Apocalypse Now or Later?

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Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

As a writer, particularly one who loves the science fiction genre, I’ve often written story outlines that are based on an apocalypse. A what if scenario that tells a story about the destruction of humanity through alien invasion, or maybe the explosion of a super volcano or two, or where society breaks down and we end up in a dystopian future or maybe an unstoppable new plague is visited on mankind.

Of course, being story outlines these all had their fair share of death and destruction. Drama has to play a part in a good story and you need to have lots of twist and turns to keep your reader turning pages. During all my musings, I never once thought that I would end up in the middle of a potential apocalyptic scenario in real life. But here we are, living through an event that will change the way survivors of this COVID-19 pandemic live forever.

I say survivors and yes, I know it sounds very dramatic, but it is in fact a very dramatic time we are all living through. Prior to this evening, I was assuming self-isolation would do what it says on the tin and protect us. But it seems not all scenarios in each country require the same response. The UK, it seems, had it wrong for a while. A new report based on a model predicting possible outcomes has made the UK government change their tack. If they had carried on with what they were doing, it was predicted as many as 250,000 could have died. Now, it seems, with new measures just announced, that may have been cut to 20,000 deaths. Even so, it’s an awful number to contemplate.

Whatever happens, where you live, you have to have faith in what your government, governor or mayor tells you to do. The authority we give elected (or unelected) officials is somewhat absolute in times of crisis.

We have to assume, and hope, the powers that be have got their plans right and that it will all be okay with limited fatalities. But I always think on what Stephen King once wrote – ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2020

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