Nothing like Hollywood to get your mind off COVID-19

For months now, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed emergency managers to their limits, displacing them from familiar offices and EOCs, requiring long hours and stressful work, and necessitating quick, creative decisions about unprecedented circumstances.

Furthermore, the more “typical” critical incidents and emergencies don’t stop just because of a pandemic, as we saw with recent tornadoes and storms ripping through portions of the country last week.

During these stressful times, particularly for emergency managers, it is vitally important to take some downtime to relax, unwind, and decompress. For more on that, read our recent blog about dealing with stress during the pandemic.

In addition to catching up on sleep and getting more physical exercise, many find that listening to music or watching movies can help them disconnect from all the seriousness and pressing issues. For the music part, check out the COVID-19 Spotify playlist we compiled recently.

For many though, movies are the perfect place to find relaxation.  The beauty of watching a good movie is that it can take you away from reality for a while and even provide inspiration, which is much-needed these days.

So, we thought we would put together a list of some of our favorite films that might help provide you with a getaway, lift your spirits, entertain or inspire you, and help you through current circumstances.


  • Remember the Titans – perfectly uplifting story of a team coming together to win it all.
  • Forrest Gump – illustrating how even someone who’s not the “smartest man in the world” can make an impact.
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy – chock full of amazing parallels to current times, with the theme of an arduous journey to overcome evil or terrible circumstances. A quote from the wise character Gandalf: “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
  • Rudy – another football movie but perhaps one of the most uplifting ever – showing how determination and perseverance can lead to overcoming obstacles.
  • Seabiscuit – an uplifting movie about the underdog. In fact, just about every character in the movie is an underdog – from the horse, the jockey, the trainer, the owner, and the entire American public during the depression.

Here are some of our team’s ‘honorable mentions’ for inspiration:

    • Shawshank Redemption
    • The Greatest Game Ever Played
    • The Theory of Everything
    • Rocky
    • We Are Marshall

Family Entertainment:

  • Groundhog Day – appropriate since it really does feel we’re living the same day over and over again.
  • Home alone – also appropriate because we’re all stuck at home trying to entertain ourselves
  • The Incredibles – because we know that emergency managers are all super heroes (But “No capes!”)

Some other family-friendly suggestions:

    • Jumanji
    • Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
    • The LEGO Movie
    • Onward
    • Just about any Disney movie including Mulan, Frozen and Frozen II

Avoid or watch at your own risk!:

And here are some movies that are perhaps apropos for the times, but will certainly not make you forget about disasters and pandemics:

  • Her – a slightly odd movie entirely about a guy in a relationship with his computer, which is similar to all of the virtual communication we’re stuck with now.
  • Unfriended – a horror movie that takes place entirely in a Skype/Zoom call.
  • Contagion – speaks for itself.
  • Outbreak – same as above.
  • San Andreas
  • The Day After Tomorrow

BONUS: Movies to watch instead of the Tiger King documentary that everyone is talking about:

    • The Lion King
    • The Jungle Book
    • We Bought a Zoo
    • Babe

Obviously, every list like this one is completely subjective and a matter of opinion. Our hope is to offer you some fun options that will take your mind off your work for a while – so that you can return more refreshed, more productive, and ready to take on the seriousness of dealing with disasters, critical incidents, and of course pandemics

All of us at Juvare are always ready to help in any way we can through these difficult times. We are proud support the hard-working emergency managers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, and eventual recovery.

Be sure to call on us if we can help you with any of our solutions for your public health and critical incident management activities.

Written by

Akshay Birla

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