities could continue by spring at the very least but according to Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the decision will be governed based on public safety because it is not to be trifled with.
He considers it a very important responsibility to consider limiting the coronavirus spread and therefore urges this to be a thing to consider by all cultural organizations that might seek reopenings. For him, public health cannot be compromised.
In his opinion, there is no use for such activities to resume if they have the potential to harm public health because at the end of the day there would be no need for sport or art if it ends up making people sick.
Even regarding the allowance of thirty groups of people gathering together outside, he encourages a total reform of attitudes by the organizers of events and those in charge of promoting it.
He prioritizes the call for a change of behavior which he admits is visible in most of the population but still lacks in some parts since the outbreaks keep happening here and there due to lax behavior.
Trial events arranged by Theatr Clwyd in Mold taking place outdoors reassure Lord Elis-Thomas that the industry of arts was ready to change for the better.
Although he is relieved and happy to see how responsibly people have been acting during the coronavirus pandemic, he is still concerned about how the sectors he oversees would recover during this health crisis.
Even while some improvements do seem to be taking place, he does not harbor great optimism regarding the extent of recovery the sectors of arts and sport can make during this time. In his eyes, it could take anywhere from months to several years.
While it is highly unlikely most of us will be returning to stadiums and performing art shows anytime soon, the arts and culture may adapt differently to the global health crisis by connecting with their audience through the power of technology. Such forms of entertainment may eventually be able to replace live forms of entertainment such as concerts and live games. Although the experience may differ greatly, public health is imperative for all of us.