Animated short, ‘Korona’ tells to focus on the “Don’t-s” but not panic amidst Covid-19 chaos

The world is witnessing a lockdown for the past few months now due to the Coronavirus outbreak. As if Earth is taking a break to reboot and rejuvenate itself (at least that’s what the pictures of dolphins and swans in Venice canals are seeming like).  Major events, programmes around the world have been cancelled and people are forced to quarantine themselves at home to contain further spread of the virus. There’s fear in people that has enabled them to resort to panic buying and stocking groceries, take more than necessary precautions and what not. Though the Coronavirus outbreak is a serious global health concern, it’s the panic that’s creating more harm. While there are others who aren’t taking this pandemic seriously and not following advice of medical professionals and the Government.
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Korona.(Don’t) SOUND ON? The past 72 hours have been quite an experience where the world is finally on the same page,but unfortunately it’s because of a pandemic that broke out a couple of months ago. Thousands have been infected, hundreds dead. This is no less than watching a horror flick in reality. All kinds of ill informed rumours about the virus COVID-19 have made matters worse. But you don’t really have to lose your shit. ✔️Stay precautious. But don’t panic! ✔️Stay the fuck clean ✔️wash your hands properly ✔️Distance yourself socially (as always) ✔️Don’t travel unless you really need to ✔️Enjoy your work from home while it lasts, you lucky bastards! ✔️Stay motivated, be productive and please don’t overdo it. ✔️Please don’t propagate FEAR. It’s not the end unless we make it so. #animation #2danimation #animationfilm #animatedshort #workfromhome #corona #gocorona #coronamemes #coronavirus #covid_19 #pandemic #india2020 #fear #staysafe #wethepeople #fightthefight #washyourhands #socialdistancing #72hourfilm #visdev #artistoninstagram #artoftheday #motionappetit #horror #film #coronation #animatorsoninstagram #indiananimation

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Well, at such a time, I bumped upon former Disney India intern and animator Debjyoti Saha’s one minute animated short, Korona (means Don’t in Bengali and is of course a pun on the name of the virus – Corona) that portrays perfectly that we should be cautious and careful enough, but not panic.  Shares Saha with Animation Xpress, Panic is absolutely creating more harm. No matter what it is about, wrong news spreads like wildfire. And no matter how globally destructive the Coronavirus might be, the rumours and fake news related to its authenticity and cure are spreading, especially through social media, making people panic and take unnecessarily extreme measures. At this point it seems to be very essential to not propagate fear and misinformation. Rather we need to use this as an opportunity to spread valuable information and instill peace among others. Especially during this period of lockdown, when virtual platforms become primary modes of communication. Korona is about avoiding unnecessary panic and focus on the ‘Don’ts’ one should observe at this time.”
Debjyoti Saha
Saha who presently works as an associate producer at ESPN India, did his Bachelor’s in Animation and Multimedia from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. By the end of the course he had developed a keen interest in the medium and went on to pursue a three years masters programme of Animation Film Design at NID, Ahmedabad. He now efficiently balances his professional and personal projects. While interning with Disney India, he worked with industry stalwarts like late Arnab Chaudhuri and Vaibhav Kumaresh. Speaking about conceptualising a major issue within such a short span of time in Korona, he adds, “The idea is fairly simple. I’ve been watching people getting paranoid by the smallest of things around themselves, especially when out in public. I, myself, have fallen victim to it and panicked when anyone even clears his/her throat in front me. All the news about the virus is no less than a horror film at the moment. The point is not to spread panic-stricken information or even have a carefree “nothing will happen to me” kind of an attitude. Since mostly, all of us are working from home due to advised social distancing, the past 72 hours have been quite different, individually and in general. That gave me quite some time and motivation to come up with the idea and execute quickly. There wasn’t much pre-planning involved; just had fun with it as I went along. It was animated frame-by-frame in Adobe Photoshop and composited with sound in Adobe After Effects.” Saha’s Korona has received positive reviews and appreciation from the industry gems like Eeksaurus founder Suresh Eriyat and Vaibhav Studios character animator Dapoon Rai Dewan (co-director of Nickelodeon idents) as well as audiences alike. Saha also shared with us he has plans to keep on making a chain of animated shorts on this issue. “My work revolves mostly around people and their actions and reactions to their socio-political environment. It will be interesting to continue making such short animated videos as part of a series and keep spreading right information in this season. Who knows, the country might be on the verge of a nationwide lockdown and things might get worse. But as long as we are rightly informed and equally motivated, we can help beat this together. And there’s no harm in a chuckle or two in such distressing times,” mentions he. These are tough and crazy times. While nobody wishes to be at home-arrest, it’s okay to take a break and think about how temporary things are around us. That all of us are living in a bubble of reality that we have created for ourselves. And it’s unfortunate that as humans we have created a civilisation that requires a virus to make us slow down and notice things around us. This is a situation of health emergency and we must, must laud the unconditional, sacrificial service of the medical professionals and support the commendable efforts of government authorities. So till the time the corona-monster subsides, as Korona suggests, stay indoors and abide by the rules but DO NOT PANIC. We’re in this together and we’ll get through this!