Thomas Lombardo discusses science fiction and the 2020 Coronavirus Crisis.
(Stream / download audio at bottom of page)
Dystopian, post-apocalyptic sci fi has been one of the most prolific forms of popular entertainment in recent years. Visions of disintegrating societies, deserted cities, and scattered bands of survivors struggling to salvage the shreds of civilization have horrified and haunted viewers everywhere. Today, in the midst of the great Coronavirus Crisis of 2020, billions worldwide suddenly find themselves living in a surreal and disturbing version of a small screen nightmare.
But this is no zombie apocalypse or alien invasion. Instead, what we are dealing with is a pandemic of fear, confusion, and ignorance in the face of what is in fact a familiar threat as old as humanity itself. As with many fictional disasters, official rhetoric about ‘coming together’ has been met by populations driven apart, and the disastrous fall-out from our failure to deal appropriately with the current crisis will be felt for many years to come. Attempting to eliminate all risk for the sake of stability and safety is anti-evolutionary and can lead only to stasis and stagnation. In the best science fiction stories, however, we can find wisdom to help navigate these troubling times, and in the true meaning of apocalypse – a ‘revelation’ or ‘unveiling’ – find positive growth and transformation for the future of the human race.
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