"I was not prepared for the novel coronavirus to change one of my least important but most strongly held beliefs: that the protagonist of Outlander is kind of a ninny," says Kathryn VanArendonk. "The world is different now. I am different now. And suddenly, for the first time, I think maybe Claire from Outlander has a point." The behavior of Caitriona Balfe's public-health hero character "has frustrated me for years," says VanArendonk. "How can Claire not recognize the world she’s living in? Why wouldn’t she tone down her medical ahistoricism for her own sake? It’s the 18th century. Everyone’s going to die of infections and childbirth and malnutrition. Claire can’t change everyone’s mind on her own, surely. All of this hits me differently now. I’m newly aware of public health as a collective project that only works when everyone’s operating from the same information. I’m also suddenly aware of how much I would probably behave just like Claire does, even when I knew it violated social niceties. Along with everything else, the last month has brought home my deep capacity for barking 'wash your hands!' at impolite-but-crucial moments, and also my inability to sit on my hands when I see health misinformation floating around. In the 18th century, Claire has the women’s gossip circles. In the 21st century, I have parent Facebook groups. Neither of us can keep our feelings to ourselves about, say, the efficacy of essential oils. I’m also newly charged up by Claire’s righteous fury. She’s right! She’s not less right because she’s in a century where everyone’s superstitious about their bodily humours or whatever! Wake up, sheeple! Flatten the typhoid curve!"
TOPICS: Outlander, Food Network, Starz, Big Brother Canada, NFL Draft, Seinfeld, Tournament of Champions, Bob Odenkirk, Caitriona Balfe, Danny McBride, Geoffrey Owens, Guy Fieri, Joe Buck, Larry David, Ryan Heffington, Wayne Brady, Coronavirus, Standup Comedy