When I was young, quite a while ago, one of my favorite books was The Stand by Stephen King. I was intrigued by the plot, the characters, and the whole good versus evil vibe.
Mr. King’s book spoke to me, and inspired daydreams where I was one of his characters (one of the good guys, of course). It also made me wonder what would happen if the real world was infected by some sort of super-bug. Would I be one of the lucky ones who survived? And, yes, lucky is probably a strong word as no one in the book ended up sipping margaritas on the beach–though it does sound like quite a few college students are currently doing just that.
For whatever reason, the younger me was profoundly confident that I would indeed emerge intact. The remnants of humanity would no doubt benefit from my detailed knowledge of retirement plans and, of course, there is always a need for someone who can reach things on high shelves.
A few decades later, as I watch friends bicker online about whether or not COVID-19 is a real threat and the performance of their favorite (or least favorite) politicians, I’ve had time to further reflect on how I would fare in a super-bug scenario.
It may be age, the cumulative impact of all the trips to the hospital, or the simple fact that I have not hoarded a sufficient amount of toilet paper but, sadly, I now believe that I would be one of the first to go (despite the best-effort/well-wishes emails I have received from every financial company, hotel chain, car rental agency or airline I have ever frequented).
I will, therefore, likely not be there to fight evil. Those who survive will have to get things off of tall shelves on their own.
I hope I’m still around, and that the dire COVID-19 projections do not come to pass. I plan on rereading The Stand while I await the outcome. I think it might feel a bit different this time around.
Good luck to us all.