There's this moment in the movie, "Home Alone", where the whole family is trying to catch a flight...and they're running through O'Hare airport in Chicago at top speed in order to not be late. Hehehe, I watch that now, in a post '9/11' world...and it's just so strange to me. Like, ummm...NO!!! LOL! That would NEVER happen in this day and age. Not a chance. But 9/11 changed the way we see things. And while it might have been normal at the time it was filmed, it's just not the same anymore.
I totally agree with the idea of art imitating life and vice versa. I don't think writers could avoid it, even if they wanted to. However, I think there's a deeper underlying emotion that will become the defining feature of the times we're going through right now. One of my favorite examples of this is the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". That's a story that keeps coming back to us with every generation, slightly different, but altered to fit the times. It pops up during the Communist scare, it pops up during 70's Occultism, then again in the 90's during the AIDS epidemic, then again in the 2000's under the threat of terrorism...and I'm sure that Covid-19 will inspire someone to reake it yet again in the near future. I've even seen teasers that they're remaking Stephen King's "The Stand"...which makes sense. Anyway, while they don't directly address the issue they're dealing with...the 'feeling' is still there. And I think the Covid-19 era will be a big part of the vibe in stories going forward.
I did actually write a short story called, "Special Delivery" ( https://gayauthors.org/story/comicality/special-delivery/ ) where I dealt with masks and social distancing directly within the story itself. And before that, I dealt with a widespread virus in a story called "Agenda 21" (But this was during the time of Swine Flu and H1N1). But I think, even if authors don't exactly make it a Corona virus story, the feeling will still be the same. In the near future, I expect stories involving feelings of isolation, or a craving of contact, mistrust of your neighbors or your community...possibly stories that are really self contained and limited to one house or neighborhood. It'll reflect what people are going through these days, whether they include an actual virus and masks or not.
So, I'm thinking we'll all see more zombie stories, or nuclear fall out tales, alien invasions...stuff where you have to wall yourselves in to stay safe. It's just my prediction, and I'm sticking to it! :P
As for me, personally, most of my characters exist outside of the current timeline, and the stories are far enough along where writing the current virus into their stories would only complicate and confuse things. Especially since there's a number of them that are coming to an end soon. So, everything that I started before the pandemic (which is pretty much everything) probably won't have that as a part of the story. But everything I write from here on out? Who knows?
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