Escapism and Immersion in a COVID-19 World


When considering that COVID-19 has most likely forever changed the landscape of how we live, this past summer I found myself really yearning for our “old” normal.

I sought that world out in pictures and the journal entries I’d written in private. I even took a deep dive into social media memories in an effort to truly try to immerse myself in the almost easiness of the past. When that didn’t work, I turned to television. After hours of poking around Netflix, trying to join the fans ahead of whatever show was deemed the next “big thing,” I still found myself unable to connect to these familiar landscapes that provided me with such joy and entertainment in the past. So, I more or less returned to an “old normal” for myself and decided to crack open the cover of a book, and it worked.

Instead of binging television, I took a more active role in the consumption of my new favorite form of entertainment. The pages of my books started to turn and fly faster than the days I’d spent trying to fill with various activities. Soon, I was fighting monsters alongside my new protagonists, investigating the murder of a friend, or becoming one of the suspects of a group of people who perhaps had killed another. I spent time in worlds like our own and even more time in locations so unlike our own that, for once, the horrors of my own life didn’t feel as surreal as they previously did.

For 300 and some odd pages, I was learning, dissecting, living and watching someone else’s life, and through this escapism, I wasn’t considering the horrors outside my front door for a handful of hours. Soon, I was stacking books, and with almost 14 finished later, I found a new form of entertainment to immerse myself in.

Sometimes, diving into someone else’s world for a little bit is the perfect form of escapism to put your own life on pause for a small, healthy bit of time.