Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Top Three Apocalypse Scenarios I Don’t Want to Live

Up until about a year ago, disaster movies and post-apocalyptic books were my personal happy place. Maybe Alas, Babylon converted me at an impressionable age or something. That Contagion movie, for instance? Man, I don’t even care how well it was (or wasn’t) researched, I watched the thing like eleventy billion times. Same thing with Station Eleven (did you read that? I loved it) and, of course, The Stand.

Fast forward to today, and guess what I did at lunch time? Or don’t. I went and got a Covid test. My kid’s school sent around one of those fun “we’ve had an exposure on campus” emails, so I took all our temperatures, and lo! there was I with a very low-grade fever. Combine that with a little scratchy throat and cough and boom, people poking brain-deep sticks up my nose. Fun!

Except, not. 

So, in light of recent experiences, here are three end-of-world scenarios I am no longer interested in reading about:

1. Asteroid impacts. Despite the fact that I could totally dig Morgan Freeman as president and Mary Robinette Kowal’s opening bit in her The Calculating Stars was just brilliant, I’ll take a pass on E.L.E. impacts, thanks. (You hear me, Apophis?)

2. Nuclear incidents. I’m not even re-watching Chernobyl. Honest.

3. And of course, pandemics. You’d think this one would be a given, but... so, there’s a board game called, amusingly enough, Pandemic, and it is actually kind of fun right now. Unlike passive entertainment like books and movies, in this game, players can work together and end the virus. That together part is the magic and the thing that humanity has so desperately failed at in real life. I guess I find it inspiring. Or hopeful?

So maybe I won’t be reading or watching the world end anytime soon, but the fantasy of humanity coming together is still alluring enough that, yeah, I will play the damn game. And win.

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