I read a book recently, called “Station Eleven”. Originally, I thought it was about the future of humans in a space station, but it turned out to be the future of humans … on earth. The book follows several people through several years. Mostly through the end of the world as we know it. Most of humanity dies from a pandemic of the swine flu. Like 1918 Flu but a hundred thousand times worse.
One of the characters estimates that about 99% of the earth’s population died.
Honestly, I was very tempted to put the book down was I realized it was a dystopian book. I find these kinds of books to be incredibly depressing and quite frankly, scary. I am blessed (sometimes I feel cursed) with a very good imagination. So when I read about these things, I have very vivid images in my mind. The sight of people lying in the streets, gasping for breath, alternating between shivering and sweating. Finally, so much death, so much stillness. The streets practically empty, those who are left are just trying to survive in a world that is entirely changed.
Then, I put myself in the book. Would I be one of the ones who had died? Would all my family be gone? Or would I be one of the survivors? Would my family survive or just me? Could I continue to go on in that kind of environment? I don’t know which idea is scarier. That I’d be alive or be dead.
I am not a fan of dystopian books or movies. I find it all too easy to feel myself in their positions, to feel their fear and terror. I find it all too easy to drop myself into that world and then…I find it very difficult to resurface. I look around me at everything we take for granted and think about how very quickly it could be gone, vanished in some disaster or other. The ones where it is a natural disaster that we cannot hope to ever stop (or even foresee) are the most terrifying to me. Because….what if it does happen?