With the nationwide lockdown having already lasted over a month – and no end in sight yet – those stuck at home have been making use of streaming services such as Netflix more than ever before.
And now almost 60,000 people have signed a petition to make streaming services free for the rest of the lockdown in a bid to encourage people to stay home during quarantine.
The petition, started by Philip Kolas, reads “During a worldwide viral pandemic, social distancing and personal quarantine is vitally important to stem the risk of spreading disease. As a result, right now millions of people worldwide are keeping themselves at home in order to prevent community spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“While this is a heroic and necessary challenge, it also runs the risk of boredom and isolation, which can lead to depression, among other factors. Many people are turning to their streaming services to alleviate their monotony. The problem with this is that many people cannot afford these membership fees, especially in a time like now when many people’s economic livelihood is already strained.
“Therefore, this petition asks that all worldwide streaming services enact a temporary 60 day stoppage of membership charges, as well as per-movie rental fees.
“If people can watch as much as they want, whenever they want, this will help alleviate the stress of home isolation, as well as encourage people to stay home. This is a responsible community health strategy.
“Many other media markets have done similar ideas. This is an easily manageable path of assistance for these corporations, one specifically which only they can provide.
“I call upon every one of these companies that can help make an involuntary homestay more comfortable and therefore more successful to do their part to lift our sorrows and stresses of the quarantine.”
Netflix has seen a huge rise in demand for its services since the lockdown began – and has added 16 million new users worldwide in the first three months of the year – almost double the signups it saw in the final quarter of 2019.
Netflix – nor any other streaming service – has yet to make a comment on the petition and, for now at least, it seems unlikely that a positive response is forthcoming.