"We should have been much better prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic," says Mary McNamara. "I’m not talking about on a federal or local level — although President Trump’s firing of the pandemic experts and ignoring the medical community during early weeks, not to mention California’s decision to stop funding a bunch of mobile hospitals — certainly contributed to the crisis. No, I’m talking about each and every one of us, bathed as we have been in decades’ worth of apocalyptic tales, many of them centered on illness and/or governmental ineptitude. In fact, there’s one on Apple TV right now, See, in which the world’s population has been all but wiped out by a pandemic that has left nearly every survivor, including Jason Momoa, blind. Blind. Get it? Whether by recognizable virus (Outbreak, Contagion, Containment, Black Death), radiation (Chernobyl, On the Beach), weaponized rage (28 Days Later), biological warfare (Daybreak) or the ever popular zombie-disease (The Walking Dead, Zombieland, World War Z, Shaun of the Dead), mass infection is one of film and television’s favorite topics. So while the threat of disaster, from earthquakes to the Rapture, has filled many a basement or bunker with canned goods — and many of us now are conditioned to scan the landscape for the best zombie-proof locales — we are just now realizing how utterly unhelpful, and perhaps even harmful, all of those apocalyptic 'what if' stories are." McNamara adds that real horror is uncertainty, as many horror fans know. "Turns out the most relevant metaphor for apocalypse isn’t a zombie staggering around, or a rage monster rising from the dark or an identifiable cloud of death creeping across the planet," says McNamara. "It’s the quiet vacuum filled by Zoom meetings and far too much time on social media as we wait to see how bad things are going to get — watching through sleepless hours as the degrees of separation between our families and COVID-19 count down. "
TOPICS: The Walking Dead, Channel 4, Fox News Channel, Chernobyl, Guy’s Grocery Games, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, See, The Yogi Bear Show, Chris Cuomo, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Hilarie Burton, Jane Fonda, Julie Bennett, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Queen Elizabeth II, Sara Bareilles, Susan Kelechi Watson, Wayne Brady, Coronavirus, Obits, Public Service Announcements, San Diego Comic-Con